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The Deceivers

Review

The Deceivers

From the author of THE GLASS ARROW, METALTOWN and PACIFICA comes a new novel that is sure to suck readers in in a matter of pages. Fans of The Gallagher Girls, mysteries, thrillers, suspense, romance or books set in boarding schools with love the newest novel from Kristen Simmons, THE DECEIVERS.

Brynn Hilder wants to get out. She wants to leave behind her poor achieving school, her cruel nicknames, her dumpy neighborhood and most of all her mother’s drug dealing boyfriend. But the only way Brynn can figure out how to make a clean break is by graduating high school and going away to college. Unfortunately, college is an expense she cannot afford. Fortunately, she knows how to fix her money issues. Having learned a lot about craftiness and conning from drug dealing Pete, Brynn spends her free time conning rich kids. One day, however, her con takes a weird turn as Brynn is led to a secret recruiting event --- a recruiting event for an elite private boarding school.

"With a diverse cast of characters, an intriguing plot and good writing, this book will captivate audiences and have them begging for a sequel."

Immediately, Brynn is intrigued. Not only is one of the recruiters an attractive boy named Caleb who may have been following her for the past few days, but what she learns about the school is enough to make her sign up.

Brynn is soon accepted to this school and is taken away from her life in the slums to a wealthy estate where she is given new clothes, her own room and a job. The somewhat mysterious director of the school --- Vale Hall --- tells Brynn that she has to con the local senator’s son. Brynn obliges and starts what will become the strangest, most thrilling and dangerous con of her life.

THE DECIEVERS is a clever spin on the classic spy boarding school trope found often in young adult novels. Brynn, along with other teenagers like her, are trained in the art of deception while running cons and perhaps being conned themselves. I enjoyed the quick pace of the novel. The plot really drove the novel forward and the characters were rounded and intriguing. A sub romance plot was effective in revealing different sides of characters and pushing the plot forward even more. However, it did not overshadow the main drama of the cons.

I wish that this book had gotten to the main plot quicker. It seemed like there was a lot of set up in order to get to the conning school part of the plot. This scene set up was important for establishing the characters, but it could have been done quicker to allow for a less rushed wrap up of the main action. That being said, Simmons left the novel open for a second book that will likely resolve more of the action from this book.

Overall, this book was fast-paced and exciting. Readers who fell in love with The Gallagher Girls series or who loved TRULY DEVIOUS or other books like it will surely adore THE DECEIVERS. With a diverse cast of characters, an intriguing plot and good writing, this book will captivate audiences and have them begging for a sequel.

Reviewed by Ellie Tiemens on March 20, 2019

The Deceivers
by Kristen Simmons