Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: Deception by Lee Nichols

24 Mar 2012

Title: Deception (Haunting Emma #1) 
Author: Lee Nichols 
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia 
Release Date: September 5th, 2011
Format: Paperback 
Source: Publisher for review (Thank you!)

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.

Upon finishing this, I literally sat on my bed and thought to myself "WHY ON EARTH DIDN'T I READ THIS SOONER? It was  FANTASTIC and unputdownable!" It had all the elements of my a book I love! I have a feeling my next obsession will be GHOSTS ( As creepy as that sounds, but after reading Deception, there's no way I'm going to ignore another ghost-related book, because chances are, I'm going to love them as well!)

While Deception is a ghost-related story, it's not a spine-chilling nor extremely frightening but more a mix of Casper and The Haunted Mansion. It has the occasional lightness and hilarity that makes any good ghost-book interesting! I loved the idea of ghost-keepers here ( I'd never even heard of ghostkeepers until I read this!); different ghost-keepers have different abilities- some are able to compel, some summon, while others are a master of dispelling. I found the whole concept  so fascinating I'm certainly keen on learning more about the history of ghost-keepers!

I love plot-driven stories, with a nicely interwoven romance,and that's exactly what i got.Although Emma is in love with her brother's best friend, while simultaneously trying to sort out her feelings for the nicest, most popular guy at school who's miraculously interested in her, it never felt like the romance and hint of love triangle took over the main plot line. (Thank goodness!)Emma was incredibly focused on what her newfound abilities meant, and as more mysteries are revealed, she becames increasingly intent on saving those around her.

I found Emma a great protagonist, and I was able to relate to her easily. I found she had the perfect amount of badass, butt-kicking skills inside her (when it came to battling ghosts, you do not want to mess with her!) but she also acted and thought in ways that was typical of her age.It was great to see her balance out her two lives!

The minor characters were also extremely amusing and totally likeable. Seriously, the three 'housekeeper' ghosts (I call them that because they've never set foot outside the mansion) are all so friendly and sweet! They cook, they wash, they do everything that's expected of a servant, but it's impossible not to treat them as equals. They're just such amazing ghosts<3

Overall, please give this a try!I know it may not be for everyone, but there's no harm in trying, right?  It's a wonderful tale of friendship, loss, forgiveness and heartbreak - Highly recommended!


  1. Buh? Shirley, I've never even HEARD of this before, but it sounds AMAZING! I love ghost stories, and plus, England and English boys? AWESOME combination :D
    Great review! So excited to read it!!

  2. Hi Shirley! I love meeting new bloggers. This was a fun little review, I love good ghost stories as well and you have perked my interest. Funny, butt kicking, ghosts, driven plot and romance, sounds like a lot of good elements. Now, I only hope it os available in the U.S. off to check :) Thanks for sharing.

  3. I've never even heard of this book so thanks for posting this review, I am going to add it to my to-read list!

  4. A great plot and a nice interwoven romance? My type of thing! I can't believe I haven't paid more attention to this book before. I am aware of it, I just haven't bothered to find out more. thanks for the review - this sounds exactly like my type of book and it's definitely going on the reading list now. Plus, I LOVE that cover. It's gorgeous. :D Brilliant review, Shirley!

  5. Great review!I have this book sitting on my shelf, would be nice to read it once im good. thanks for reminding me! xox


  6. Upon finishing your review, I literally sat on my chair and thought to myself, "WHY ON EARTH HAVE I NOT READ THIS BOOK YET??" And then I mentally thanked you and your awesome reviewing skills for convincing me! x) LOL I've always been a sucker for ghost stories too, and it's always a plus when they have a great plot-line with a super-sweet romance! Plus, balanced characters like Emma are the best because you can always relate to them more! :D

    Amazing review, Shirley!! Thanks for giving this book a jump-start on my TBR pile! ;) <3

  7. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK how have I not read this book yet?!?! YOu're making me desperate for it woman. It sounds AMAZING. I mean...I've read Lisa's review for it and she said ti was amazing but I hadn't really realised how AWESOME it was! GHOSTS GHOSTS GHOSTS you're making me CRAAAAAAAVE GHOSTS! I definitely need to look into getting this asap...YAY for badass main characters. ;D I can't wait to see what you think of the rest of this series dude! WHOOOOOOOT.

  8. Yes yes yes yes!!! I felt the EXACT same way when I read this, "Why did it take me so long?!" because I loved what I read. And as you said, I like that the romance didn't overtake the story. Plot should come before romance. I adored the secondary charactesr too! <3 Ahhh, I have got to read Betrayal soon! FANTASTIC REVIEW, SHIRLEY!

    OH! And on a ghost-related note: have you read Anna Dressed In Blood? COMPLETELY different to Deception, but since you said you're not going to ignore another ghosty book.... YOU NEED TO READ ANNA. IT IS AMAZING.

  9. You realise I'm freaking DYING to read Anna Dressed in Blood?!?! It's been at the top of my wishlist since early LAST YEAR! But I'm broke, (the hardcover is like $16 on TBD! and over here it's $25!) soooo...I MIGHT have to wait until the paperback is released and then buy it off TBD...BUT I REALLY WANT TO READ IT BEFORE THE 2nd BOOK COMES OUT!!!!!

  10. I'm so sorry, I SWEAR I commented on tis yesterday :S
    This. Sounds. FABULOUS!
    I LOVE ghost stories, and I love kickass heroines (hellow, who doesn't?) AND I LOVE YOUR REVIEW!

    Four and half stars? That's... wow, Shirley, this sounds AMAZING!

  11. YES! It was the best book ever:D Have you read Betrayal? Its even nicer!!


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