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 Mr. Botherit is an idiot.

What he has to say is that we have now finished Larkin, so next week, we will begin the Famous Ashbury-Brookfield Pen Pal Project. Specifically, we will write letters to students at Brookfield High, and they will become our pen pals. "And this," he says (whispering for dramatic effect), "will kill two birds with one stone!"

("Don't you dare kill any birds," Sasha Perkins said passionately.)

Mr. Botherit is holding one finger in the air: "A," he is saying, "it will reduce the hostility between our schools! And two," he holds up a second finger, "and two, it will be our stand against the tyranny of technology! By sending letters, we say no to e-mails! No to mobile technology and texting! And yes to the Joy of the Envelope!"

So begins The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty, a simple book about three girls (Lydia, Emily, Cassie) writing to three boys (Sebastian, Charlie, and Matthew, respectively.) Oh, except there are the aforementioned secret assignments, along with prank calls and falsely-pulled fire alarms and cars getting broken into.

Also, it's an Epistolary Novel, and a companion to Feeling Sorry for Celia.

Tropes used in The Year of Secret Assignments include:

 You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

You talk a pile of crap. You talk a pile of crap.

Yours faithfully,

Emily Thompson

  • Celeb Crush: Emily asks Cass what her ideal way of being asked out is:

 Cass says that her ideal way would be for the guy to be Brad Pitt and he can just call her up and ask.

  • Disappeared Dad: Cassie's dad died a year before the start of the novel.
  • Imaginary Friend: For a while, Emily and Lydia think Cassie's pen pal is one of these.
  • Jerkass: Matthew Dunlop, aka Paul Wilson.
  • Malaproper: Emily. Charlie even calls her out on it a few times, though no one else does.

 Emily: The ladies seem to really go for Lydia's dad (Justice Oberman). They love him! :) I have heard tell (from Lydia's mother) that Justice Oberman's name was once a cinnamon for sex god.

 Emily: I think it is an angiogram of Thompson, actually.

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