An idea occurred to me a few weeks ago to do a series of articles featuring regional authors from the Ohio Valley. I set out to find as many current authors as I could and queried several of them in regards of the articles. Among the authors that responded I selected Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey as my first story to read. The intention behind the articles was to post it on my author blog, not to do a full review. This, however, had to be thrown out the window once I read Deceived.
Deceived opens up on Gabriella Smith, a young high school senior who is put up at a boarding school. Spending the majority of life, after the death of her mother, moving from house to house and city to city with her father; it is the first chance she has ever had to both complete a full school year and, more importantly, feel normal at least one time before going to college.
Gabriella, or Elle, is plagued by a reoccurring nightmare that she can never fully remember. To make matters worse, a sense of being followed and watched plagues her everyday life. These feelings are brought to a new level when a young man she meets at a flea market suddenly shows up at her school and begins adjusting his course schedule in order to align all his courses with hers. This young youth is Brian, who quickly becomes both a potential threat, and a love interest.
At this point in the story, which is still incredibly early on, you begin to both piece together and become lost in Elle's peril. Reports of an alleged serial killer stalking the area near the boarding school, coupled with Brian appearing when the feelings of being watched and pursued overtake Elle and threaten to push her sanity over the edge.
Its when the true killer reveals himself that Elle realizes just who she can trust. The only question is, can she trust herself to escape and keep herself, and her friends, alive?
Lindsey does a wonderful job putting together a YA story that transcends its intended genre completely. While the story is written from the perspective of a high school senior, the character of Elle reads much older, though not in an unbelievable way. With such an adult character, you get a story that is enjoyable for the young adult and adult thriller fans alike.
What I liked:
- As I just mentioned, the character of Elle reads much older. This gives her an emotional availability that her "younger" classmates lack. Even the swiftness she falls for Brian gives her a 'real' quality I connected with.
- Though this story is categorized as a YA thriller, there is a mysterious element to it. For much of the story you are left wondering, just who you can trust and who you can't. Lindsey does a great job bringing to focus possible 'troublemakers', while building back your trust in a character you may have begun to doubt.
- The characters Deceived are as varied as you could hope. Many times authors have difficulties with the personalities of their characters, but not Lindsey. Each character has a unique personality that is recognizable and relatable whether they're a hormonal lacrosse player, artistic social butterfly, or even just have a small appearance here or there.
In the end Deceived gives you exactly what you want when you pick up a new book; a good read that keeps your attention throughout. Combining a great mystery with constant twists and turns, with thrilling content and a truly ageless appeal becomes sheer perfection. If you are a fan of sitting on the edge of your seat while losing yourself in finding out just who that shadowy figure is, then I highly recommend picking this book up.
Overall I'm going to give Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey a 9/10 based on:
8/10 for readability - Though this scores the lowest out of my categories, don't think its a bad thing. The story is long, but moves at a comfortable pace. It becomes hard to put down early on as each scene leads quickly into the next. The only thing I can say is that there are a few times when the story moves a little too fast, and a slower pace would be welcome.
10/10 for characters - I really cannot rave enough about the characters in this story. Each character, both main and ancillary, is unique and memorable. You get a strong sense of who they are and where they're from. This also assists in the mystery aspect of this story, giving you a connection with the characters that make you sit and hope your favorite isn't a brutal killer inside.
9/10 for story - Thriller meets mystery is the best way to describe the story. Each page turn brings you closer to finding out who the killer is and what he/she wants. At the same time you are bombarded with small details that threaten to send you in a different direction, enhancing the story exponentially.
*X-factor - For followers of my review I typically pick out the most memorable part of a story. I'm going to continue this trend, but I'm no longer giving it a rating to factor into the overall score.
X-factor - The thing for me that sets this story apart is the character of Gabriella. As far as heroin's go she offers more depth than you would expect from a typical YA story. With both the naive nature of a young adult, and the worldliness of an adult, Elle makes this story exactly what it is; a wonderful read.
A thank you goes out to author Julie Anne Lindsey for the opportunity to read and review her title Deceived. Being a thriller fan I was a little worried that a YA thriller would be to young for me, but I'm very happy to have had my fears put to rest by this wonderful story.
To pick up a copy of Deceived, click here.