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The Year of Secret Assignments

(Ashbury/Brookfield #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  18,523 ratings  ·  898 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 thei
Paperback, 340 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published November 30th 2003)
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A G nope. I had no idea there's was another book. This one can be a little confusing but damn it had me laughing out loud in many parts. Its worth a read.…morenope. I had no idea there's was another book. This one can be a little confusing but damn it had me laughing out loud in many parts. Its worth a read.(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Start your review of The Year of Secret Assignments (Ashbury/Brookfield, #2)
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
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Also known as The Year of Secret Assignments and the follow up to Feeling Sorry for Celia. (Don't you hate it when books have different titles for different countries?)

I may hate the book having different titles in different places but that does not alter the fact that I loved the book every bit as much as I did Feeling Sorry for Celia.
This author has a real talent for writing young adult fiction which is still totally readable by those of us who are no longer young! The book is in the format o
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

Such a great read! I loved the dynamic between the characters, and Lydia was hilarious. Such a sass queen! Her and Seb are #goals because they match each other's crazy SO WELL.

Poor Cassie, though. What a dud of a penpal.

Having the story written through exchanged letters was really clever, and kept things unpredictable which was fun! I related to the way some of these things were written. Other parts made me laugh out lou
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
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& 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 writing
Aug 17, 2010 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
Jun 18, 2010 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
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-ebook, series
Rounding this up just because its a sweet little light story - but actually I was pretty disappointed in this after the first book in the series Feeling Sorry for Celia, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The letter/email/note format in this book is honestly very clever & makes it an easy read, I really think Jaclyn Moriarty has a cool thing going on here. The story is cute & the characters quite charming & I totally understand why young adults especially love this. I'm so I'm not sure if its just
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jo by: Flannery
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.
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
Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), mental health, fat shaming, slut shaming, misogyny, violence (off the page but recounted afterwards).

This feels quite dated now, given that it was first published in 2003. But the epistolary format works surprisingly well, the characters are fun and their friendships felt authentic, and I laughed out loud multiple times. Although honestly, I think one of my favourite moments in it came not from the teenagers but from Emily's father bemoaning th
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner

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
Kindle marked this as read and I wasn't ready. REVIEW YELLING TO COME


Guess I'll have to read this one soon because ELLIS
Dec 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: E. Lockhart's website
Shelves: aus-nz, 2010, ya
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
2018 Review

*looks suspiciously at 2014 review*
*shakes head*
PEOPLES. I'm doubting my sanity again. Look at that staid, calm review below. Look at the cautious, 4 stars.
I re-read this book and it was amazing. Easily 5-stars. Beautiful. Almost flawless. There is some language, but not enough to not give this book stars. I loved all the characters. I laughed and chuckled and chortled. I sighed. I gasped and feared for the characters.
I can't believe I missed how good
Mar 11, 2012 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
Apr 29, 2008 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
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
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
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.
Apr 15, 2013 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?
Fantastic, hilarious, and too happiness-inducing for words. I will forever reread this.
Stuti Rai
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
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Content Warnings & Why You Might Move This Down On Your TBR:
▪ Two characters express fat phobic statements. One character challenged one of the fat phobic characters, but the conversation peters out and the author doesn't challenge the ignorance.
▪ The male protagonists express misogynist ideas. The female protagonists call them out but, again, the conversations don't really go anywhere and not everything is challenged.
▪ Self-harm is normalized.
▪ Men being violent is normalized an
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I used to read this book on a yearly basis growing up and re-reading it after a few years I remember why. What a delightful book. I am a sucker for a book that doesn't tell the story in the typical novel fashion so I absolutely loved the letter/notebook/diary theme going on here. Jaclyn Moriarty did a fantastic job with that. And this book is just pure fun! I actually laughed out loud quite a few times reading this. This is a quick read too. Overall just a really enjoyable book. ...more
Amrita Goswami
Sep 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
Review of another edition. Cute and harmless fluff. The characters acted a lot younger than their age, but OK.
Bree T
Dec 08, 2010 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
Oct 27, 2011 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, Lyd
Apr 08, 2014 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
Feb 17, 2015 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
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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.

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)

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