Anyone in the mood for a good ghost story? Okay, truth be told, I'm usually not in the mood for a ghost story. I'm a wimp, remember? But these ghost stories are so good, and such a different take on ghosts! I started reading Deception by Lee Nichols after Sophie recommended it, and you know I love Sophie's recs. Upon finishing, I immediately downloaded Betrayal, the second book in the Haunting Emma series. There is just so much to love about these books!
When Emma Vaile's parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age "knight in J.Crew armor," Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.
After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can't shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can't explain, as if she's returning home to a place she's never been. Emma doesn't trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he's about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.
One thing that really drew me into these books was Emma's voice. She is funny, and honest, and real. I found myself laughing even in desperate situations because of the way Emma handled things. As main characters go, she is one of my favorites. She's not afraid to admit her insecurities and her fears, but she also doesn't let them hold her back. She's very impressive.
I also loved the twist on the mythology of the traditional ghost-story in these books. Maybe I haven't read enough books about ghosts, but this was new to me and I really liked learning about it. I 'm being vague about what was new to me in the story because I don't want to give anything away. You all know I hate spoilers and I think these books are best read not knowing exactly what Emma discovers about herself.
So, if you're in the mood for an only-slightly-scary ghost story with more than a touch of snark, definitely pick up these books! I know you'll end up loving Emma and her friends as much as I do. I can hardly wait for the third book, Surrender, which is due out in December, 2011.