Series: The Conspiracy of Us # 1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on January 13, 2015
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.
I was tempted to DNF The Conspiracy of Us several times in the first 100 or so pages, but I’m glad I stuck with it. The plot was silly, Avery, the MC, was too Bella Swan-ish , and the two guys (of course it’s two) attracting her attention were not at all appealing. As I continued reading, some strange things happened. The plot, which grew increasingly ludicrous, was actually pretty fun, as long as you don’t spend too much time thinking about it. Avery, who was initially helpless and repeatedly in need of being rescued, eventually takes charge of the craziness around her. But the best part of all is that the love triangle, which seemed a foregone conclusion in the opening pages, never really materializes. I didn’t care for either of the guys, but I’m sure a lot of readers will feel differently. Jack is Avery’s classmate, and he’s the quiet, brooding type. Throughout the book, he clenches his jaw and moves his body in such a way that his muscles are always flexing, and Avery, of course, swooooons. Stellan shows up in Avery’s life out of nowhere and promptly pulls a knife on her and threatens to kill her. And then he does it again later on in the story. But it’s all OK, because Avery thinks he’s hot, and he’s kind of snarky, and even when he has a knife pointed at her abdomen, she doesn’t feel that threatened. Can you guess which one of these guys Avery chooses?
So, no, I wasn’t falling in love with any of these characters. But once Avery learns her life is in danger, and she goes on the run, the fun starts. The title promises us a conspiracy, and it’s a doozy. All you really need to know is that rich, powerful people are doing all sorts of horrible things, and Avery has purple eyes, and somehow these two things are related. Don’t expect any of it to be plausible, but you can expect it to be pretty exciting.
At the end of the book, the un-materialized love triangle suddenly rears its head. Throughout the latter part of The Conspiracy of Us, Avery was getting quite heavily involved with one of the guys. (I guess it wouldn’t really be a spoiler to tell you which one, but I’m refraining, just in case.) Based on the last couple of pages, though, this may change in the sequel. Avery also has some unresolved parental-type issues, which should be interesting to explore. But if Stellan pulls a knife on her again, I’m done.