Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall [Joint Review!]

2 out of 5 Robots!

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
Series: Conspiracy of Us, #1
Genre: Young Adult
Release: January 15, 2015
Hardcover:  336 Pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon & Julia

Book Summary:
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.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Julia & Shannon: Joint Review!

1. In a couple of sentences, what did you think of The Conspiracy of Us?
Shannon:  I admit I had high expectations for this book.  The plot sounded sweeping and epic.  I was expecting it to be a lot of fun, full of twists, and fast paced.  Ultimately though, I was pretty disappointed.  I found it just too improbable and I was underwhelmed.

Julia: I had no idea what I was getting into when I began The Conspiracy of Us. Didn't even read the plot summary- so I went in with an open, fresh mind. I barely made it through the first half, but kept chugging (skimming) because I had a little hope. (And I wanted to talk to Shannon about it.) This book is a major disappointment and is so packed of cliches, I just didn't enjoy it.

2. Was the plot something that kept you hooked?
Shannon:  I was really trying to get on board with the conspiracy theories and the secret societies and the Da Vinci Code-ness.  But I just couldn't.  It was just a little too much for me.  And while the plot was fast paced, there wasn't enough substance for me to feel invested in the characters or the story.

Julia: No, the plot is not fast paced or thrilling. There isn't anything about the plot that even intrigued me. I think this is because there wasn't any real development in the characters or the story. For awhile I cared about who her family was, but then that fizzled. 

3."Beautiful, volatile" Stellan or "magnetic" Jack?
Shannon: Ugh.  I mean, Jack, because he's the more "upstanding" guy and that's usually who I gravitate towards, but could these two guys be any more cliched?  Why is it always the loose cannon bad boy and the brooding yet safe boy?  Over it.  The other thing I can say is that there really isn't much of a love triangle, in the truest sense.  One boy is definitely more of the love interest in than the other. 

Julia: Well, Stellan is definitely volatile and beautiful, but I didn't find Jack magnetic. They're both pretty flat characters, if it were me, I'd choose Jack. Obviously, he's safe and handsome. But, being the reader, Stellan is much more interesting. The "love triangle" isn't much of a love triangle, so if the book sounds intriguing to you and you don't like love triangles, don't worry about that. 

4. How did you get along with Avery?
Shannon: This was a huge sticking point for me.  I could not handle Avery.  She made me want to hurl the book across the room.  First of all, she should have all her decision making revoked.  For example, someone pulls a knife on her and yet she boards a private jet to Paris with him without telling anyone because he's pretty and she "knows" he won't hurt her.  REALLY?!  I can't even.  She is more concerned about shopping at Prada than she is about letting her mom know where she is.  And of course, she is the Special Snowflake who everyone loves and wants to protect.  She always figures things out faster than the people who have been in involved in Circle their entire lives. 

Julia: Avery and I didn't get along. I couldn't relate to her at all, I don't even think my 17 year-old-self could understand her "rash" teenage decisions. She's pretty silly and everything Shannon said. (Sorry, if you couldn't tell, I'm pretty apathetic about this book.) 

5. Anything you wish the story had, or wish it would drop?
Shannon:  I wish it didn't feel like a million other books I've read. I wish that Avery was a little more concerned about taking jet rides from strangers.  I wish that the plot actually made a little more sense.  I wish it would drop the incessant Prada name dropping.  Did Prada pay for product placement?

Julia: I just wish the beginning hadn't started off the way it did- with her trip to Paris right after her prom. Silly... It really set the tone for the rest of the book and kind of destroyed it for me. 
6. Rating? Reading the sequel? Who are you recommending this to!
Shannon: 2.5 Stars for me.  I don't think I will read the sequel, even with that big twist at the end.  I do think that if you like All Fall Down by Ally Carter, then you will probably like this book.  They have a similar feeling to them.

Julia: 2 Stars for me, and only because I finished it. I won't be reading the sequel or recommending this to anyone.

The Conspiracy of Us Series:
1. The Conspiracy of Us
2. Untitled - Due 2016
3. Untitled - Due 2017

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