To Keep or Not: The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

to keep or not

When I moved a couple of years ago, I was’t very organized. I have boxes of books I haven’t been able to part with yet. But now I’m trying to get rid of things I don’t need and grow out of my pack rat ways. So, I’m going to reread some of the books that were boxed and decide if I should keep them or not!

The Year of Secret Assignments

the Year of Secert Assignments

Jaclyn Moriarty website | amazon | book depository | goodreads

340 pages | April 1st 2005 | Scholastic Paperbacks | On the Back: 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, fals alarms, lock picking, mistaken identities, and an all-out war between the school — not to mention some really excellent kissing.

What I remembered before I reread: Australia, private schools, letters. Teenage friendship and school rivalries. Mischief.

Reread thoughts: This is the second book in a series and I didn’t even know that. It doesn’t seem like it, which is good for me I guess. This books is told in letters, diary entries, emails and bulletin board notices. Cassie, Lydia and Emily go to Ashbury, a private school. Their English teacher has a program where students from Ashbury write to students from Brookfield, a rival school. This is supposed to cultivate goodwill between the schools and an appreciation for letter writing over emails and the like.

In the beginning, there are problems between the pen pals. Emily’s pen pal Charlie thinks she sounds like and old woman and she is very insulted. Lydia’s pen pal Sebastian isn’t sure if he can trust her and comes up with a test. And Cassie receives threatening letters from Matthew.Things take turns for each set of pen pals, and they all end up meeting in person.

Cassie finds out Matthew isn’t nice like he pretended to be. She’s also dealing with the death of her father and trying to find a way to move on. She’s dejected and her friends know this, but they don’t know how to help her. One thing I liked was how loyal the friends were, and that Lydia and Emily were so intent on finding the boy who hurt their friend and being there for her in any case.

I like reading letters, but I think I needed more. Reading about kisses in a letter didn’t really do it for me. It was kind of weird to me that the boys seemed more eager in their letters than the girls did. Plus, during the big battle, I just got tired of the book. I managed to keep going but in the transcript part, I was skimming. I was really ready for it to be over. I didn’t love or hate any of the main characters. A lot of the antics and assignments weren’t entertaining to me. I didn’t hate this book, but I don’t see myself wanting to read it again or checking out the rest of the series. So this is not a keeper for me!


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