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The Deceivers

(Vale Hall #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,553 ratings  ·  359 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
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Tor Teen
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Sam Summers She took inspiration for the plot and the characters from Norse mythology, however, because it was simply inspiration, its understandable that instead…moreShe took inspiration for the plot and the characters from Norse mythology, however, because it was simply inspiration, its understandable that instead of Odin sending them out to find souls, they go to find secrets. Simmons did stray away from the mythology aspect, however, the inspiration can still be seen through Vale Hall(less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  1,553 ratings  ·  359 reviews

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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 fil
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
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 possib
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.
Vicky Again
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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
Katie McGarry
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trisha Tomy
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Trisha by: Brinley
Shelves: hny-jan-2021
Blog Review: https://trishadoeseverythingbutstudy2...

I loved everything in this but the romance. The romance and me just did not vibe and I just don't know why, but I do not care about the romance.

The plot was amazing, the concept amazing, but I don't know, the romance was just not good. It was soo insta-love and like soooo fast. You've known each other for like half a day, how do you know what he'd like and what he'd not like? What exactly is normal for him, and what is not? Where are you getti
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 m
Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)

I absolutely adore Kristen Simmons, you guys! I always enjoy everything she writes and this book was no different. Well, it was 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 ge
M.  [storme reads a lot]
I love books about prep schools and con artists. My dream would be to live in a television show or book about this type of thing. The title made me pick it up from the library, but the story hooked me so hard!

Brynn grew up poor. Her mom works a dead end job and her dad was murdered. Her moms boyfriend is a drug dealer who’s a terrible person. Brynn runs cons to save up for college and get away from this dead end life. And she’s so close until her not really step dad thinks she’s trying to screw
Ok so this one ended up being much more fun than I thought it would be!

The Deceivers is a book about the long con. Brynn Hilder hasn't always had it easy, so when an opportunity presents itself in the form of a private boarding school with a straight shot to college, she jumps on. Life gets even more complicated when she realizes it's a school for up and coming con artists.

I was pretty much hooked from the beginning. I mean, I finished this in one day. Simmons created this fun, twisted group of
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, audio-book-2019
What a fun read! I cannot wait to write my review.

I already want more Vale Hall books.
Paula  Phillips
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 be ...more
Ashton Reed
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers who love a good spy thriller!!
Catch-up Review :)

This is a wild joyride and I loved every second of it.

Brynn Hilder grew up in the outskirts of the city, attempting the best grades, conning innocent citizens, and planning for the day she can escape her mother’s abusive boyfriend. When she is unwittingly recruited for Vale Hall, an elite boarding school, she believes it to be an accident; however, she quickly learns Vale Hall isn’t a typical high school - it’s a school for con artists, working to right the wrongs of the city o
Stay Fetters
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
"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!
Completely Melanie
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This was such a good fun read! I cannot wait to read Scammed which is the sequel. The Deceivers is about an elite boarding school for con artists/vigilantes. They gather secrets in order to bring down bad guys. Brynn's assignment is to date the governor's son to collect dirt on the governor. What could possibly go wrong?

Review of my reread in my Merry Bookmas Week 1 Vlog
I'm up to read any book where characters attend a secret school and learn cool skills, so a con school is right up my alley! I love watching the cons unfold and people fall right into traps, it's so much fun. The main character Brynn is caught in a hard place, but she's strong and fierce. She deserves better than the life her mom has made for them and I was so happy when she got the chance to get out.

The plot was interesting and there were a lot of twists that I didn't see coming. A couple time
Samantha (WLABB)
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, contemporary, arcs, diverse
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
Sarah {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!
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
look, this is not a masterpiece BUT it was thoroughly enjoyable. There was great female friendships, good character development and it was honestly a lot of fun. So... it gets a 3.5
Brittany S.
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 inf ...more
The first part about the character settings and the exposition of the new school was pretty great - totally drawn me in the way they recruit new con students. But it kinda fizzed out after the thrill. The actions and the big reveal feels eh.
AND it's published fairly recent so totally inexcusable for all the male torso ogling which is just so 2008
Stacie (Shy Book Nerd)
Very entertaining with many twists and turns.
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.
*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 fr
Shalini | Book Rambler
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
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, whic
nick (the infinite limits of love)

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 r
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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

Vale Hall (3 books)
  • Scammed (Vale Hall, #2)
  • Payback (Vale Hall, #3)

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