The Year of Secret Assignments
FROM THE COVER:
Two rival schools.
This could get messy.
The Ashbury-Brookfield pen pal program is designed to bring together the two rival schools in a spirit of harmony and “the Joy of the Envelope.” But when Cassie, Lydia, and Emily send their first letters to Matthew, Charlie, and Sebastian, things don’t go quite as planned. What starts out as a simple letter exchange soon leads to secret missions, false alarms, lock picking, mistaken identities, and an all-out war between the schools – not to mention some really excellent kissing.
My rating: 4 stars.
Letters, diary entries, intermingling narration - they make for a unique, albeit strange, novel structure. But the book, like its characters, is quirky. The plot is nothing special, but I wouldn’t say it’s entirely predictable. Moriarty does throw in a few twists to keep readers in check.
The characters are real and unreal, likable and not likable; it’s a bit of a toss-up. They all have distinct personalities that are conveyed well through whichever device (letter, diary, etc.) is used, but sometimes the situations they find themselves in seem a bit far-fetched. But for having to read six different viewpoints, Moriarty manages to keep the reader tuned into how each acts.
The book is less about descriptions, and more about dialogue and how that dialogue is expressed. It works. Instead of an information overload, you get to briefly be in someone’s mind for a chapter, then switch.
The writing itself is simple and appropriate for the age level of the characters. However, at times, it seems a bit typical and expected – boring. Still, The Year of Secret Assignments is catchy in a weird/humorous/fun way.