Published by Tor Teen on February 4, 2020
Series: Vale Hall #1
Genres: Young Adult, Suspense, Thriller
Source: ecopy from Publisher
Kristen Simmons, the author of the Article 5 series and Metaltown, brings her remarkable imagination to this intrigue-filled contemporary drama where good kids are needed to do some very bad things in The Deceivers.
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.
The Deceivers is the first book in the young adult Vale Hall series by Kristen Simmons. This series is marketed as Pretty Little Liars meets Ocean’s 11 and I was so pumped when I saw that. To me that means, witty dialogue, smart fun characters, mystery and cons! And I have to say The Deceivers has all of that in spades! The story is set in Vale Hall, which is a school for aspiring con artists. How freaking cool is that? That was basically all I needed to know before I dove in to the story. I loved the Deceivers. I binge read all three books currently out in this series in the span of a couple of days. They are so, so much fun!
In The Deceivers we meet our main character Brynn Hilder as she is recruited to Vale. I love Brynn. I will say that it took me some time to get to know her, but she really grew on me as I read the Deceivers. The school itself and the people there have so many secrets. It really is like cons mixed with trying to solve some deeply buried secrets. I was fascinated by the story. I loved meeting some of the other students at the school, and when I was done with the book I was really excited to get to know even more of the students in the next book. So far, Caleb is my favorite character. I really enjoyed that the author really upped her game in the secrets and deceiving category. I had no idea who I could trust throughout this book. It really helped me connect and relate to Brynn as she was trying to sus out the same thing. I think this series is screaming to be made into a netflix or CW tv show. It would be perfect for that! I am loving this series. Bring on book 3!
Brynn Hilder is living a life she never dreamed possible: She lives in a mansion, getting a top-rate education at Vale Hall. She has friends and an almost-boyfriend. Anything she wants, she can have.
The only catch? To stay in this life, she has to help the director of Vale Hall take down the bad guys of Sikawa City by collecting secrets and running cons.
Getting everything she wants and fighting evil doesn’t seem like such a bad deal. The thing is, she’s not so convinced anymore that Dr. Odin is really going after bad people after all. And the friends and almost-boyfriend that have made her life so different are all liars and con artists—so can she trust that any of it is real?
The stakes are higher. The cons are riskier. And nothing is what you think it is.
Scammed is the second book in the young adult Vale Hall series by Kristen Simmons. Scammed picks up a few months after The Deceivers ends, with Brynn trying her best to fit in at Vale and thrive in her new life. I really enjoyed reading this book immediately after finishing the first book, because I was still very much in the atmosphere of the story. Author Kristen Simmons does a great job moving the plot of these books along, and I would say that even though there are plenty of interesting characters, this is a plot driven series.
There is a lot going on in this second installment to the Vale Hall Series. I went into this book expecting a little more romance because of the groundwork that was laid in the first book, but man oh man things took a sharp left turn in all aspects. There is romance, and it’s so angsty and delicious, but there is also so many other (more pressing) matters happening in Scammed that the romance kind of gets pushed to the backburner. I didn’t have any time to be disappointed about that thought because the plot is so fast moving and thrilling that I was swept up in everything that was happening from start to finish with Scammed. I think I liked this book even more than The Deceivers.
Bottom Line: If you are a fan of boarding school mysteries and you love a good heist/con, then this is the perfect series for you to check out. It really is a mix of Pretty Little Liars and Ocean’s 11.