Monday, 7 March 2016

Map of Fates by Maggie Hall

Map of Fates
Maggie Hall
Putnam Juvenile
[March 8, 2016]
ARC from publisher

Two weeks. 



That’s how long it took for Avery West’s ordinary life to change forever: In two weeks, she discovered she was heiress to a powerful secret society known as the Circle, learned her mother was taken hostage by the Circle’s enemies, and fell for a boy she’s not allowed to love, just as she found out another was her unwelcome destiny. 



Now, Avery crosses oceans in private jets to hunt for clues that will uncover the truth about the Circle, setting her mom and herself free before it’s too late. By her side are both the boys: Jack—steady, loyal, and determined to help her even at the expense of his own duty—and Stellan, whose connection to Avery grows stronger by the day despite her best intentions, making her question what she believes at every turn.



But at the end of a desperate hunt from the islands of Greece to the red carpet at Cannes comes a discovery that not only changes everything, but could bring the whole world to its knees. And now Avery is forced to face the truth: in the world of the Circle, no one is what they seem.

I really enjoyed The Conspiracy of Us last year and, upon more reflection and face palming for thinking it was a different genre, it actually did become a favorite book. So I was THRILLED when this showed up in my mailbox several weeks ago and jumped at the chance to read it as soon as possible. And boy did this book live up to all my expectations.

As much as Avery's life took some weird twists in the first book, in Map of Fates, the twists get SO much more intense and terrifying. She was juggling so many things and it was so complex I couldn't help but worry about her. And so many of those twists were SO unexpected and amazing to read. I also loved seeing all of the places Avery went to. I'm missing traveling so it was nice.

I loved watching Avery change as a person as she had these new experiences. She learned so much from the beginning of book one to the beginning of book two and then throughout book two. Her relationships changed and how she approached situations changed and it felt so realistic to watch her develop the way she did.

Maggie Hall also deserves a round of applause for how she's handling love triangles. So many writers handle love triangles in this really one sided way that under estimates their main characters, but that's not what Maggie does. Instead she respects that Avery is a person who changes and that means the guy she's interested can change too. It means the guys change. It means that situations come up that change the relationships Avery has and who she is and what she needs, so there's always a logic to where her feelings are that are totally understandable. It's hard to have a team for either guy because I want her to be with whoever's best for her at that moment. And that changes because that's life. It's just. So masterful. So perfect. One of those rare times where I'm 10000% behind the love triangle in a book.

Basically, Map of Fates is the kind of sequel that is equal to the first book, if not better. Which, doesn't happen all that often with sequels. It was fun, fast paced, action packed with the perfect romantic balance. I admire Avery so much and I don't know how I'm gonna wait to see where Maggie takes us in book three.

--Julie

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