The Year Of Secret Assignments

The Year of Secret Assignments - Jaclyn Moriarty (Full review can be found on my blog, Paper Riot.)Let me tell you something about me and this book: when I was younger, I used to go to the library to check out books that 1) were written by authors whose books I already read or 2) I already read. Yes, I also read basically any other book available at the time. But there were some books I kept coming back to. Some books I read at least once a year, because I just couldn't get enough of them. Finding Cassie Crazy (or The Year of Secret Assignments in the US) was one of those books. So when I was in my library the other day and saw it standing there, I just had to pick it up again. Just to see if I would still enjoy it.And I have to say: it was just as adorable as I remembered. Even after what I assume is the tenth time I read this book, I was still captivated by the lovely characters, the humorous moments and mostly, the way this story is formatted. Only now do I realize that my love for unique book formats must have been founded by this book. This story is told entirely in endearing, thoughtful letters, as well as e-mails, journal entries, notice board announcements, transcripts et cetera. And unlike what you might think, this actually adds to the story, and gives the reader a fresh, unique way to connect with the characters.Maybe it's the original format that made this book work so well, but if it weren't for the characters, I wouldn't have read this as many times as I did. I like how each and every one of Moriarty's characters has a distinctive voice, and I think that the way she made them come to live through "just" a bunch of letters was very well done. We really get to know these characters. My favorite part of this book is probably the friendship. High school friendships are usually all about the drama, but Emily, Lydia and Cassie got each other's backs, which is nice for a change.I'm definitely glad to have re-read this book, because when I was younger, the mystery just didn't work for me. I always used to be a little shocked when it came along, because I didn't see how there could be such a drastic plot twist all of a sudden. This time, I definitely appreciated the whole dramatic aspect of this story better, though it has never been my favorite part. I love the Emily/Charlie and Seb/Lydia conversations a lot more, as well as the "war" between the schools.Despite the fact that the mystery has always been a little misplaced for me, I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading this book after all this time, and I definitely wish more people would have read this book. (Though the other standalone books in this "series" never did it for me. I tried reading Bindy Mackenzie so many times, but never got into it.) If you're looking for a cute, humorous, light read with amazing characters, you should definitely give this book a shot!