Author: Lee Nichols
Genre: YA, Supernatural
Published: 5th September 2011 (Bloomsbury)
When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett.
But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer.
Deception starts out like a lot of books of this genre, with Emma being without parental guidance, moving to a new town and new school before discovering what she really is. Right at the start I did get that "Here we go again" kind of feeling, just because it was so much like a lot of things I'd already read. However, I soon forgot about that because something about this book captivated me much more than a lot of books have. Ghosts haven't been overdone in YA books, at least not that I've read, and this, along with amazing writing and some great characters, drew me in more and more the further I got through the book.
As a protagonist, Emma was likeable, interesting, funny and believable. She has a bit of a quirky edge as well which made her a refreshing change from the usual types of main characters (which usually fall into either all-action herione or angsty emo-girl). She took just the right amount of time to come to terms with being able to see ghosts. She didn't immediately believe it nor did she take so long to figure it out that it got frustrating for the reader. Bennett was one of those characters you'll fall in love with straight away. At times he's distant and he's always a little bit arrogant but that just made me like him more! Emma's new friends are also well developed for secondary characters and I was pleasantly surprised to find that there wasn't an annoying one as I nearly always hate the 'friend' character in most books.
Overall, Deception is an excellent debut book and a great start to what I hope will be a fantastic series.