Monday, September 28, 2020

#Review - Scammed by Kristen Simmons #YA #Thriller #Suspense

Series: Vale Hall (#2)
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult / Thrillers & Suspense

The stakes rise and the cons get even more unpredictable in this second installment of Kristen Simmons’ YA thriller series

The series that began with The Deceivers continues in this second twist-filled installment.

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, by author Kristen Simmons, is the second installment in the authors Vale Hall series. Brynn Hilder is fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Vale Hall, an elite high school which is really a school for con artists, even if it comes with conditions. (Vale Hall is inspired by Valhalla in Norse mythology. This is something that should be pushed more.) After growing up in a bad section of Skawa City, she's determined to maintain her place there. But things aren't exactly smooth. Brynn is suspicious of the director of the school but knows that he holds both her future and her mother’s future in his hands. 

Odin has a tendency of getting what he wants by luring in those like Brynn's mother with offers that they never would have had otherwise. Brynn is sent on a mission to investigate the disappearance of an intern from Senator Sterling's campaign at the same time her last mission Greyson Sterling resurfaces. Brynn’s past choices return in this book creating conflicts with her friends, including Caleb Matsuki. She also runs into a girl who was destroyed by Odin and has more than an axe to grind against the school. When complications do arise, she finds herself unable to determine who she can or cannot trust. Picking the wrong allies could result in some serious consequences as we see by the ending.

Brynn doubts her boyfriend, her friends, and acquaintances, and even herself. She's always prided herself on being a good judge of character - but is she really? Everything comes with a cost, or a price. With several plot twists and blind sides, you won't know who or what to believe. Everything Brynn knows is changing and her loyalties are being tested. Should she trust Dr. Odin, the man who has given her amazing opportunities for a new life, or Caleb, the boy who is her maybe-almost-boyfriend, who may have his own agenda for revenge? The description of the story nails it - higher stakes, riskier cons, and nothing is at it seems.

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