The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons

the deceivers by kristen simmonsSummary:

Pretty Little Liars meets Ocean’s 11 in this intrigue-filled contemporary drama from acclaimed author Kristen Simmons.

Welcome to Vale Hall, the school for aspiring con artists.

When Brynn Hilder is recruited to Vale, it seems like the elite academy is her chance to start over, away from her mom’s loser boyfriend and her rundown neighborhood. But she soon learns that Vale chooses students not so much for their scholastic talent as for their extracurricular activities, such as her time spent conning rich North Shore kids out of their extravagant allowances.

At first, Brynn jumps at the chance to help the school in its mission to rid the city of corrupt officials–because what could be better than giving entitled jerks what they deserve? But that’s before she meets her mark–a senator’s son–and before she discovers the school’s headmaster has secrets he’ll stop at nothing to protect. As the lines between right and wrong blur, Brynn begins to realize she’s in way over head.

Review: 3 Stars

I was super excited for this one. As soon as I got my hands on a review copy I had to read it. I love novels about con artists, thieves and criminals and this novel combined that with a boarding school setting. Immediately upon picking this up I was reminded of Ally Carter and Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I had such high expectations for this novel, and while it was really good, it fell short in places for me. The idea was great, but the execution could have been much better.

The pacing of this novel was a lot slower than I would have liked. I picked this up because I was starting to fall into a fantasy reading slump and I was hoping this would grab me and keep me on the edge of my seat. But instead I found it rather easy to set down. It started off really strong, so I expected it to maintain a fast and thrilling pace, in that aspect I was disappointed though.

However, the plot was pretty interesting. I love the idea of an elite private school for con artists. Some of the scenes were so much fun to read, like a field trip to practice cons. At the end of the novel there were a bunch of twists that I didn’t see coming. There could have been so much more to this story to make it better and while I did love the plot, I just expected a lot more out of this story.

I did like the characters, they are a little morally corrupt, but honestly, not as morally corrupt as I would expect a bunch of teenage con artists to be. I had some issues with the character development though. This was a case where the author told things rather than showed us them. The attempt at making these characters seem multi-layered came off as superficial. I really wanted to be more emotionally invested in these characters.

I really wanted to love this novel. It had a great idea, fun setting and even a decent plot, but it fell short of my expectations. The pacing was slow and The Deceivers took me a while to finally finish. I did like the characters, but I felt like they came across a bit superficial despite attempts by the author to give them layers. I did enjoy reading this one, but I had a lot of issues with it and thought it could have been a lot better.

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