The Year of Secret Assignments* (known as Finding Cassie Crazy everywhere else except the US) is a book written by one Jaclyn Moriarty ans is to be put simply, an amazing book. Not only because the author’s last name is Moriarty (something I did slightly fangirl over; if you have no idea what I’m talking about, Sherlock).
Before I continue I think I should make something clear about the asterisk in the title. I did not put that there, Jaclyn Moriarty did. There is an asterisk in the title! I didn’t find out what the asterisk meant until I actually opened the book to the front page where it says “diary entries, rude graffiti, hate mail, love letters, revenge plots, date plans, notes between friends, and famous last words”. That basically summed up the book. The book is composed of letters exchanged between students of rival schools, emails, impromptu subpoenas, court transcripts, “secret assignments”, and more that are exchanged between the really interesting cast of characters found in this book.
To sum up the book really quickly without spoiling anything; three girls and three boys from rival schools become pen pals. Anything more you’re going to have to read the actual book which I recommend wholeheartedly to everyone. (I’m talking to you Nerdfighters.) No joke, I was already telling my friends to read it when I wasn’t even halfway through.
To give you a taste of the very distinct personalities of our six characters enjoy the below quotes I like the most.
Lydia: “You should send me some dope and I should sell it. Or use it…..I’ve heard that Brookfield has a marijuana plantation instead of a sports oval. So I guess it’s easy enough for you to get. Or are they strict about who can pick it? I hope not”
Emma: “Don’t get me started about chocolate! My nickname might be ‘Em,’ but sometimes it’s also Toblerone! I think this is a ‘play’ of Thompson, which is my last name.”
Cassie: “I always think it’s funny when a teacher tries to be cool. I want to sit them down and say ‘It’s okay, you’re a grown-up, you’re allowed to be a nerd,’ and they will look up at me confused but also relieved and teary-eyed.”
Charlie: “And you think I’m wetting myself because your daddy’s a partner in a law firm? Bite me, baby”
Seb: “That’s all hypothetical, of course. I categorically deny that I deal in drugs”
Matthew; (Ok I’m not going to do Matthew. Why? Read the book and you’ll see)
Not only is it unique but it’s hilarious and clever. No exaggeration, I started laughing on the second page. It’s a new sense of humor that I haven’t seen before which is refreshing because after a while literature doesn’t surprise you like it use to do. Due to the style of the book, it’s always fun when you see how the different character’s story lines intersect with one another. It’s clever due to many conflicts the crew faces and also how they overcome them together.
The Year of Secret Assignments is filled with love and adventure, two things that turn out to be bittersweet (leaning more towards the bitter side of things). At the same time, though, it is apply to show the importance of friendship and how they will always be there for you (this includes plotting elaborate plans of revenge).
I found myself surprised at the number of plot twists in this story. I had to remind myself that there was no way George R.R. Martin would write a humor filled young adult novel (or would he?). I mean I read a lot of Song of Ice and Fire and I usually think of every single possible plot twist but I was not prepared for the ones in this book.
I’m glad that I found this book as I searched my neighborhood library YA section for something I could use to procrastinate with. (Double whammy seeing how I’m wasting more time now writing a book review about it.)
Some people may say that I’ve missed the point of the book completely and the book is about overcoming loss. It probably is but for once in my life I don’t wanna think about the bigger underlying message of a novel. For once, I just want to enjoy a wonderful book without thinking what is the moral of this whole story. And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe we all need to just relax once in a while and just enjoy the ride without wondering how the car engine works.
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