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Deception: A Haunting Emma Novel


Deception: A Haunting Emma Novel

Seventeen-year-old Emma Vaile has always lived in the shadow of her family. Her parents are successful antique dealers who have a shop filled with rare and valuable artifacts that oftentimes overflow into their house above it. Emma is used to living with these relics, but even she gets creeped out by a few of them, like the funeral urns outside their office. Her older brother has a bit more interest in the family business than she does; maybe that’s why her parents always seemed to love him more. But now he’s away at college, and once again they hit the road for business.

Emma’s parents are supposed to be gone for three weeks, so their employee who works in the shop will be keeping an eye on Emma during this time. But even with someone looking in on her, she’s planning to have some fun and maybe even get a tattoo. Things, though, don’t always go as planned. The employee quits, leaving Emma to run the store after school and not leaving much downtime. And then her parents and older brother disappear, and Emma can’t get in touch with them.

It doesn’t take long for the cops to find out she’s living on her own. Just before she’s sent to a foster home, a surprise benefactor shows up claiming he’s her legal guardian. Bennett is her older brother’s friend from college and just three years older than she is. But he has the papers to prove he’s responsible for her. He takes her back east with him and enrolls her in a fancy school complete with uniforms and fencing lessons. Despite the worry for her missing family, Emma is thrilled to see Bennett again; she’s had a crush on him since the first time they met. Bennett, however, is frustratingly vague with answers. Emma can tell he knows something, but he’s not sharing, except that he, too, doesn’t know where her parents are.

Then, as if all this upheaval isn’t enough, Emma starts seeing strange, sometimes scary visions. Is she going crazy, or is she really seeing ghosts? Is it linked to the “Incident” that happened when she was seven? Could it somehow be related to her family’s disappearance? Emma demands answers. And then some of the ghosts start getting mean…

Lee Nichols is the author of five adult novels, and now thankfully has ventured into the young adult world of literature. Her intriguing new Haunting Emma series begins with DECEPTION, which introduces Emma and her unique gifts with the spirit world. She is a likable character who is friendly, energetic, funny, and a bit shy, longing to be with the popular crowd. The story gets off to a great start, dropping clues and hints of what’s to come, snagging the reader’s curiosity and not letting go. It has lots of heartfelt dramatic moments, with Emma worried for her family and dealing with friendships new and old. The romantic tension makes hearts pound, with Emma falling in love with Bennett yet also enjoying the attentions of the football quarterback at her new school.

Nichols has done an amazing job with her new novel, weaving together suspense, mystery, romance, creepiness and a bit of humor. She has many talents to share, and her fans are waiting for more.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on June 8, 2010

Deception: A Haunting Emma Novel
by Lee Nichols

  • Publication Date: June 8, 2010
  • Genres: Paranormal Mystery
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  • ISBN-10: 1599903083
  • ISBN-13: 9781599903088