Monday, June 28, 2010

Deception The Haunting of Emma by Lee Nichols

When Emma Vaile's parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age "knight in J.Crew armor," Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.
After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can't shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can't explain, as if she's returning home to a place she's never been. Emma doesn't trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he's about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life. From Amazon.

I've put off writing this review because I wasn't impressed with this book even though I really wanted to be because I know it's going to be a series. Then I remembered who this book is written for, a young adult, meaning a teenager and not a middle aged woman. So, I took another look at the book from that perspective. I liked it a lot more as a teenager.

Emma, is deserted by her parents to go on a shopping trip for their antiques shop. Emma seems fine with it, after all, Susan, who runs the store for them will look in on her. She'll be fine. Then, Susan quits. And Emma is left to run the shop and go to school. Susan's daughter, Abby is her best friend, or was, but she went off to school and stopped talking to Emma after Emma's brother Max dumped her. Countless calls, emails and texts go unanswered. But Emma holds it together until she starts to see smoke figures rise out of the funeral urns in front of the door to her father's study. She's seriously spooked. At the same time she finally gets a social life thanks to a new girl named Natalie. And thanks to Natalie, she's talked into having a party. The police come, Natalie tells them she's living alone and Emma feeling very betrayed ends up spending the night in a halfway house. She can't reach her parents by cell phone so the social worker wants to put her in the foster care system until Bennett arrives with forged guardianship papers. She takes that option.

Bennett's home is a museum in the summer, but it's winter so he leaves Emma there and tells her Martha will take care of her. Someone takes care of her, but it isn't Martha she later learns. It's the ghosts she can see. The house has it's share of them and Emma can interact with them. They aren't the only ghosts she sees. Thatcher Academy has it's share of ghosts as does the town of Echo Point. And Emma can see them all.

Emma makes friends easily with the quarterback of the football team, Sara, smart, pretty and popular, and Harry, strange, witty and friendly. They all welcome her quickly and Coby, the football quarterback and all around perfect guy asks her out. Emma has a hard time setting aside her feelings for Bennett versus Coby. But who can resist the perfect guy??? And Bennett is always MIA anyway.

The climax of the books happens in the last fifty pages or so but you can feel it building. The ending is almost predictable, but there are a few curveballs. As a teenager it's not a happy ending. But, I did love the fact that the first Chapter of the next book in the series Betrayal is in the back of the book. It starts out very interesting.

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