BOOK REVIEW: Map Of Fates – by Maggie Hall

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Title: Map Of Fates
(The Conspiracy Of Us #2)
Author: Maggie Hall
Genre: YA, Mystery, Romance
First published: March 8th 2016
Finished reading: April 9th 2016
Pages: 311
Rating 4,5qqq

“Do you think all those people believe in fate? Or do you think they’re just living their lives the best they can with whatever’s thrown at them?”

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I think this is one of the first series in a long time where I actually needed to pick up the sequel straight after finishing the first book. The Conspiracy Of Us is seriously addicting! This series by Maggie Hall is basically almost everything I want in a good story, with only the romance scenes putting a slight damper on the otherwise perfection. And while Map Of Fates isn’t as good as the first book and the romance scenes are becoming more annoying (read: love triangle related), the sequel is still very much a solid read. London, India, Venice, Greece, Paris, Cannes… I simply love the internationality of this series. The pace is incredibly fast and the story so engaging that it is definitely hard to put this story down. The main characters are still likeable in general, although what was just a hint of a love triangle in The Conspiracy Of Us has grown into some quite annoying and cheesy romance scenes in the sequel. Luckily enough the rest of the story is good enough to make up for it, and I will be waiting anciously for the third book to find out what happens next. The wait sure will be a long one, since there isn’t even an official title or publish date yet. Sigh…

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first book yet. I’ll keep the summary short but it’s almost impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

Two weeks ago, Avery West thought her life was pretty much ordinary besides the fact she had to move all the time. Now she has discovered she is actually the heiress to a powerful secret society known as the Circle, her mother was taken hostage and her future will most likely involve marrying the One. She is determined to change destiny, free her mother and solve the clues that will uncover the truth about the Circle… But she only has two more weeks before it’s too late and both her mother will be killed and her freedom taken away from her. Avery crosses oceans in private jets to hunt for clues with the help of some of her new allies. Will they find out the truth on time?

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I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot to avoid any spoilers, but what I can say that this series is definitely worth reading. The Conspiracy Of Us series mixes old conspiracy theories with action, international locations, romance and a healthy dose of mystery and plot twists. The result? A VERY engaging story that is without doubt worth your time if you enjoy the genre. One of my new favorites!

Book Sacrifice Tag

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I saw this tag about book sacrifice in extreme situations over at The Belgium Reviewer and I thought it would be an interesting one to think about (recent) disappointing reads. Make sure to check out her answers as well!

Here we go…

 1. AN OVER-HYPED BOOK

Situation: You’re in a store when the zombie apocalypse hits. The military informs everyone that over-hyped books are the zombies only weakness. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you disliked would you start chucking at the zombies?

the5thwaveUnfortunately, I have so many titles to choose from! The Girl On The Train, Gone Girl, We Were Liars, A Thousand Pieces Of You, The Maze Runner… But since it’s all about chucking overhyped books at zombies, I’ll go with the thickest book of all since it will probably hurt them most. Which one? The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. (Or the sequel for that matter; I didn’t like either of them.) Here’s a part of my review that will explain the main reason why I didn’t like this one:

Don’t get me wrong, the first part of The 5th Wave was pretty awesome and definitely lived up to expectations. But then Cassie had to meet Evan. Le sigh. Why o why does a book like this need cheesy romance scenes?! I was completely convinced I was going to love this book, but the scenes between Evan and Cassie made me want to bang my head against the wall. Cassie is supposed to be a survivor and not trust anyone; then she meets Evan, trusts him almost immediately and even falls in love with him? Yeah right.

2. A SEQUEL SITUATION

Torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself?

That would be either of these two recent disappointments: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard or Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch. Why?

glassswordFirst of all Glass Sword. I have to admit I didn’t like Red Queen as much either the second time I read it, but I still managed to enjoy it despite the fact Mare was quite annoying. As for the sequel… this bit of review will explain exactly why I would use it as an umbrella:

Not only becomes Mare more whiny and self-centered than ever, she also doesn’t stop craving for the guy that betrayed her in the first place. (Is that a spoiler? I promise I won’t be giving names…) On top of this, the pace of the second book is a lot slower than the first and the plot is really repetitive. The sequel is basically a repeat sequence of the following: Mare blindly trusts someone –> person betrays Mare –> Mare is in deep trouble –> somehow she manages to not get killed. Sure, the new special powers spice things up a bit, but that doesn’t take away that Glass Sword is basically one big disappointment.

icelikefireAs for Ice Like Fire... I actually really enjoyed Snow Like Ashes despite the love triangle and LOVED the worldbuilding, but I kind of wish the book would have been a stand-alone. Why is Ice Like Fire the perfect umbrella material? On to part of the review…

It has a slow pace, a love triangle and main character (Meira) that are both terribly annoying and I don’t really like the new plot either… It all feels a bit chaotic, unnatural and not really believable. While I liked Meira in the first book, in Ice Like Fire she seems to have lost her charm and she really started to bother me. I don’t particularly like her new ‘mission’ either and the many plot twists didn’t make a lot of sense other than being able to confuse you even further.

3. A CLASSIC

Situation: You’re in English class and your professor raves about a Classic that “transcends time”. If given the opportunity to travel back in time, which Classic would you try to stop from ever publishing?

treasureislandI’m keeping this to classics I’ve actually read since it doesn’t seem fair to judge those I haven’t even tried to read yet… And the first that comes to mind is Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would… Here’s why:

I was unable to warm up to the main characters and there is a significant lack of action during the whole novel. I mean, the story is supposed to be about a treasure hunt, but they all seem to talk more than they actually ‘hunt’. To be honest, I cannot see why Treasure Island would actually be considered children literature… I felt bored during most of the story (not counting the final chapters), so I wonder how children will be able to pay attention for so long.

4. A LEAST FAVORITE BOOK

Situation: Apparently global warming = suddenly frozen wasteland. Your only hope of survival for warmth is to burn a book. Which book will you not regret lighting?

DNFtheliarschairI will go for my very first DNF read ever: The Liar’s Chair by Rebecca Whitney. I NEVER DNF a book and in a way I still feel a bit guilty, but I really couldn’t bring myself to actually finish this story. Why?

Unfortunately, as soon as I began reading the unnatural and forced prose started to irritate me. I don’t mind an unreliable or unlikeable character if it’s done well, but Rachel Teller crossed the border to I-simply-cannot-stand-you land. Both her voice and her actions really annoyed me and I truly struggled to keep reading this story. The plot itself is unbelievable and both the characters and their development don’t feel natural.


Feel free to consider yourself tagged… Have a great week everyone!