Thursday, July 18, 2013

Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey ARC Review *Spoiler Alert*

1.5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
eARC, 322 pages
Published by Merit Press
Published on August 18, 2013
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

Synopsis as taken from 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.

First off, I would like to say thank you to Netgalley, and Merit Press of  F+W/Adams Media for giving me my electronic copy of Deceived. 

When reading any ARC I ignore all typing errors and grammar problems, but even pushing those aspects of the book aside, I thought this book was discombobulated. There were so many details and characters, in my opinion, that didn't work. Towards the end of the book, I felt that it was starting to finally pick up but by then, for me, it was too late.


1) The plot itself is very unique. I love that instead of using a detective or police officers in this mystery/crime novel, that Lindsey chose U.S. Marshalls. I don't think many people know much about them or their lives. Not to mention it made the male lead a lot sexier in detail haha.

2) The end was chilling, I was very scared through the entire encounter with Miles. It was very well written and creepy.

Weaknesses/Dislikes (SPOILERS): 

1) I felt that the plot was very predictable. I'm not sure if it was the author's intention or not but it was pretty easy to see that Elle's mother's death was not an accident. Why else would Elle's father instill in her how dangerous the world is? And what other explanation is there for her traumatizing dream that has deprived her of sleep for years and in turn made her a caffeine addict?

2) I had to read the beginning over a few times because it was written in such a confusing way. There are not many voice tags which is fine, but in order for that to work the characters have to have distinct voices, and they don't. So it was really confusing to tell who was speaking.

3) There were a couple of things in the plot that didn't add up for me. If Elle was being watched her entire life by U.S. Marshalls, how come they didn't notice the killer smoking on her door step? It says that there were numerous cigarette butts on her doormat every day, if she constantly under guard someone should have seen this person.
             "Pixie left the butts for evidence as she searched for the culprit. We were up to seven pieces of evidence" (7).
               If Nicholas was set to watch and scout everyone around Elle, how could he not have noticed the seven cigarette butts on her doormat while knowing that neither Elle nor Pixie smoked?

Secondly, maybe I'm not too familiar with the U.S. Marshall job profession but I don't think it is very likely that when a family of the Marshall that was working on a dangerous case becomes compromised that they would allow that officer to continue working on the case, let alone be separated from his daughter. From my understanding, they would have taken Elle's father off the case and moved him and her together and both would have new identities, and her father a new/fake occupation until the killer was snatched.

Third, undercover agents information should be incredibly hard to find. Let alone specific details about his family. I understand that Nicholas was a Marine first so his info could be public record. Additionally, I understand that this is a YA novel, and the couple needs time together, but there is no way that the U.S. Marshalls would have allowed Nicholas to be in a relationship with his ward let alone, remain on the case. Especially since she was below the legal age limit.

4) I felt that Elle's paranoia was a little melodramatic in the first half of the novel. Besides her re-accuring dream, the reader is given no indication as to why she is so paranoid and scared of everything.  I wanted more details of trauma, flash backs, something that would have it make more sense as to why she was afraid of everything.

5) There was no build to the main couples relationship. One minute they are strangers, who keep stalking one another, and then bam, they're in love. It all happened too quickly, and I didn't have enough detail as to why the clung to one another. I get that Nicholas has basically known about her his entire life, and before meeting her knew a lot about her, that still doesn't make for good chemistry.

5) One of the big climatic moments in this novel was already revealed before Elle realized it. When Elle is fighting with her father over why he didn't tell her about her mother he says, "What was I to do? Tell my six-year-old daughter who'd just seen her mother abducted and run off into the night that I should've been more careful?" (225). Then later in the book Elle has a moment of realization: "I whimpered, 'I was there,' wanting it not to be true" (279). Her father had already told her that she saw her mother be abducted, why didn't she ask about this then? I get that this is Elle finally remembering the incident but it would have been better if her father hadn't already mentioned this detail.

6) I mentioned earlier about this book being discombobulated, they might just be copying errors but there were a couple that stood out to me.

    "The seat enveloped me. Time alone with him put me at ease. I dozed all the way back to our little house on the river.
   When we pulled into the drive, he just sat there. He shut down the engine but made new room to move to leave.
    When I woke up, he was poking at his phone, Bluetooth in ear, seat rolled back, one foot on the dash. The clock read 4:45" (199).

            If she was asleep, how would she know that he stopped the car and didn't try to move?

Earlier than this last scene, Pixie and Elle are telling their friends about their trip to Elton where they meet Brian/Nicholas, and at first the reason for them being out on this trip was stated as: "The trip had been Pixie's idea. She'd said a road trip was the perfect summer's-end celebration because it wasn't every day that a girl became a senior. In our case, two girls. I was all moved in with nowhere to be, so she'd pressed me to get out of town with her for the day" (10).

Then, two pages later Elle says, "It was the strangest birthday I ever had" (12). Making it seem like they were out to celebrate her birthday.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1)"'I took one look at him and said, "Well, all I wanted was a coffee, but I'll go for this.'" (11).

2)"'What can I get you?' Nicholas whispered to me, turning us toward the kitchen. He pulled out a chair at the island. I sat.
  'Nothing." I was busy freaking out inside. No time to eat.
  'Yeah?' He picked up a plate and filled it with a croissant, a muffin, and a tiny bowl of fruit. He set down the plate in front of me and winked.'" (245).

3)"'I don't like that kid.' Nicholas bumped me with his arm.

  I leaned forward, smiling widely at Nicholas's flat expression.

  'What's there not to like? Say here he got a lacrosse scholarship.' I feigned interest in the card, holding it over my face.

   'That kid's a marshmallow.'

   'And yet amazingly age-appropriate.' I peeked around the card.

   Nicholas's mouth twitched. Deep green eyes bore into mine. 'Which would matter if you weren't already in a highly inappropriate relationship.'

   I pulled my lips to one side. 'A relationship, huh?' My tummy knotted with the thrill and possibilities loaded into that statement.

  'Come here.' Nicholas flipped me onto the mattress and hovered over me, one hand poised at my ribs. 'Do you have a problem with that? You can call it whatever you want, but the bottom line is I saw you first.'" (286).


  1. Hi Brittany,
    I'm Wendy Joyce, and I just read your comment to my review of The League of Delphi...and your timing was rather ironic.
    Lately, I've been a little annoyed at reading reviews that offer nothing of value. "It was a good book," and "I didn't like it," has me shouting at the computer screen. "WHY? Why is it good? What about it is bad?" So I was writing a blog post about reviews...and then your comment came in, which shifted me to your homepage, which led to your blog. And WHOA! You nailed it! Not the context of what you said--I haven't read the book--but how to write an informative review. My hat is off!

    Secondly, I noticed you're a fan of YA. The League of Delphi was the first YA I've ever read. When I wrote my book, The Anomaly, I thought it was YA; not because I intended it to be, but because of Bowker's YA description. My Protagonist is a kid, though that's not apparent until about 100 pages in. But sticking with the industry's definition, I presented it as YA to an agent. She said, "It's definitely not YA," and she listed two reasons. 1) The book's size. It's 6x9, 500 pages, 176,000 words--a mighty big book. 2) The Protagonist says "crap" and "chrissake," and a few times, in last third of the story, she uses the big F word. (Not at all for inciting shock, but for keeping the character true to form.)

    So if you have the time and the interest, I would love to mail The Anomaly to you, both for your review and for your experienced opinion about whether or not it fits with YA.

    Wendy Joyce

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm really glad that you like the way I review, for a long time I have been unsure about it.

      It would be my pleasure to read your book. Though I have to say that I've read plenty of YA novels that exceed 400 pages, with worse words than 'crap' and 'chrissake.'

      I'll send you an e-mail right away.