The Secret Year of Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Secret Year of Assignments/Finding Cassie Crazy
Publication date: Out Now

Told entirely through letters, diary entries, emails, and other writing, Moriarty's novel introduces us to Emily, Lydia, and Cassie -- all students at Ashbury High -- who begin writing to their Brookfield High counterparts through the schools' organized pen pal project. Readers learn quickly that each girl has her own writing style and that at two of the Brookfield boys (Seb and Charlie) seem to be smitten with Lydia and Emily. The only trouble is Cassie's pen pal, Matthew, a shady character who first sends her short, threatening letters and then becomes strangely sweet toward her. Nobody can figure out why Cassie keeps writing to him, but after she has a crushing meet-up with Matthew, Cassie discovers -- with the help of her friends and the Brookfield guys -- that he hasn't been honest about his identity. All could be ended there, but when Charlie helps take revenge and Brookfield High gets mysteriously vandalized, the group comes together to deliver justice and save the endangered pen pal project.

My Review:-

Favourite Quote: "I like the way you took that whole journey to Balmoral without looking at me once.  But all the time I felt like you were crinkling the corners of your eyes for me."

I ADORE this book.  The Secret Year of Assignments is smart, warm and irresistible funny!  This is the kind of book that makes you cheeks ache from smiling too much.

The Secret Year of Assignments is written in letters, diary entries, emails, notices, transcripts, summons and more.   It is not just one person story but rather three character  Emily, Lydia and Cassie.  Their English teacher starts a pen pal assignment with boys from the rival high school Brookfield.  And there the fun and rather crazy story begins. 

Jaclyn Moriarty writing is brilliant.   It's clever story is filled with humour and heart.  The plot is entertaining and fun but underneath it deals with some deeper issues.  And despite the fact this book is writing in mixed formats and various points of views, it was never confusing but rather effortless to read.

Now the character they are pretty amazing. Well crafted and fully alive.  Em, Lyd, Cassie, Seb and Charlie all of them likeable, quirky and interesting.  I think there friendship is what really makes them special.  They would do anything for each and you can't help but wish you were part of their gang.

Their is is some romance and it is sweet and real and filled with plenty of awww moments.  And the guys were definitely crush worthy characters especially Seb. 

"Lyd,
You're not making sense.
I love your letters and I want you to keep writing them, if you want to.  But you can't kiss a girl made out of ink and paper.  Let's hang out together. Let's talk on the phone.
You have to realise that boys don't write.  Girls write. Boys don't.
Seb"

Overall, The Secret Year of Assignments is wonderful story of friendships and a book that leaves you feeling good.  I am off now to squeeze into my favourites shelf.

Overall rating: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Cover: 3/5

Recommend for fans of:  Good Oil, The Dairy Queen, Six Impossible Things,

For More Rave Reviews:  Goodreads Chachic's Book Nook and Not Enough Bookshelves

For More Info: Jaclyn Moriarty website.

This Aussie book is available internationally from TBD and Amazon.  In Australia and UK it is know as Finding Cassie Crazy and elsewhere as The Secret Year of Assignments.  It has a few different covers - here are a couple:



15 comments:

Anna said...

i loved that book!
my favourite in the series though was feeling sorry for celia, i related to elizabeth so well.
i reviewed this in 2009, we even interview jaclyn moriarty. she gave such great answers.

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

This sounds like a fun read! I hadn't heard of this one before. Thanks for putting yet another Aussie book on my radar! I'd never hear of them but for you and one or two other Aussie bloggers I've discovered! :)

Misha said...

I have read such great reviews of this book everywhere! I need to read a book by Jaclyn Moriarty asap! Thanks for the wonderful review :)

Chloe Booklover said...

I loved this one! I have The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie in my TBR pile!

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I've never heard of this one, but I'm endlessly intrigued! Plus, there's something about that cover that I just love! Brilliant review, Nic :)

Jenny said...

Ohhhhh this one is completely new to me but I'm in love with it just based on your review! Humor, romance and great characters? Must have immediately:) Really wonderful review Nic, I'm glad to have found this book!

Missie said...

Yay! Another one to add to my TBR for the Aussie challenge, so glad it is easily available. I love feel good books where the heart of the story is about friendships. Plus you know I'm always looking for crush worthy boys to swoon over. Awesome review, Nic.

Annette said...

I started this book a couple of years back, and really didn't like it. It seemed like nothing happened, and I didn't finish it. Now, after your review, maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, or something. I might just have to try this one again. Great review!

Alexa said...

Wonderful review, I love the Seb quote. I am totally in LOVE with this book and the characters :)

Chachic said...

Hey, thanks for linking my review! Jaclyn Moriarty's books are a lot of fun. I'm so glad that they're available here in the Philippines. This review reminded my that I still haven't read Ghosts of Ashbury High.

Rachel said...

Great review! I'd never heard of this before, but it sounds like a awesome read. It's definitely been added to my TBR pile!

Lauren said...

I thought Dreaming of Amelia was amazing, so I can tell I'm going to love this - it sounds like it has all the same ingredients. I hope it doesn't matter too much that technically I'll be reading out of sequence.

I love what you say about it being clever and filled with humour and heart - it's wonderful when those qualities combine in a book. Gorgeous review!

Jenny N. said...

I've had this book on my shelves forever and am glad to find out that its such a great book.

Teddyree said...

I almost bought this one the other day ... I'm going back to get it! You totally sold me with this comment "This is the kind of book that makes you cheeks ache from smiling too much."
Thanks for fantastic review :)

Katie Edwards said...

I keep seeing Jaclyn Moriarty popping up all over blogs. I'm sure I read Feeling Sorry For Celia when I was a kid. Apart from that one, do you need to read her books in a particular order or does each one stand alone?

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