When Elle's father, a single parent and a big shot in corporate insurance, moves her to yet another boarding school for senior year, Elle is disgusted when nothing changes. Her night terrors don't go away, and, soon, despite her father's caring calls and visits, Elle starts to believe she's losing her mind. She knows she's being followed; a ribbon is tied around her doorkn...more When Elle's father, a single parent and a big shot in corporate insurance, moves her to yet another boarding school for senior year, Elle is disgusted when nothing changes. Her night terrors don't go away, and, soon, despite her father's caring calls and visits, Elle starts to believe she's losing her mind. She knows she's being followed; a ribbon is tied around her doorknob, and there are those cigarette butts that keep turning up on the doormat, in violation of a strict smoking ban on campus. Then there's Bryan, an intriguing boy Elle meets at a flea market and later finds out is a student at her school. Yet on campus, he pretends he doesn't recognize her - until the day he divulges just how much danger she's in. In her search for an answer to all the madness, Elle unravels the truth about her dad's real identity, why someone has lied to her all her life, and the terrifying truth that she may be the only one who can save her from the one who's following her now.
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: September 13, 2013
Deceived is a book that gets better as it goes. I found the book to be a bit hard to follow at the beginning, and it took me a while to warm to Elle, the main character. She's not particularly outgoing, nor does she have many social skills, yet she has a pretty great roommate who tries to pull Elle out of her shell on a regular basis. I wasn't sure that I was going to like it, but the premise intrigued me enough to keep going.
The writing style was a bit distracting at times, and I often felt that scenes began or ended abruptly, which took some getting used to. Also, the relationship between Elle and her mystery boy seemed to develop in an unorthodox manner, but once the story got going, I began to get pulled in more and more. I will say that Elle remains oblivious to the real issue for longer than I thought was realistic, but the author has a definite knack for writing creepy scenes and building suspense.
I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to scary things to begin with (although I read things that scare me on a regular basis, go figure) but psychological thrillers I find particularly terrifying because they could actually happen. The whole psychology behind what is happening in this book is fascinating to me, and also kept me up at night. With the exception of a few scenes near the end of the novel, the fear is in the unknown, rather than in detailed or graphic scenes. I would say that this book could have some triggers for someone who may have experienced some trauma in the past, but for the average reader it's just creepy and intense.
Rating: Worth a Look
It took a while to really get going, but by the end I had to see how it all turned out, even though I figured out the main twist long before the main character did (and you probably will too.) I had a hard time getting into it, but once I did, I didn't want to put it down.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley & the publisher in return for an honest review.