Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... the Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Just Finished Reading ... the Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Conspiracy of Us 
by Maggie Hall
To be published by Putnam Juvenile
on January 13, 2015

Summary from Goodreads: 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 take: I'm not one of those people who complained about the DaVinci Code. Not every book is  literary fiction or wants to be, and the story was suspenseful and fun and I enjoyed reading it. The Conspiracy of Us had some of the same strengths and weaknesses -- it had fabulous settings (Paris!) and a breakneck pace, but that didn't allow a lot of time for explanation or character development.

As the blurb above indicates, Avery is a high school student who's checking out Jack, the cute new guy at her school.  She begins to think he's following her -- and not to ask her out, but for some sinister motive. Then, by chapter six or so, she's at a school dance, in the middle of a knife fight between Jack and some other guy named Stellan. One more chapter, and she's jumped on a plane to Paris for reasons I can't really remember. To meet her real family? Who secretly run the world?

While I did find The Conspiracy of Us fun and entertaining while I was reading it, as soon as I put the book down I was unable to remember what happened or why. There's a Circle, an Order, a Mandate, and a Prophecy. There are people who are after other people. There's also, as the summary above indicates, a Triangle. (It's possible that this is a case of OTP with a decoy guy, and but that's still unclear by the end of this installment.)

Not every reader minds stories that emphasize pace and excitement over character growth, so I fully admit that this could be a case of "it's me, not the book." But I kept wishing that The Conspiracy of Us offered more of the emotion and humor of similar YA books like Heist Society by Ally Carter or Also Known As by Robin Benway. And I see that some readers on Goodreads have agreed with me while others thought it was completely amazing. So if you enjoy fast-paced stories featuring glam locations, definitely give it a try.

23 comments:

  1. ahhh why do authors either do character development amazingly and ignore the plot or the other way around? I was super excited for this one because of the synopsis and cover but now i will probably push it down my tbr and read more of my own books. Great review

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. It's hard to do both, I think. This book definitely had fun and glamorous elements. I just want it all, I guess :)

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  2. I was looking forward to this one, but now I'm wary about it. Maybe I should just lower my standard, and I also did enjoy Heist Society when I read in a few years back.
    Great Review!

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    1. Don't be wary!! I just need to connect emotionally with a YA book. I didn't feel that way about the DaVinci Code -- I was just able to sit back and enjoy the story. Try it and hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think!

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  3. I LOVE Heist Society and Also Known As, so this is appealing as a comparison, plus lots of action and international travel. But I'm going to hold off on this (for obvious reasons) and see where the series goes.

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    1. Yep, the triangle-phobic should proceed with caution!

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  4. Not for me but I love an action packed story. Sometimes I don't mind the lack of character development as long as I know going in.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  5. Awww I love fast-paced books but I really want character development too :( Not sure if I'll give this one a try then. Paris does sound wonderful and thanks for the review :D

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  6. Ugh, that's one of my biggest complaints with books. Or at least the biggest problem I have when trying to review it. When I put down and book, and then try to review it days later, or even hours, and can't remember any of the details? Bummer. That's so tough for me. I recently reviewed Anatomy of a Misfit and had that problem. I'm thinking I may pass on this one. I'm glad to see you overall enjoyed it, I'm just not sure it's for me. Great review!

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  7. This is on my January pile and it looks like it will be pretty entertaining!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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  8. I'm looking forward to this one, it sounds like a fun one. I suck at remembering secondary characters names right after I finish a book. And it usually takes me a few days/weeks to get to write my review so it gets worse. Unless it's someone memorable like Kenji, the I usually only remember the main characters names.
    I love this cover!

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  9. Gosh dang it! I had high hopes for this! It reminded me of Free To Fall by Lauren Miller with the whole "secret society/government" aspect. *checks to see if you read/reviewed Free To Fall and does not see it* Okay then. :)

    I'm sorry this book wasn't quite so....fantastic. I think I'll still give this a try because maybe I'll feel differently. Maybe. But the fact that the guy who she thinks is bad doesn't really seem to be bad judging by that knife fight in chapter 6, I may be driven crazy with the red herring.

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  10. I'm looking very forward for the one, but kinda hating the slow pace and getting lost when you put the book down. It's one of my biggest bookish problems I hate. But I'll definitely check the out and who doesn't like The DaVinci Code?

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

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  11. I completely agree. I didn't think The DaVinci code was some sort of literary art but I quite enjoyed reading it and found it to be good brain candy. I feel like I am going to end up feeling the same way about this book too but that makes me want to read it all the more because who doesn't love good brain candy? I don't always need a book to be memorable or something that will blow my mind. Sometimes I just want to have fun!

    Lovely review, Jen! :D

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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  12. Oh dear, I'm slightly worried about this one now! I'm not so sure I'd like this as much after reading your review; so I'm definitely lowering my expectations for it! Such a pity too, the cover is booooootiful.

    Fantastic review, Jen! <33

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  13. Hmm I usually enjoy exciting reads such as this one while I am reading them but I agree that they don't always end up being the most memorable because of that lack of connection and detail. Yet I think I will still read this one just for the enjoyment of reading it!

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

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  14. This one has mostly slid under the radar for me but I'm not sure I'd want to read it. I'm bothered by those forgettable books :-( I'm still on the fence about this one. Great review! That cover is lovely.

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  15. I haven't heard too much about this book, I think I only saw it once and to be honest, it doesn't intrigue me that much, so I don't think I will read it.

    Lovely review though!

    Andreea
    http://toallthebooksivelovedbefore.wordpress.com/

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  16. I've been really interested in this one, I love fast-pacing and ohmygosh PARIS <33 character development and plot explanation is really more important though :/ Lovely review <33

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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  17. This is another book I've been interested in reading. I'm not sure it's really my style, so I didn't even request it for review. I do have it on reserve at the library though.

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  18. I love conspiracy theories. And I loved The Da Vinci Code. I think the whole mystery aspect of it really gets me into the story. Awesome review.

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  19. I think I might pass up on this one because I don't like the seeming gaps in character, especially as I am a character driven reader. But it does sound like a decent book. I have yet to read The Da Vinci Code!

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  20. Like you, I was pretty fascinated with The Da Vinci Code. And I am admittedly curious about The Conspiracy of Us! Still not sure if I really want to read it, but I'm glad to hear that at the very least it's fast-paced and enjoyable.

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