Ooh. How much did I love this book? Deception by Lee Nichols is a wonderful first book in a series, one that makes me very excited. I loved everything about it, from the fun twist on the paranormal, the private school setting, the interesting characters and especially the romance.
I'd had no previous knowledge of the book before it landed on my doorstep, but after reading several favourable reviews, I was completely intrigued and curious to see what I thought. I only intended to read a few chapters before bed, and I was completely hooked. I really loved Emma's sense of isolation in particular and how alone she felt as this new world of ghosts and being a ghostkeeper is revealed to her.
Emma Vaile's parents leave on this mysterious trip and Emma feels like it's the perfect opportunity to throw a party and get into some trouble. But what Emma doesn't expect is for the police to show up and take her into custody. With a lack of parental presence in her life, she is shipped off to New England with her acting guardian, Bennett Stern, a friend of Emma's older brother who Emma has had an almighty crush on for years. There, strange things begin happening. The visions that Emma sees happen more often and are stronger, and at times Emma is transported to a different time period. It is finally revealed to Emma that she is a ghostkeeper, someone who can communicate and control ghosts.
And I felt so many things for Emma throughout the entire book. Mostly I felt really bad for her, as she's dealing with her parents virtually abandoning her, along with her oldest friend. She's in a new town, trying to fit in at a new school, whilst living with someone she has all these feelings for but Bennett isn't around nearly enough. Nobody is really there for Emma and then this ghostkeeper thing is sprung on her and it just makes Emma question why nobody told her beforehand. Why the big secret? And if that wasn't enough, Emma finds out she's in all kinds of danger and that ghostkeepers have been hunted and murdered lately and is Emma's new-found powers over ghosts the key to solving a murder?
Honestly, I really loved this book. I found Emma to be a wonderful character who is easily relateable. I loved her new friends at school and especially learning a new mythology about the ghosts in this series, with the different capabilities of ghostkeepers and about ghosts alongside Emma. This book is entertaining and exciting and I really, really look forward to reading more in the series!