Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Year of Secret Assignments: A review

I told you there were going to be a lot of reviews. Have patience, only three more after this one.

The Year of Secret Assignments
by Jaclyn Moriarty

This book was fun. It didn't touch me very deeply, although I cared about all of the characters, and it was a very quick read. Any book with a smiley face on the front cover is probably going to fall into that category.

The English teacher at (private) Ashbury High School has made an assignment for his students: they must become penpals with a student at nearby (public) school Brookfield High. Naturally, there are repercussions. We only follow three sets of correspondence: Lydia and Seb, Cassie and Matthew, Emily and Charlie. There are also other important documents thrown in, all of them relating to the story.

Several of the characters swear at different times and one character mentions s*x and cigarettes, albeit in a joking way.

Overall, an enjoyable read. I'm even planning to read the sequel!


"As usual [Emily's little brother] will be staying with Auntie June for the weekend, so please do not panic if he is not in his room. If, however, he is in his room you should panic and phone Auntie June."

"I will now conclude by saying that your mother has just tripped halfway down the stairs because she was wearing a single high-heeled shoe. It is a lesson in the danger of doing things by halves."

"It's really morally resplendent." (Emily means morally repugnant here. She has a habit of malapropisms.)

"Mr. Thompson: Objection!
Judge Koutchevalis: On what basis?
Mr. Thompson: She's shooting herself in the foot." (This is, naturally, figurative not literal.)

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