Debut author Maggie Hall’s The Conspiracy of Us is a fast-paced teen/YA thriller with plenty of romance. I recently listened to the novel on audio and easily got caught up in the suspense.
Sixteen-year old Avery is the new student – again – at her high school. She is sticking to her Plan not to get involved or too attached because she knows that sooner or later (probably sooner), she and her mother will be moving again. Her mother is a military contractor and something called the Mandate dictates where and when she has to go somewhere new, though Avery doesn’t really understand exactly what it is or what her mother does.
This time, though, Avery isn’t the newest student at her school. Jack just started last week, and though Avery is trying to stick to The Plan, she finds herself attracted to him. He asks her to go to the prom with him that night, but Avery declines, saying she doesn’t go to school dances. She gets home that afternoon to discover that she and her mother will be moving again, this time to Maine, and impulsively, she decides to go to the dance with Jack. After all, she’ll never see him again, right?
The prom doesn’t quite go as planned, though, and some surprising events lead to Avery suddenly being whisked off to Paris. Things happen fast from there, as Avery discovers a whole world she knew nothing about – family she didn’t know she had and an international conspiracy that rules the world behind the scenes.
Most of that action all happens in the first few chapters. Once Avery is in Europe, the mystery and suspense pick up even more. This is a fast-paced international thriller, with some elements reminiscent of the mysterious secrets and codes embedded in The DaVinci Code, as the teens rush across Europe to solve clues and find answers. There is also a good bit of romance in the novel.
I enjoyed listening to A Conspiracy of Us and was immediately pulled into its suspense. It’s a compelling story with a unique theory at its center. Avery was a likable main character, and the audiobook narrator, Julia Whelan, did a great job with all the characters in the novel and with the nonstop action. My only complaint was that the novel ended rather abruptly – I actually checked my iPod to see if it inadvertently switched to Shuffle and skipped ahead to the credits! My personal preference is for series books to resolve somewhat, rather than ending with a cliffhanger. I guess I’ll have to wait for the sequel to find out what happens next!