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The Deceivers

(The Vale Hall #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  995 ratings  ·  268 reviews
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
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Published February 5th 2019 by Recorded Books
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  995 ratings  ·  268 reviews

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Start your review of The Deceivers (Vale Hall, #1)
3.5 stars. This is the kind of mysterious book that you dive into not knowing what’s waiting for you and the kind you close in a completely different state of mind than your initial one. Even if you think you know what’s going to happen, I recommend putting everything you think you know aside because the author has plenty of twists and turns planned for you and it’s honestly pointless to try to guess any of it because you will most likely be wrong. Besides, it’s always more fun to be surprised ...more
Lili  Marcus
Check Out My Blog: Lili's Blissful Pages

This book is marketed as Pretty Little Liars meets Ocean’s 11 and I agree. It sets in Vale Hall, a school for con artists and this is what made me requested this book from Netgalley. I was really intrigued. And it features Brynn Hilder, a teen who wants to escape her miserable life and thinks Vale Hall is her chance with a promise from Vale Hall’s Owner/Director, Dr. David Odin of a great future. But still Brynn has to do her best to survive in a place
Candace Robinson
This was a fun book! I liked the idea of cons! Brynn was a good character, too. I liked her and learning about her backstory while watching her grow as a character!

Caleb, Caleb, Caleb! I loved his character and there were some seriously cute moments. Also, as for other side characters, Pete was a douchebag! Actually, a lot of people were douchebags!

There were twists and turns and lots of pretty and unpretty lies that made things very intriguing. The author weaved together a pretty addicting
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really need to stop reading books that aren't The Foxhole Court.


The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons is the kind of book I knew I would enjoy the second I read the summary. For starters, the story is about a school for con artists and is filled with secrecy. I especially the unique and twisty plot and the strong main character. Fans of Ally Carter will definitely enjoy this suspenseful drama.


This book tells the story of a mysterious school of elites which is actually grounds for creating young con artists.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillian-Tor/Forge for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review

I rarely (if ever)would state this in a book review, but the whole concept of a group of teenagers at an elite con artist school would be electric on television,but failed to initiate any type of feeling during my reading experience. I am putting this at a 2 star because I felt as if I was wading through mud to reach the end of the book. However as I am way below the average rating of the book, it's
Vicky Who Reads
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

I really enjoyed The Deceivers, just as I enjoyed reading Pacifica last year! Kristen Simmons is wonderful at creating enjoyable, unputdownable YA that’s entertaining and well-plotted enough that it keeps you on your toes!

This book was just a really great book at keeping you entertained and engaged and invested, while also keeping things real. I mean, Kristen Simmons is a wonderful author for getting really great mixed race rep (and it’s not for diversity points) and she also touches on
Katie McGarry
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jul 26, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coming-soon-19
I *CLAP* stan *CLAP* anything *CLAP* that *CLAP* sounds *CLAP* like *CLAP* an *CLAP* Ally *CLAP* Carter *CLAP* book *CLAP*
Rec-It Rachel

Honestly, Kristen gets better with each book and holy fork this kept my attention
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

I was super excited for this one. As soon as I got my hands on a review copy I had to read it. I love novels about con artists, thieves and criminals and this novel combined that with a boarding school setting. Immediately upon picking this up I was reminded of Ally Carter and Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I had such high expectations for this novel, and while it was really good, it fell short in places for me. The idea was great,
Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, possess
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

The Deceivers makes you question what's right and what's wrong. "The starving child who steals bread to survive, is he wrong? The man who kills his wife's murderer, does he not have that right?" I know that I would do anything to keep my family safe, and if our circumstances were different, that might
Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)

I absolutely adore Kristen Simmons, you guys! I always enjoy everything she writes and this book was no different. Well, itwas very different for Kristen, but I enjoyed it all the same! This is her first contemporary - everything else has been sci-fi. And she rocked it!I loved the idea of the book - a school for con artists! It was oh so fun and unlike any other contemp I've ever read.

Brynn was such a relatable character. She comes from nothing, basically, and has to scrape and steal to get
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
What a fun read! I cannot wait to write my review.

I already want more Vale Hall books.
Paula  Phillips
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
She has brought to the Modern world this contemporary version of the Valhalla story. We have Brynn Hilder who is surviving as well as she can grow up in the rugged Devon Estates. She has learned to become a good con artist to raise money to go to college as her job cleaning the libraries won't get her there as fast as she planned. Her mother's current boyfriend Pete is the local drug dealer, and when he steals her savings, Brynn needs a new plan quickly. This leads her to follow a boy who has ...more
Stacy Fetters
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"But careful isn’t an option. Careful is a luxury you have when your baseline isn’t chaos. When every decision isn’t determined by a calculated risk. In lives like ours, you grasp onto those who understand you, or you face every obstacle alone."

This is the first book by Kristen Simmons that I’ve ever read and it won’t be the last. I own books by her but I’m not sure why I haven’t read them. This book is going to make me bump those up my tbr list.

Ocean's Eleven meets Pretty Little Liars in this
Erin Arkin
Loved this and everyone should read it!
Karen’s Library
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-2020
I own all of Kristen Simmons books and have read all but one. It's on my TBR and I really need to get to it sooner than later. I adore her writing.

This book was very different than Kristen's usual genre, dystopian, and I loved it. In fact I finished it in one day. I had to! And I absolutely can't wait to jump into book 2 of the Vale Hall series, Scammed.

In The Deceivers, Brynn tries to earn college money by doing cons. She lives in a horrific part of the city and her mother's boyfriend is a big
Samantha (WLABB)
On the surface, this does not appear to be my usual cup of tea, but Simmons incorporated several elements, that had me chomping at the bit to read this one.

1. Based on Norse mythology
2. Shades of Ocean's 11
3. An elite, top-secret boarding school

And let me tell you, these elements were combined in such a way, that I could NOT stop flipping the pages.

When I first met Brynn, she was living in a rundown part of town, Devon Park, with her mother's drug dealer boyfriend. All she wanted was a way out
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
Initial Impressions 6/3/19: I really wish that the synopsis of this book had made note of the Norse mythology inspiration because I honestly didn't pick up on that at all but once I knew about it, it seemed really obvious and I think that would have been a fun thing to pick up as I was reading. That's no fault of the author but I guess that's what happens when I don't do a lot of looking into things before I read a book (and I guess whoever's in charge of making the synopsis/making sure that ...more
Stacie (Shy Book Nerd)
Very entertaining with many twists and turns.
The Clever Reader
OMG! Where do I sign up for Vale Hall! I’m ready to start my conning classes!

This book was so good! It was a perfect mix of intense situations and family/friendship dynamics! You spend most of the time not trusting anyone and when everything comes together in the end you are left speechless! I hope there are more books because I am not ready to leave these characters!
Really loved this! A school for con artists, with a very clever twist on Norse Mythology. There are no gods and goddesses, but mythology lovers will certainly have a good time picking up on all the references peppered throughout. Full review to come.

*ARC received courtesy of the publisher.
Susan's Reviews
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brynn is saving up to go to college - by pulling "Robin Hood" scams - stealing from the rich. She is recruited to Vale Hall school as a result of her larcenous gifts. There, she meets Caleb, who may not be all he seems to be. This is a twisted ride of a story, which is very well written and will keep you interested right up to the end. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Shalini | Book Rambler
This was such an entertaining read! This is the first time I've read a Kristen Simmons and I wasn't disappointed in the least.

The Deceivers is about Brynn Hilder who lives a hard life but her luck soon changes when a boy begins following after her. Soon, Brynn stumbles upon a private party which is actually a game organized by a couple of teenagers. These teenagers go to a private school for con artists in the Vale Hill Estate and they have organized this game to recruit a new student. Brynn is

Listen, this book was yet another excuse to not read KING OF SCARS because I am weak and can’t handle emotions or pain, so if I am honest, I was not. Really. Planning to read this. I mean it was supposed to be a distraction but BOY did that change.

To be Frank: this book was okay. Out of Simmons’ other books that I’ve read, THE DECEIVERS was not my favourite but it wasn’t bad either. For one, it’s got a cool and sorta morally ambiguous main character, and two, a school for con artists,

What an entertaining read! I've always enjoyed Kristen Simmons books and she continues to write stories that are very easy to sink into.

I was drawn to The Deceivers primarily because of the premise of a mysterious elite school, but what kept me glued to the pages was the heroine, Brynn. Before being recruited to Vale Hall, she had had a challenging upbringing, especially with her mother's skeevy boyfriend. She got through life by essentially scamming people and saving up for college. She was a
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warnings: implied parental abuse, mention of child sexual abuse

The Deceivers makes good use of its long-game-con premise, delivering twist upon twist as Brynn, a girl from a poor background and a small-time con artist, gets a chance to attend a private school that assures her better things in life. The only caveat - Vale Hall is actually a school for con artists, and when they are not getting an education, they are working on different cons as per the wishes of their vigilante benefactor, Dr
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense
*Rating* 3.5


The Deceivers is the first installment in author Kirsten Simmons Vale Hall trilogy. 16-year old Brynn Hilder has always had to be quick on her feet, to keep her safe for her mother’s drug dealing loser boyfriend Pete. However, he isn’t completely useless, he did teach her all about conning, both the long and short one. Brynn has been performing short cons in the ritzy neighborhoods to earn enough money to move away
The Library Ladies
(originally reviewed at )

Thank you to Tor Books for sending me an ARC of this novel!

One of my husband’s favorite movies is “The Sting”, the classic grifter feature in which Robert Redford and Paul Newman run an elaborate con job on Robert Shaw. While I am more than happy to indulge the guy on watching an old favorite every once in awhile (lord knows he has to sit through “Purple Rain” every so often), the ‘con artist’ trope isn’t one of my favorites. So when I got an ARC of
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Kristen Simmons is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series, THE GLASS ARROW, METALTOWN, PACIFICA, and the upcoming DECEIVERS. She loves her family, Jazzercise, and chocolate cupcakes. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For more updates on Kristen and her writing, follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @kris10writes.

Other books in the series

The Vale Hall (3 books)
  • Scammed (Vale Hall, #2)
  • The Measure of Risk (Vale Hall, #3)