The Ashbury-Brookfield pen pal program is designed to bring together the two rival schools in a spirit of harmony and "the Joy of the Envelope." But when Cassie, Lydia, and Emily send their first letters to Matthew, Charlie, and Sebastian, things don't go quite as planned. What starts out as a simple letter exchange soon leads to secret missions, false alarms, lock picking, mistaken identities, and an all-out war between the schools.
(synopsis taken from the back of the book)
I really loved reading the Year of Secret Assignments! It was a quick, fun read and it had everything I love in a book- action, comedy, suspense, adventure, romance, etc. (I also learned a lot about Australian schools and what their fire alarms look like.) It was captivating and there are many unpredictable twists. There's this one part in the book that made me gasp out loud and I never gasp out loud. It's that unpredictable. What I really loved about the book were the characters. They're so hilarious! You get so connected to them and grow to care for them by the end of the book. From Cassie's lawyer dad to Charlie's siblings, you can't help but love them!
I have to admit, I was a little uncertain about whether or not to read this at first (partially due to the cover) but when my friend begged me to read this, I decided to just give it a try. (See, I didn't know what the red thing with the smiley face on it was. Only later when I was reading was when I realized it was a fire alarm! Hehe...I can be a bit clueless at times.) I'm really glad I ended up reading this book and it will probably be my favorite book of 9th grade (or at least one of them). I would give this book 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who likes a fun, quick (because you can't put it down!), and an engrossing read!