Review: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Saturday, 4 July 2015
The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us #1), by Maggie Hall
Publication: January 13, 2015, by Putnam Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

To fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe. Forbidden love and code-breaking, masked balls and explosions, destiny and dark secrets collide in this romantic thriller, in the vein of a YA DaVinci Code.
Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. 
They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle of Twelve, and Avery is their missing heir. If they discover who she is, some of them will want to use her as a pawn. Some will want her dead. 
To thwart their plans, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the landmarks of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and through a web of ancient legends and lies. And unless she can stay one step ahead of beautiful, volatile Stellan, who knows she’s more than she seems, and can decide whether to trust mysterious, magnetic Jack, she may be doomed after all.

My Thoughts: 

When reaching out to grasp this novel (I really did plan my goal to be getting a copy eventually), my goal was to get something that (a) has to do with spies and (b) is somewhat like The DaVinci Code, which is even noted in the novel's Goodreads summary. I had that specific trust in Hall's writing from even before I went out and read it, and I have to tell you that The Conspiracy of Us is a scientific read made of majorly romance, questioning and fun. It's that perfect contemporary novel to stay indoors with on a rainy day. A "Michelle kind of read."

I'm kind of obsessed with 2015 debut novels. And this is a perfect example of one that I've kept on my radar for quite some time. For the general public by taking a look at the cover, we can tell that this definitely has to do with kick-ass, grown-up stuff. Our main character Avery West is your perfect example of that distinguishable young girl who doesn't know what the hell is happening to her life. She has no clue onto what's going on, where life will take her in the future, and who her family is. Who can possibly blame her? The Circle, the group of rich French families who have so many secrets beyond the looks of it, just like judging a book by its cover, except spy-edition. There's tons of traveling involved, too. So place your tourist caps on, my friends, and enjoy the ride.

When picking it up, I felt that Maggie Hall was promising something to readers. From the gorgeous cover and premise, to the beginning of the story where a young girl is launched into a world of secrets and mystery, I believed that this could lead us to many possibilities. And from the looks of it, it's definitely like Meredith Moore's I Am Her Revenge, though more family-launched, and certainly more of a me-read, as I mentioned in my review of that. This? This was all about Avery West, clueless teenager. She's always been told that she has no family, but when Jack, the new boy, is brought into her life, she discovers that she's the heir to a rich society. 

That's basically it. People can evidently imagine what her youth personality can bring into the Circle of powerful families, and it's kind of predictable, if you ask me. Avery promotes the easy personality of a girl who just wants to be different. I mean, there are a ton of people who are just like her, there's nothing wrong with that, it's just that she represents the typical girl who is just so gullible and easy-going. She's a main flaw that's found in this book, to be honest. That's the main focus of this book, and I'm kind of hoping that her personality would improve next time around.

Jake the Dog has never spoken anything more truthful.
Something which I had greatly enjoyed was the mystery and heist kind of things occurring. And the love triangle? This definitely fit into the situation as well. It's not like Jack and Stellan were just characters who Avery had found on the street and decided to like—they all play a role in her life, the new life that the Circle has given her. This is a novel that truly specifies the rights and wrongs of YA literature, and Hall usually proclaimed the rights at the right time. In a way, she is the example of a book-smart author. From now on, I'm sure that readers will go out and read her book because they know it's something different and although it may possess the same qualities as some other books have, she holds them up in her plot in the best way possible. Double high-fives for that concern. *high fives everyone*

It's such a hipster, edgy read that everyone will enjoy. Although it was slow-paced in the middle, where everything kind of seemed to be placed together, and although I questioned everything in the book's existence, including looking at every detail mentioned, it was enjoyable. I did feel kind of cut-off from where Stellan and Jack are truly entered into the picture for no reason, but that ended up being okay with me since it was essential to give a great experience overall. I can see why everyone enjoyed it in the end though, despite its predictability and such. It's such a sweet read.

Looking at all of 2015's debuts so far, this is one of the most unique and one that comes with a precious premise that not all authors can do. Hall's writing is something that I'll immediately recognize, even if her style was anonymous and unknown. Her storyline and plot is just so distinguishable, but only in her characters' perspectives, and this makes me cry and bawl for the sequel ten times more. Agh, I guess I'll have to sadly wait until 2016 where the publishing unicorns will come by and set me off with a special first-edition copy filled with more romance, sweetness and secrets. It's like Pretty Little Liars, but more mystery in terms of family. Wouldn't you want to have Prada for yourself?

*plays the Mission Impossible theme song* SPIES, HEISTS, GALORE. What else can a girl possibly want? More books like these. GIMME SOME NAMES!

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