The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
Published by Putnam Juvenile on January 13, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Contemporary, Adventure
Pages: 330 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased
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.
When I heard that The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall had a historical mystery akin to The Da Vinci Code, I knew I needed to read it. Secret societies and violent ends juxtaposed by the glitz and glam of fashion and a European backdrop. Heck yes! Avery’s whirlwind journey through this whole new world is intense and dramatic keeping the reader guessing all the way to the end.
My favorite part of this story, which will come as no surprise, was the history and conspiracy within the pages. I love Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon books and the National Treasure movies so it was a perfect fit. There are so many mysteries and legends throughout history that are not solved so I’m always drawn to theories and what if scenarios. Hall’s use of Alexander the Great was the right decision. Such an iconic figure and an empire spanning a massive swath of the world made it the perfect choice. Plus the action and adventure made for a high tempo, gripping experience.
Onto the characters! As the main character, Avery West fell a little flat for me. She was just along for the ride for the most part but I did appreciate when she pitched in. I’m hoping that she comes into her own as the series continues. The boys, Jack and Stellan, were much more fascinating. With mysterious pasts, complicated relationships, and dueling loyalties, these two Circle associates brought all the excitement and intrigue into the story. Both their interactions with Avery and each other made The Conspiracy of Us compelling.
I did have a couple issues with this story though. What was up with Avery’s life choices in this book? Just letting herself be taken across the world by someone she doesn’t know and not putting up a fight. Asking some questions but not pushing for answers. I can understand wanting to rebel against her mother for the constant moving around but who goes that far? Also, the strange focus on fashion which didn’t seem to fit within the narrative.
Overall, Maggie Hall’s The Conspiracy of Us was an enjoyable read filled with adventure and mystery. While Avery’s decision making skills are extremely questionable, I put it aside for her interactions with both Jack and Stellan. Plus mysteries of historical proportions always pull me in. It’s just too hard to resist! I’d definitely recommend this, it just might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
So, have you read The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall? How did you feel about the mix of conspiracy and fashion within the story? Any other thoughts, feelings, etc.? Leave it in the comments below!