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The Year of Secret Assignments (Ashbury/Brookfield #2)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,537 Ratings  ·  798 Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Three Aussie girls become pen pals with three guys at another school in this delightful, high-spirited read by Feeling Sorry for Celia author Jaclyn Moriarty.

Told entirely through letters, diary entries, emails, and other writing, Moriarty's novel introduces us to Emily, Lydia, and Cassie -- all students at Ashbury High -- who begin writing to
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Paperback, 340 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published November 30th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Flannery
Jul 05, 2011 Flannery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Flannery by: Nic & Nomes' Recommendation Service
Finding Cassie Crazy has been recommended to me by several
Invidivuals. I’m kicking myself for
Not reading it sooner because I found it hilarious. I’ve been
Delaying writing a review for it, though, because
I can’t figure out what was so special about it beyond its humor.
Nothing is so spectacular about the plot (pen pals from private and public school), but each of the
Girls and, well, most of the guy characters were
Charismatic and/or charming. The
Author of this series, of which Finding Cassie Crazy
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Maggie
Every four years, I turn into this crazed figure skating fan. I remember the 2002 Winter Olympics in particular because I lived and died with Michelle Kwan four years earlier and 2002 was going to be HER year. In the long program, Sarah Hughes (aka Sarah Who?) skated first and threw down a flawless performance. Triple toe loop-triple loop, triple salchow-triple loop -- technically and stylistically, it was pretty damn perfect. However, with Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen and Irina Slutskaya still wa ...more
Reynje
If you have not yet read the brilliant Finding Cassie Crazy by Jacyln Moriarty, please do yourself a favour, stop reading this pitiful attempt at a review, and go track down a copy. Okay? Seriously, do it.

If you’ve decided not to immediately take my advice and you’re still hanging around this page, alright, I’ll try to make it worth your while.

So, here goes.

Five Reasons to Read Finding Cassie Crazy (you really don’t need all five, any one of these will do, but whatever, I’m feeling verbose an
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
(Australian Title: Finding Cassie Crazy)
For their grade 10 English class at posh Ashbury High, their teacher Mr. Botherit (!) has best friends Emily, Lydia and Cassy writing penpal letters to the English students at the rival public (therefore dodgy) school nearby, Brookfield. This is, in part, to help forge a bond between the hostile schools. Emily and Lydia, after a rocky start, form friendships of sorts with Charlie and Sebastian, while Cassie gets single line threats from the boy, Matthew, t
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Nic
Jan 24, 2011 Nic rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Good Oil, Dairy Queen, Six Impossible Things
Recommended to Nic by: Teccc
Favourite Quote: "I like the way you took that whole journey to Balmoral without looking at me once. But all the time I felt like you were crinkling the corners of your eyes for me."

I ADORE this book. The Secret Year of Assignments is smart, warm and irresistible funny! This is the kind of book that makes you cheeks ache from smiling too much.

The Secret Year of Assignments is written in letters, diary entries, emails, notices, transcripts, summons and more. It is not just one person story but ra
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Thebookbutterfly
I finished re-reading this book for maybe the tenth or hundredth time on the airplane this morning.

And I could write down some quirky anecdote about how I came across this book (because trust me, going on Barnes&Noble.com and ordering whatever looks mildly interesting always makes for a quirky anecdote :) or I could say how I first walked by Feeling Sorry for Celia about six times before I picked it up and then spent the whole afternoon torn between laughter and empathy, and then started wri
...more
oliviasbooks
Aug 17, 2010 oliviasbooks rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who like letter novels and multi-angled tales
I liked this very much, but I didn't expect less after reading Feeling Sorry for Celia. It was partly hilarious, partly cute and chicklitish, partly insightful, deep and disturbing and always interesting and cleverly crafted. Highly recommended.

What puzzled me first was the chronology. The novel consists of letters between three boy-girl-pen-pal-couples, diary entries, e-mails, unsuccessful efforts to fill a notebook for aspiring writers, special agent assignments, a court script and more. Occa
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Jo
Apr 06, 2012 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jo by: Flannery
Shelves: ya, down-under, 2012
I ramble more about this book and Feeling Sorry for Celia here but this is the basic gist of it...

Jo’s Official Rating.
If the first half of this book was a person, I would send them a letter with (um.. this analogy isn’t going to work but I’ve already committed) an orange matchmaker taped to the bottom of it. Because they are my favourite.
If the last few chapters of this book were a person, I would send them a letter with a lime Wine Gum taped to it. Because I’m not that fussed about them.
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
YEEESSS!!!!

Well done, Jaclyn Moriarty! I had so much fun reading this book. Instead of spending all day cooped up inside the office I had to work outside and this (audio)book was the best type of distraction I could ask for. I kept laughing at loud and looking over my shoulder to check it anyone heard me acting like a loon.

Even though I marked this book as 'chick-lit' I think it's more suited for younger readers, those just starting with young adult novels. Doesn't have any sexy scenes, it's f
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Chelsea
Not only does she bring some of the best epistolary writing I've ever read and feature some of the best character voices in ya lit, here Moriarty offers up one of those wonderfully impossible friendships. Lydia, Cassie, and Emily are so in tune with each other it hurts, and I want to hang out with them. In terms of trios I'd like to join, they fall very close to the reigning champ of Harry/Hermione/Ron.

They're wacky; they pull pranks; they swear; they keep secrets from each other; they mock thei
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Minli
Mar 11, 2012 Minli rated it liked it
(3.5 stars) Despite the fact that I can't understand the reason for this novel (why would three girls be writing to three boys at a different school and why would Ashbury and Brookfield set up this penpal program? I don't buy the 'eliminating school rivalry' excuse...What's the educational benefit?), I loved the friendship among Lydia, Cassie and Emily. Despite being all being the daughters of lawyers, they're all so wonderfully distinct, and I enjoyed reading how their three different correspon ...more
Jessica (Goldenfurpro)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

This was such a cute, fun book!
I hardly every laugh-out-loud while reading a book and this was one of those book that you could hear me laughing constantly!
If you want to read a book that's unique, funny, and just a cute contemporary I highly recommend this book! It will put a smile on your face and you won't want to stop reading!

And, by the way, you don't have to read the first book before this one. This book is technically a sequel, but
...more
Katrina
Jan 29, 2015 Katrina rated it it was amazing
What's not to love about The Year of Secret Assignments?! Jacyln Moriarty's writing style occasionally put me in the mind of Lemony Snicket minus the dark undertones. I enjoy stories presented in format that strays from the traditional chapter flow, and Moriarty does a good job of revealing the various characters' personalities through their letters and e-mails to one another. I know that a book has me under its spell when I am willing to sacrifice sleep on a school night to read "just a few mor ...more
Beth
An amazing book. Hilarious and sweet. Loved all the characters. LOVED the Australian setting too, and inspired me to pick up some more Australia-set books.

After-the-fact thoughts on this book --

When I think about this book, I want to:
1) Cry -- because I can't re-experience the beauty/magic/charm of it all as though it was the first time.
2) Hug ALL the characters.
3) Re-read it. The whole thing.
Laura
May 26, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Janina
Shelves: aussie-rules
Awwwwwww. These Asbury/Brookfield books make me so happy. Who ever would have thought that epistolary novels could be so charming?
Brittany
Feb 23, 2015 Brittany rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
This is one of those books that just makes you smile for so many reasons and sometimes for no reason at all other than you just love it that much. The characters are quirky and funny and the format allows readers to truly get to know them. I love most of all the steadfast friendship the three main girls have and that absolutely nothing ever gets in the way of that. My only complaint is that the end was wrapped up a little too quickly for me - I wanted to know more and I wasn't ready to move on. ...more
Bree T
Dec 08, 2010 Bree T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding Cassie Crazy is about 3 best friends, Cassie, Emily and Lydia who attend a made-up, private, very well-to-do school in Sydney’s north west somewhere near Castle Hill. As part of year 10 English, they undertake something named the ‘Joy of the Envelope Pen-Pal Project’, which is all about no one taking the time to communicate properly anymore and everything taking two seconds via text or messenger or email. Cassie, Em and Lydia have to write letters to three boys from the famed Brookfield ...more
Tatiana
Jan 06, 2010 Tatiana rated it liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: E. Lockhart's website
Shelves: ya, 2010, ala-ya-2005, aus-nz
I came across the name of this Australian writer on E. Lockhart's website. If I remember it right, she named Jaclyn Moriarty as an inspiration for the format of her own Ruby books. Of course, being as huge of E. Lockhart's as I am, I simply had to eventually check out Moriarty.

"The Year of Secret Assignments" is a book written entirely in the form of letters, notes, e-mail messages, etc. I love this format and it definitely makes the book one easy, quick and entertaining read. The story itself i
...more
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
My day started like this:
I woke up(duh!(except I shouldn't duh considering you'd've had no reason to suspect that I'm not an insomniac)) to the sound of my personalized alarm clock- my mom, sorry didn't mean to talk about you that way but you kinda are, aren't you?-and I decided against taking a shower, as it had been barely seven hours since my last one. I got ready and all the shenanigans followed and ended with me parking my ass in my bus. Now, it might not seem like it considering my letharg
...more
Natshane
Oct 27, 2011 Natshane rated it it was amazing
Agent in-charged : Natasha Anne

A.K.A : Natshane

Special Covert Operation Assignment: Review

Operation Description: Write a review for this book that made you laughed like crazy in the middle of the night.

Warning: May contain inappropriate words for young children.

Synopsis: Three Girls, Three Boys, Two Rival schools. This could get Messy.
The Ashbury-Brookfield pen pal program is desinged to bring together two rival schools in a spirit of harmony and the 'Joy of envelope'. But when Cassie, Lydi
...more
deliabookworm
Mar 30, 2009 deliabookworm rated it it was amazing
I adore this book. I've read it soooo many times. First I checked it out from the library at least four times. Since then, I've bought it and still read it constantly. It's one of my favorite chicklit-but-not-really-chicklit books. It's an intriguing plot line, well-written, and definitely funny. It's the perfect borderline between cheesy/mystery/light romance. I really love The Year of Secret Assignments.
Stephanie
Jun 07, 2010 Stephanie rated it really liked it
This took longer to hook me than the first book in the series (Feeling Sorry for Celia) had, but I ended up absolutely loving it. It was funny, compelling, romantic, sometimes scary, and in the end a really powerful look at grief, too. A really wonderful book. (And you don't need to read this particular series in order, btw - this was completely stand-alone.)

4.5 stars
Kaye
I need to buy a copy of this that I can doodle little hearts in and pass around to all the younger teen girls I know. Just fun, relaxing, and I wish I'd listened to my friend who used to cart this around in high school and read it back then. I needed that.
Madeline
Feb 12, 2008 Madeline rated it liked it
Wonderful book!
Recommended by Allie the great. Approved by DawnMarie the wife of Chester. All wonderful things. Letting you know I ate Chester. And don't get to know Mattew Dunlop. He's a traitor!! You'll see when ya'll read the book.
Mikaela Tynski
Jun 15, 2014 Mikaela Tynski rated it liked it
Shelves: third-term
It all begins with a Pen Pal program between to rival school which is supposed to 'unite the schools as one'. Pretty much the exact opposite happens by the time three Ashbury girls and three Brookfeild Boys become pen pals. Lydia, AKA 'the planner', comes up with a grand idea of creating secret challenges between the schools which could get them into LEGAL trouble. Will the students realize their wrongs before its too late? Or will their romances blind them from what is right...

I rate this book
...more
Wawa
Aug 18, 2015 Wawa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I started reading this book, it all seemed normal but then I started to see the deeper feelings, deeper meanings inside everything each of the characters was saying. I started to sincerely love it, even when I thought at first it was only going to get so many stars but I was pulled right into the universe of letters and odd messages and notice boards. This book was just as good as the first Ashbury/Brookfield book and I was glad that it improved my fondness for Jaclyn Moriarty. She maintain ...more
Ciara
May 01, 2016 Ciara rated it really liked it
Do yourself a favour and read this gem.

You can thank me later.

If you’re still here and reading this pathetic excuse for a review, then I might as well make it worthwhile and humour you with the following:

1. Jaclyn Moriarty and All Her Glory: Can we talk about how wonderful Moriarty’s way with words is? Because it is wonderful—she’s wonderful. She mixes genuine characters and witty, laugh-out-loud dialogue into a realistic yet quirky and hilarious novel. Oh, Jaclyn Moriarty, you slay me!

2. Fabu
...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracey Neithercott
I wasn’t so certain this would work. But if I have a single motto I have a million, and one happens to be: Always trust an Aussie.*

Still, I didn’t know how Jaclyn Moriarty would tell not one but three stories using nothing but letters, e-mails, and journal entries. But that’s because I didn’t know what a skillful storyteller Moriarty is. I stand corrected. This book rocked.

It’s not just that the characters were so fully developed I’m not entirely sure Emily, Lydia, and Cassie aren’t real Austral
...more
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Jaclyn Moriarty is an Australian writer of young adult literature.

She studied English at the University of Sydney, and law at Yale University and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD.

She is the younger sister of Liane Moriarty. She was previously married to Canadian writer Colin McAdam, and has a son, Charlie. She currently lives in Sydney.
More about Jaclyn Moriarty...

Other Books in the Series

Ashbury/Brookfield (4 books)
  • Feeling Sorry for Celia (Ashbury/Brookfield, #1)
  • The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie (Ashbury/Brookfield, #3)
  • The Ghosts of Ashbury High (Ashbury/Brookfield, #4)

Share This Book



“I'm screwed up, mixed up, messed around, dive-bombing, crashing and burning.” 51 likes
“I saw your name in lights last night.
It's the middle of the night,
and I can't sleep,
thinking all my trumpeting thoughts,
and I get out of bed,
open the curtains,
and look into the night full of stars,
and you know what I saw?
Your name.
Like the stars joined up and spelled the word for me.
Like a sign.”
41 likes
More quotes…