Some things aren't always what they seem... The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons (Interview, Review & #Giveaway)

Welcome to my tour stop (check out all the stops here). I've been so excited for this
one! Check out an interview with the author, my review, and the tour giveaway below...

The Deceivers
(Vale Hall #1)
By Kristen Simmons
YA Contemporary Suspense
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 384 Pages
February 5th 2019 by Tor Teen


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.


"Brilliantly plotted, tightly paced, and intensely smart. The Deceivers is the perfect con, full of clever characters, untrustworthy romance, and lie after lie after lie, with just enough truth tossed in to make you question everything. Kristen Simmons is a deceptive genius. I could not devour this book fast enough." —Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval 

“Beneath its quick and clever dialogue, The Deceivers examines the moral grey area between good and evil. Lying has never seemed so much fun." —Katharine McGeeNew York Times bestselling author of the Thousandth Floor Trilogy

"Masterful, suspenseful, and brilliantly executed, The Deceivers is the perfect con. Kristen Simmons is an outstanding storyteller, and this is her best yet." —Amie KaufmanNew York Times bestselling author of Illuminae and These Broken Stars

"Addictive and delicious, The Deceivers will keep you turning the pages well into the night!" —Katie McGarry, critically acclaimed author of Pushing the Limits

"Brynn is a sharp, analytical thinker with a soft heart - the exact kind of protagonist I love rooting for, especially as villains and heroes creep out from places I don't expect...Even the prerequisite romance was a pleasant surprise as Brynn and her love interest show complete respect for one another, giving enthusiastic consent the front seat it absolutely deserves and yet feels underrepresented in young adult literature. I devoured this book in one big gulp because I couldn't wait to see what twists and turns were ahead." —Kelly Morton, Joseph-Beth Booksellers

“The Deceivers is a perfectly paced, high stakes read that is honestly super fun for the reader. Don't plan on putting it down in the middle to do other things, you'll want to keep reading. Simmons has outdone herself with this incredible new story about con artists and a girl trying to find her own path.” —Rachel Strolle, Teen Librarian, Glenside Public Library District 

(Affiliate links included.)


What inspired you to write THE DECEIVERS?

Norse Mythology, actually! (I know, so weird.) I’ve always been interested in the myths surrounding Valhalla and Ragnarok, the great battle at the end of the world. In the myth, the god of all gods, Odin, sends these tough warrior women (Valkyries) out into battles to gather the souls of dead soldiers and bring them back to his great hall in Valhalla, where they eat and train for the big showdown at the end of the world—Ragnarok. In my story, Brynn Hilder (in the myth, Odin’s lead Valkyrie is Brynhildr), is accepted into a school for con artists, where she is sent into the field by the school’s director, Dr. Odin, to gather political blackmail and bring it back for a final showdown against the corrupt officials of the city.

Would you tell us a little more about your main characters?

Brynn is tough and smart, and is looking for a way out of the neighborhood she feels trapped in. Trying to fight her way into a better life means running small cons to earn money for college, and when a spot opens up at an elite boarding school—Vale Hall—she’ll do whatever it takes to get in.

At Vale Hall, she meets Caleb, who is as sweet as he is sexy; Henry, who has a knack for planting blackmail on others; Charlotte, who has a gift of getting people to share secrets; and Sam, who is the kind of guy you want to know if you find yourself in trouble. In them, Brynn will find the family she’s been searching for, but even family can’t always be trusted…

The cover reminds me of Charlie’s Angels and the summary references Ocean’s 11… are there any similarities in the story?

There are certainly a lot of cons, girls running heists, and some pretty big twists! At Vale Hall, they’ll even attend classes on how to tighten up their conning game!

What was your favorite thing about writing THE DECEIVERS?

The found family aspect for sure. I loved writing Brynn and her friends together, even more than I loved writing the plot twists. I hope readers especially love the scenes with Caleb and Brynn…those were some of my favorites!

Did you do any interesting research for the book?

Oh, a lot of con artist research! Contrary to popular belief, I’m not a natural hustler, so I had to learn about everything from the classics (the pigeon drop and the Tulsa bag scam for example), to insurance heists. I did some interviews with people who cannot be named who taught me a lot over very interesting things!

Did you have any specific music you listened to as you wrote this story?

Two songs stuck out big time for Brynn while I was writing—every time I heard them they got me in the right headspace. Body Talks by The Struts was one, and Whatever it Takes by Imagine Dragons, was the other.

What is one of the books you’re reading now?

I’m reading THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah, which is fantastic, and totally out of my normal wheelhouse. It’s about two sisters in Nazi occupied France during WWII. It’s tense, heartbreaking, and beautifully written!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing or reading?

Hanging with the fam and working it at JAZZERCISE!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I hope your readers love THE DECEIVERS!

My Review

THE DECEIVERS is a story that will keep you turning pages to the very end. Characters who are easy to connect with, a strong heroine, plenty of romantic and suspenseful tension, and a plot riddled with lies mixed with the truth make for an entertaining story from start to finish. Definitely recommended to YA contemporary fans who like some danger and suspense in their stories.

Brynn was a brilliant character! I loved her with all her flaws and vulnerabilities. She's also smart in ways that many aren't because of her life experiences. I also adored Caleb. How could I not just completely fall in love with him? I appreciated how the author conveyed his struggles and the back and forth between him and Brynn. Lots of feels all over the place in this story as well. Then the suspense... there was a constant feel of danger and suspicion, of what secrets people were hiding and if all the players would remain unscathed in the end. On top of that there was some serious chemistry between Brynn and Caleb, so if you like your romance on the sizzling side, this one definitely delivers.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was quite a thrilling ride! A sizzling, but mostly sweet, romance and a plot that was intense from beginning to end is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats and eagerly awaiting book two in the series.

Content: Some violence, a few cases of mild swearing, mature content referenced (not detailed), some drinking and drug references, and some heavy and somewhat descriptive making out.
Source: I received a complimentary ARC from the publisher through JeanBookNerd Tours, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.

About the Author

KRISTEN SIMMONS is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series, THE GLASS ARROW, and METALTOWN. She has worked with survivors of abuse and trauma as a mental health therapist, taught Jazzercise in five states, and is forever in search of the next best cupcake. Currently she lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, where she spends her days supporting the caffeine industry and chasing her delightfully rambunctious son.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

- 10 Winners will receive a Copy of THE DECEIVERS by Kristen Simmons.
- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends February 29, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read this yet? Will you be? Any thoughts on the interview?

No comments

Post a Comment

I love comments! I try to read and reply to them all. Feel free to agree or disagree and generally share your thoughts with me.