Publication Date: 11th August, 2011
Love Aubrey was the first book I read in 2010 and and I adored it. To be honest, I don't understand why more people haven't read this book, because it's absolutely gorgeous and credit needs to be given where credit is due, which is exactly why I jumped at the chance to review Suzanne LaFleur's next book. It's a touching novel about eleven year-old Elise who's just about to start life in middle school. It doesn't seem to be everything she wanted it to be, being bullied from the very first day, and having to rethink her entire relationship with best friend Franklin as a result of that.
LaFleur's writing was very quick to hook me in and I loved ever second of it. Her characters are as authentic as ever - especially Elise. She was such a realistic, lovely girl. She's going through some big changes in her life and it's proving to be very hard. Then there's the keys she's been finding all over the place, unlocking secret doors and bringing her closer to her dead parents than she's ever been before.
The plotline with the eight keys was such a fabulous idea! Such a lovely way for Elise to understand how much her parents loved her. It was so awesome of her father to do that, and even though he wasn't a 'real' character in the novel since he's not alive, he was probably the one I enjoyed meeting the most.
This should be a must read for young girls (young boys too!). It doesn't really matter that it's set in the US, because all the changes Elise goes through are just as likely to happen to children in the UK. I actually made the transition from the comfort of primary school to 'big, scary' secondary school not too long ago (just over three years now) and I felt that the author captured those moments with utter perfection.
Eight Keys is a powerful coming-of-age novel, with a great mystery element and a striking sense of family and belonging. I look forward to reading more of Suzanne LaFleur's writing and experiencing the same, full-of-emotion atmosphere all over again.