First Friday – Five Favorite Things – Debut Novel Day

March 6, 2015 | Comment

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by Dave Amaditz and
Marcy Collier

The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us #1)

Welcome to March’s version of – First Friday – Five Favorite Things – Debut Novel Day. In this
monthly series, we ask five simple questions about a debut novel that will
hopefully entice anyone reading this post to pick up the novel and read it themselves,
and/or give them at a glance some insight into the author’s writing style and
voice as well as how some of the characters might think or act. We do this by
presenting, first, answers to our Five
Favorite Things
, followed by the author’s answers in a follow-up post.

This month we’re pleased to highlight debut novelists,
Maggie Hall and her novel, The Conspiracy
of Us
. Avery’s world is turned upside down when she discovers she and her
family are part of the Circle of Twelve, a group of families who control the
1) What is your favorite line or paragraph from the novel as it relates to
the main character’s development and/or growth?

Dave – Avery wanted nothing more
than to find her father and to discover what it was like to not be alone until
she did and realized the world he belonged to wasn’t the stuff of dreams.

I stared at the dress hanging on the wall. It was ivory, with a
V-neck and a delicate lace overlay. It was beautiful. It made me want to throw

Out in the regular world, some girls might see this place, think
of the clothes and the balls and the fact that they would be literally in
charge of what went on in the world, and sign on the dotted line.

I glanced up at the iron work across the windows. The Circle might
be a beautiful, gilded cage, but it was still a cage. Even before I knew about
them, my whole life had been about running from them. They’d taken my past, and
now they wanted my future.
Marcy –  Avery always wanted to find her father. She
has never given up. At this point in the story, Avery realizes her wish may be

I looked up at the sky. “I used to have a star wish,” I said.

Jack looked up.

“My father. I wanted him to come back more than I wanted anything
else in the world. My mom told me he left us when I was a baby, but still, he
was every wish when I was little.”

2) What is your favorite chapter ending or cliffhanger?

Dave – I picked this particular
chapter ending from later in the novel because Avery had just become somewhat
comfortable in her new world with Jack, a Keeper, a bodyguard and servant-of
sorts, to the ruling families of the Circle of Twelve. I practically ripped the
page to see what happened next.

And then, I heard the most frightening thing I’d ever heard.

A key, turning the lock on my bedroom door.
Marcy –  Wow, I actually picked the same, chapter
ending as Dave, so I’ll go with my next favorite.

He pulled out something that, for a moment, didn’t register. It
was too discordant with the marble floors, the dresses, the Bach chiming from
the speakers. He stepped toward me, and the overhead light glinted off the

Then I knew, but still didn’t understand.

It was a knife.
3) Who is your favorite secondary character and why?

Dave – Jack is most definitely
my favorite secondary character. Because he is a Keeper for the Circle of
Twelve, he knows he risks severe punishment by getting involved with Avery.
Still, he says the following during a discussion with Avery even though he is drawn
to her.

aware of the consequences of everything I do.”

Marcy –  I also fell in love with Jack from the very
beginning of the story when we just think he’s the new kid in school. The one
asking her to the prom.

“It’s just that – I was wondering –“ Jack rubbed the compass tattoo
on his forearm with his opposite thumb, like a nervous habit. Then he looked up
at me from under his lashes, his gray eyes unbearably hopeful, and I melted into
a puddle on the dirty hallway floor. “I wanted to see if you’d like to go. With
4) What is your favorite line or paragraph of description?

Dave - I picked this section from
early in the novel. I think it highlights well Avery’s feelings and why she is
hesitant to get close to anyone.

The thing is, being lonely is like walking into the cold without a
coat. It’s uncomfortable, 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 the Minnesota December morning.

–  Avery has arrived at Prada – in Paris.
The store has been shut down so she can shop. This is an amazing scene. The
descriptions of the dresses she tries on makes me feel like I’m watching Avery spin
in front of the dressing room mirrors.

dress was nothing like the silver one. If that one had been storms, this was
sunlight. It glowed against my dark hair, and hugged my body all the way down,
from the plunging halter neckline to the flouncy mermaid hem. I ran my hands
over my hips, and my reflection glittered.

5) What is your favorite line of dialogue?

Dave - I picked this line because I
think it gives a little more insight into Avery’s character. She’s explaining
to Jack why she doesn’t make wishes.

“Because it’s worse to wish for something that’s never going to
happen and then be disappointed than to never wish for anything at all,” I
said, studying my chipped toenail polish.

–  Stellan is an intricate and complex
character. He and Avery are talking, and she asks why he carries both a gun and
a knife. His reply shows the readers a lot about his character.

takes more effort to kill with a dagger.” He rebuttoned his jacket. “You have
to do it on purpose. Guns make it too easy.”

To read more about Maggie Hall’s The Conspiracy of Us debut novel please
go to:

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