Thursday, April 2, 2015

"The Conspiracy of Us"

My rating: ★★★★★

Author: Maggie Hall

Series: Book #1 ("The Conspiracy of Us" trilogy)

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, History, Romance, Fiction, Young Adult

Page Count: 336 (Hardcover)

Release Date: January 13th, 2015

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

Places to order:
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository
Chapter Indigo

About Maggie:

Maggie Hall indulges her obsession with distant lands and far-flung adventures as often as she can. She has played with baby tigers in Thailand, learned to make homemade pasta in Italy, and taken thousands of miles of trains through the vibrant countryside of India. In her past life, she was a bookstore events coordinator and marketing manager, and when she's not on the other side of the world, she lives with her husband and their cats in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she watches USC football and dabbles in graphic design.

Website // Twitter // Instagram // Tumblr // Pinterest // Goodreads


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.

My review:

To everyone who continues to read on, I'm terribly sorry about the number of overwhelming gifs that I use... it seemed like the best way to show you guys how I was feeling while reading this amazing book!

"The Conspiracy of Us" is definitely one of my favorite books of 2015. Why? Well, one, I read the book in less than two days--which makes it an excellent book in my standards. Two, the storyline is unique and original--qualities that I look for in a brand new series! Three, the characters (mostly Avery, Jack and Stellan) are all three-dimensional with secrets that build suspense to the storyline. "The Conspiracy of Us" is a fast-paced story full of mystery and romance with a unique plot centered about a specific historical period that takes the characters on an adventure of discovering the secrets from the past that can have the potential of bettering or destroying the future.

Avery West is the main female protagonist, who constantly moves from city to city due to the nature of her mother's occupation, and has no idea that she had family from her father's side; this is important in the novel because her mother had told her that her father died and that he didn't have any family on his side, but that was a lie. Avery learns that her father's side of the family are part of a secret society called, The Circle of Twelve. Apparently, this "Circle of Twelve" was formed back during the time of Alexander the Great, and plays a huge role in the events that happened over the course of history. I also happen to be a fan of the Ancient Greek time period, so the storyline was fascinating to me! Avery is then thrown into the world of The Circle of Twelve full of politicians, national leaders, royalty and riches with a side dish of murder. She learns that someone is out to get her, but she has no idea why...until she learns the truth about herself later in the book. Because someone is out to kill her, she runs from the world that she just learned about to find answers and the truth about a certain prophecy that could possibly be about her.

Jack Bishop is one of the main male protagonists that plays a huge role throughout this adventure and in Avery's love life (*insert emoji with heart eyes*). The book introduces him through Avery's POV as the super good looking new guy with a compass tattoo on his forearm, who--similar to Avery--didn't really talk to others or make a lot of friends. But then after an event occurs, Jack reveals to Avery that he only enrolled in her high school to keep an eye on her for The Circle of Twelve, or more specifically, for the Saxon family. He goes along with Avery on the quest to find out the truth about the prophecy and who is trying to kill her. I really like how Avery and Jack connect with one another and learn to trust one another as they run for their lives to find answers in different countries while breaking a whole bunch of rules and laws along the way.

Stellan is the other main male protagonist, who is also part of the The Circle of Twelve but works for the Dauphin family. Avery first sees him when she almost hit him with her car while he walked out onto the crosswalk out of nowhere then again at the dance, which was strange since she was sure that he didn't go to school with her. A couple characteristics about him that stood out to Avery included his blondish hair, a slight Russian accent, and a sun tattoo. One thing I really liked about Stellan is that he understands things about Avery that no one else sees; despite his harsh attitude towards Avery, he somehow "gets" Avery and knows more about her than she knows herself. When his past and secrets were revealed, it made more sense about why he acts the way he does and his role in this story, which happens to be a pretty big role.

After certain events (which will not be named because *spoilers*) occur, Avery and Jack team up to figure out the secret behind an ancient puzzle that dates back to the time of Alexander the Great that also includes a prophecy about her and her role in the future for both The Circle and the world (*le gasp*). The whole idea of a prophecy and puzzle that link to a well-known historical greek figure totally intrigued me and kept me flipping page after page so that I can see what would happen next!

But another thing that kept me turning pages like a mad man was the relationship between Avery and Jack, which there shouldn't be any kind of relationship since The Circle has rules that forbid them to be together (*duh duh DUH*). They have a rocky start in the beginning, but over the course of the story, Avery and Jack help and depend one another as they search for clues and answers; they learn to open up--something that they both have in common--with one another, which helps build their character. It was so fun to read about their epic adventure filled with danger and mystery and how I kept getting *the feels* whenever they had a "moment" with one another.

Here's a gif that perfectly expresses my reaction every time an "Avery and Jack" moment happened:

Like OMG THEY ARE SO CUTE TOGETHER. I SHIP #JAVERY. Sorry Stellan, you sound hot and all with your Russian accent, but I totally ship Avery with Jack. However, I do see the appeal of Stellan since he's the typical bad boy with a troubled past and has that shutting-people-out vibe about him that makes him even more mysterious. But since he didn't go on the adventure with Avery the same way that Jack did, I think that's why I'm not as fond of Stellan like I am with Jack, plus, Jack is so much nicer to Avery.

After Maggie decided to drop bomb after bomb after bomb, she decided to end the book with a nuclear explosion. The last page--the last sentence--was something I didn't see coming, not even from a mile away.

My initial reaction after I read it the first time...

Then I started to process the words from the last sentence and then I thought... WHAT ON EARTH JUST HAPPENED. HOW COULD THE BOOK END LIKE THIS??

Then I was like....

For those of you who haven't read this book yet, when you do, make sure you don't have any sharp objects near you and that you put yourself at a safe distance from others (to protect them from yourself) because it's highly possible that you could either fall over from complete shock or feel the need to stab something or both (which is how I felt). I am being 100% honest when I say this, I had absolutely NO idea that the book would end like THAT. So I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book, read it, then come back and chat with me about because I NEED TO EXPRESS MY FEELINGS WITH SOMEONE ABOUT MY SHOCK AND HOW I CAN'T ACCEPT THE LAST SENTENCE.

I kid you not, the last gif (the "NONONO" one) was my exact reaction. You can even tweet Maggie and ask because I sent her multiple tweets--some including gifs--expressing my shock and outrage about the last sentence...

After taking a couple hours to slow down my heart rate and taking my shock out on Twitter, I checked to see when the sequel would be released.

Then I saw that the sequel called, MAP OF FATES, won't be released until "early 2016"....

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was how I died... (just kidding!.... but seriously.... *sobs*)

Now that I've explained my love and shock and other emotions about "The Conspiracy of Us," I highly HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone in search of a new, fresh YA story to begin because this one was absolutely amazing and will take you on a rollercoster ride. Maggie is also such an incredibly kind author who will answer any questions that you have for her about herself or her novel (so make sure to check out her social media located in the "About Maggie" section). Hope that this review/rant (hahaha) was enjoyable or helpful in some way!

~Whitney Lauren


  1. Oh my goodness! What a tantalizing review. This sounds like a unique take not only on the "secret society" storyline, but also a nice twist on the love-triangle. It sounds like there are a ton of great melting moments between Avery and Jack, although I'm a sucker for a Russian accent so now I'm curious about Stellen! Whatever is going on here between the characters and the Circle organization they have to contend with sounds like an engaging and fast-paced story, the way you tell it. The .gifs only further illustrate how insanely feel-provoking this storyline seems to be!

    1. Thank you! Sorry that I'm replying so late, been super busy with school! But yes, this was an amazing book, to say the least :) Definitely recommend it!