Audiobook Review & Giveaway: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall!

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall!The Conspiracy of Us
by Maggie Hall
Series: The Conspiracy of Us #1
Release Date: 01/13/15
Published by Penguin Teen, Putnam Juvenile
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, YA
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
Pages: 336
Source: Audiobook Received for Review

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.

Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I think most readers added this book to their TBR when they say it was a YA version of The Da Vinci Code.  I’m the opposite.  At first, I though, ‘ooooh pretty cover!’ But since I’ve never seen or read The Da Vinci Code, that was never really a selling point for me.  But I couldn’t resist the audiobook when I found out that Julia Whelan was narrating it, who is fantastic!  It did take me a little bit to get through the beginning of the book, but once the plot gets moving, it’s fast paced all the way!

Avery has always life a somewhat boring life.  Having to move every few years, because of her mother’s job, doesn’t leave Avery with the desire to even try making friends.  Because of this, she’s a bit of a loner.  When the new guy at her school, Jack and the mysterious Stellan, show up at her prom and tell her that she is in danger, she doesn’t know what to believe.  But the possibility of having family, someone who might care about her, causes Avery to let them whisk her off to France.   What she thought would be a meeting with family turns out to be so much more when she’s suddenly in the middle of a secret society who apparently control everything (media, politics, etc.).  After an attempt on her life, Avery and Jack discover that she is more important to The Circle of Twelve than anyone originally thought.

My favorite character: Jack.  As a Keeper (some kind of bodyguard) of one of the families of The Circle of Twelve, Jack is in charge of Avery’s safety.  He is also forbidden from getting involved with her.  I loved the forbidden love aspect that it gave the story.  The romance between Jack and Avery is that slow burn type.  Lingering looks leading to stolen touches which eventually lead to forbidden kisses.  There were some very swoony kisses and scenes in this book!  Avery was a great MC.  Sure, she was naive at times and she made dumb choices, but being suddenly in the middle of a secret society war can do that to an almost 17-year-old girl.  Throw in being shot at and having to go on the run, stupid decisions are bound to happen.  She made realistic dumb choices, if that makes sense.  I really loved the fast paced plot, and trying to figure out clues that not only have us guessing, but the characters too.  For a YA book, I’m so glad this wasn’t ‘dumbed down.’  We have quite of bit of violence and gore and I loved it!

I know the summary hints at a love triangle, and honestly, after my last two bad experiences with love triangles in books (Ensnared and Dead of Winter), I was worried that I would be annoyed by it in this book.  But, I never really felt like this book had a love triangle.  Sure, she says Stellan is really good-looking (but not in an annoying way girls do where that’s all they seem to focus on, more like a ‘whoa this guy is hot’) but I think the real love story is between Avery and Jack.  View Spoiler »  There is always the possibility that this might become a love triangle in the next book, but for now the dreaded love triangle isn’t present.  If you’ve read The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo, I got the same vibes from Avery and Stellan as I had with Alina and Nikolai.  Sure, they could be a great couple, but the chemistry wasn’t there on either side.

Even though the endings ends on a bit of a cliffhanger (I didn’t think it was a cliffhanger, but most people probably will), I really love the way things ended.  Even if I am annoyed because I want the next book already.  I just love when a book that is out of my comfort zone surprises the hell out of me and I end up loving it.  If prophecies, secret societies, forbidden love, danger, secrets, masked balls and explosions is your thing, this is the book for you!  Bonus: this book will seriously give you a case of wanderlust!  We are taken to Paris and Istanbul and even though they are essentially on the run and in danger, you can’t help but appreciate the setting and the details.

Audiobook Comments: This is my 5th audiobook narrated by Julia Whelan (Princess of Thorns, Falling Into Place, Tease, Flat-Out Love) and although all of them have been really good, this is my favorite so far!  I’m so glad they picked Whelan because this book takes us to France and Turkey and we meet many different characters with different accents, and she pulls them off so damn well.  I love how as soon as someone starts talking, you can tell which character it is by their accent or tone.  We only have Julia’s POV in this book, but I love that she gave Jack and Stellan their own distinct voice.  I hate when all male characters pretty much sound the same.  This book would have taken me a lot longer to finish if I had to read it, but with the audiobook, I couldn’t put it down.  Whelan’s amazing performance only added more to the already great storyline.  I’ll definitely be listening to the rest of the series on audio.

Rating Report
4.5 / 5
5 / 5
Overall: 4.5 / 5

Some of my favorite non-spoiler quotes from The Conspiracy of Us:

– Someone was trying to kill me while I was wearing a ball gown. This didn’t happen in real life. But I was pretty sure I wasn’t dreaming and this wasn’t an action movie.

– Celebrities and politicians and ball gowns – fine.  That was every day life for some people.  But politicians and Prada and murder?

– “Toshka.” He leaned forward, too. “It’s a Russian word, it has no translation into any other language, but the closest I’ve heard is the ache. A longing. The sense that something is missing, and even if you’re not sure what it is, you ache for it. Down to your bones.”

– The thing is, being lonely is like walking in the cold without a coat. It’s uncomfortable, but eventually you go numb. Once you get used to not being lonely, though, the shock of going back is like having your down comforter yanked off at six o’clock on a Minnesota December morning.

Character Profiles:

normal_26Character: Avery West
Age: 16
Circle Family: At the start of the book, unknown.
Description: Small, with long dark hair, big eyes, and pale skin that flushes easily. Wears dark brown colored contacts. A little shy, a little afraid of getting close to people.
Background: Has moved what feels like a thousand times for her mom’s job. They’ve lived all over the US, in tiny towns and big cities, for a month or for years. She’s kind of accepted that she’ll never have anyone important in her life besides her mom, but it still sucks.


Character: Jack Bishop
Age: 17
Circle Family: Saxon
Description: Dark hair, grey eyes, proper British accent. Handsome in a rugged way. He’s guarded and quiet, but you can tell there’s a lot going on below the surface. Very protective of the people he cares about.
Background: Born and raised in London, and has been with the Saxons for some time. Was close with Stellan when they were younger.


Character: Stellan Korolev
Age: 19
Circle Family: Dauphin
Description: Tall, slim, blonde, sarcastic, impulsive. Almost too pretty. Light Russian accent. You never quite know what he’s thinking—and you’re not sure you want to.
Background: Born in a small town outside Moscow to a Russian father and a Swedish mother. Came to the Circle after a family tragedy, trained alongside Jack when they were young.

Where I See Fashion:

bl where the conspiracy of us

Mood Board:

mb the conspiracy of us


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Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...