The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

Well here I am, once again, singing the praises of Jaclyn Moriarty - I seriously cannot get enough of her wicked sense of humor and intelligent teens who understand the necessity of a good friend. As far as I'm concerned, every single one of her books I've tried have been utterly perfect and The Year of Secret Assignments is no exception.

Mr. Botherit is at it again with a new group of Ashbury High students, ready to implement project "The Joy of the Envelope." Best friends Emily, Lydia, and Cassie aren't too sure about having to write the criminals and hooligans of Brookfield high, but teachers just don't understand that, do they? So it's with some trepidation that three await their first letters - which they receive from Charles, who keeps asking Emily for advice on girls; Sebastien, who must prove his trustworthiness to Lydia by performing a series of secret assignments; and Matthew, who despite his cruel letters, slowly begins to respond to Cassie's continued replies. Of course, being Emily, Lyd and Cassie, their seemingly innocent letters do not remain innocent for long. Their correspondence quickly leads to alarm pulling, lock picking, and even a few pranks gone wrong that just might escalate the rivalry between the two schools into an all-out war.

Like Jaclyn Moriarty's other Ashbury High novels, The Year of Secret Assignments is written as a series of letters, journal entries, emails and various legal-sounding lists and briefs from Emily's dad. All of which are simply excellent. As the stars of this book, Moriarty captures Emily, Lydia and Cassie's friendship to perfection. They really three distinct personalities with equally distinct faults, yet they still love and support each other just the same. And like I've said before, this book is hilarious. All three are blindingly intelligent ladies and I love them to pieces. Their constant witty banter is pretty much my favorite part of the book. Well, that and their ability to think up some truly hilarious pranks. Yet at the same time all the humiliations and turmoil of being a teenager still shine through without ever becoming preachy.

Since I read The Ghosts of Ashbury High first (bad, bad reader!) in which I promptly fell in love with the girls, I was pleased to discover that The Year of Secret Assignments gives us a deeper insight into the trio's enviable friendship. I do have to admit that Emily still remains one of my favorites - the girl's misuse of words constantly had me in stitches. She's a little bit drama, a little bit crazy, but infinitely likable and extremely loyal. Plus there is also Seb and Lyd's crazy relationship chock full of secret agent worthy adventures and heart-rate-racing couple moments.

At the risk of sounding like a besotted fangirl, I'll go ahead and say it now: Love, love, love these books. Love, love, love Jaclyn Moriarty. Go and track down ANY of her books right now, because you are simply missing out if you haven't read one of her hilarious novels yet.

Other Ashbury High novels (not necessary to read in order)
~ Feeling Sorry for Celia - my review
~ The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie (Becoming Bindy MacKenzie or The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie)
~ The Year of Secret Assignments (Finding Cassie Crazy)
~ The Ghosts of Ashbury High (Dreaming of Amelia) - my review

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
The Book Smugglers review (Totally Awesome Books award)
Dragonfly Book Reviews review 
Not Enough Bookshelves review
Reader Rabbit review
Reviewer X review

book source: publisher giveaway


Ana said...

Yes, yes to all that! The world needs to read these books!!!! Pronto!!

I have to say: Bindy Mackenzie might just be my favourite of them all.

Nomes said...

i know, how awesome is she? i've read them all a few times :)

i cant pick my favourite though, theres aspects of them all that i love.

you did a great job reviewing it


Chachic said...

So remember what I said about how great minds think alike? I'm reading this book right now! I just started and I have the copy with the same cover that you posted here. I'm only in the first few pages but it looks promising. I have a feeling this one will cause a lot of laughs. Thanks for recommending Jaclyn Moriarty's books! :)

Michelle said...

Ana- Oh wow, do I ever need to get my hands on Bindy MacKenzie then. I heart these books so much!

Nomes - Thank you. I'm really starting to look forward to doing a reread so I can catch things I missed the first go round.

Chachic - Ha! I love it. We should start coordinating our reviews or something ;) I hope you enjoy this one, I just love Moriarty's humor.