Published: January 13th 2015 by Putnam Juvenile
A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance--perfect for fans of Ally Carter
Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.
To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family--but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she's falling in love with.
“Toska.” He leaned forward, too. “It’s a Russian word. It has no translation into any other language, but the closest I’ve heard is the ache. A longing. The sense that something is missing, and even if you’re not sure what it is, you ache for it. Down to your bones.”
Actual rating: 4.5 stars
I don't think anyone would believe when I confirm everything the marketing people are saying about this book. How The Conspiracy of Us is filled with action, drama and ― of course ― conspiracies. How it's the perfect mash-up of a teen drama like Gossip Girl and a story about conspiracies and a secret society with world control, like The Davinci Code. Hall combined these two aspects wonderfully, and even added a dash of Alexander the Great and the Diadochi. Even before reading I already felt like this would be something I'd enjoy, yet in the end I just loved it.
Though the beginning of the book may feel like your everyday young-adult novel, it quickly escalates into something you've never read before. By the time I became fully invested in the twisted reality Hall has created, I could say I flew through it. The story itself is nothing but awesomeness to found at every single page. I absolutely loved how the author managed to weave in history with a secret society, which are both aspects of a book I can't help but be interested in. Fortunately for me, my love for this book doesn't limit there. The Conspiracy of Us contained a lot of other things I may or may not have a thing for. Things like Napoleon, the Louvre, Istanbul, but also a surprising amount of mystery.
In fact, this little mystery the main character stumbled upon at the beginning of the book, slowly began the unravel and eventually turned into something much bigger than I first expected. Despite it sometimes came across as far-fetched and a bit unrealistic, it never had much impact on my reading experience. There definitely were times when the unbelievability made the book so much more fun and entertaining to read. Also the fact that the ending left me with a gasp, was all the more reason for me to come up with weird and far-fetched theories of my own.
A good book never fails to have well-drawn characters, and The Conspiracy of Us is not an exception. Ranging from side characters to the love interest to the main characters, I cannot help but like all of them. With some characters like Jack, Luc and Stellan, my feminine side takes over and fancies every aspect of them. Despite them being all so different, they have unique personalities and are well-developed over the course of the story. Mysterious is a keyword for all three of them, however some on a whole new level. Avery, on the other hand, is more the difficult case. Like every other character in this book, she's fleshed out and believable with a personality of her own. That personality however, had to be the One I was sometimes truly annoyed with.
I think people would gladly burn this book to ashes if I mention a love triangle. Although I can see why some have been talking about one, I honestly don't see it. Maybe the second book has potential for one because of the vague tension I sometimes saw, but for now I cross my fingers in the hopes that the romance remains between one boy and one girl, because that's the romance I fell for. Oh yes, how I rooted and swooned for that romance.
He glanced at my lips.I turned around before my flaming cheeks were too obvious.Jack cleared his throat. "Right. We'll just wait a minute, then―""Sure," I said quickly. "Yeah."
The tension between these two characters was undeniable. It was so palpable I absolutely loved it, and as soon as any signs started to show I hopped myself onto the Jack x Avery ship. Their little romance was a big bonus in my opinion, yet I couldn't help the feeling of wanting to scream out loud in pure agony with scenes like the one above mentioned. Still, if a book manages to make you feel like that, it's always appreciated.
In other words, there's no doubt about the fact that I absolutely loved Maggie Hall's stunning debut. If you like history, plot-twists, mystery, Europe, secret societies, a romance to root for and a well thought-out story, count yourself in for a great read!