The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us #1) by Maggie Hall
Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group on Published January 13th 2015
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Genre(s): Young Adult, Mystery, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
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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 Thoughts –
I went into this book with zero reservations or expectations. Honestly, I snagged this up with my credit because the narrator was recommended to be by another avid audiobook listener. I was pleasantly surprised by both the book and Julia’s narration.
The plot – while far-fetched – was fun and beyond intriguing. It’s fast pace, mystery and non stop action had my gripping my steering wheel and listening way beyond my break times. The romance, while subtle, was so cute and added flare of the “forbidden” of it made it that much sweeter. There is a slight hint at a possible triangle – but I don’t think it will go that far.
Julia is a fantastic narrator! I can see why she is a favorite (and now one of mine). I always have issues when the narrator sounds too mature for the character and that just was not the case with The Conspiracy of Us. There are many different accents in this book and she nailed each one.
Also, hello cliff hanger! Absolutely adored this one!
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
by Ann Aguirre
Published by Feiwel & Friends on April 7th, 2015
Genre(s): Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 5 stars
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Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine… until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He’s a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted.
Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He’s got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn’t expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage.
But love doesn’t mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again…
ALL THE FEELS.
I am so glad made the decision to start this book pretty much THE DAY it landed in my mailbox (Thanks JEN!).
It’s not often that I actually SEE myself in the characters – but I saw SO much of myself in Sage, it was hard to read at times. It was like looking in the mirror. I knew exactly what she was going through (some, not everything) especially how anger and rage can eat you up and take over, how hard it is to keep at bay but also, how good that release can be. Her insecurities felt real to me. Because they are real.
I loved the slow pace, the characters, the romance (especially the romance), the relationships between Sage and all her friends and her Aunt Gabby and just well, EVERYTHING about this book. There is so much to offer the reader – and I know I can’t do this book justice with my minuscule descriptions and ramblings.
One of the best books I read all year – and in this genre. I highly recommend it.
*Edit: Title change
Tell me Your Thoughts
Have you read either of these two books? If so, what did you think?