Published May 1st 2000 by Pan
Elizabeth Clarry lives with her mum and goes to a private school. Her english teacher – who is ‘upset that the Art of Letter Writing is lost to the Internet generation’ and wants to ‘rekindle the joy of the envelope’ – has just organised a letter exchange program with a nearby public school. She begins writing to Christina Kratovac. Meanwhile, her friend Celia – who can be quite unreliable and/or flaky – has run off again. Elizabeth hardly sees her mother, who is very busy and keeps making porridge for her, even though Elizabeth REALLY HATES PORRIDGE! She doesn’t see her dad much – who, as it turns out, has a bit of a dark secret. She receives letters from organisations like ‘The Society of High School Runners Who Aren’t Very Good At Long Distance Running but Would Be if they Just Trained’ and the ‘Society of People who are Definitely Going to Fail High School (and Most Probably Life as Well!)’ and even, after she gets some secret admirer notes from someone on her bus, ‘The Secret and Mysterious Association of Secret and Mysterious People’ and the ‘Young Romance Association.’
The whole book is written in letters, as you may have already guessed. I love all the quirky and unreal letters from the organisations. I just love written-in-letter-style novels in general!
Jaclyn Moriarty is one of those authors who is very funny, but in a different way. I really dig her sense of humour. Plus, this gets some serious nostalgia points because my friend recommended it to me when I was still in primary school (ah, those were the days!), so it has all sorts of nice childhood memories attached to it. But even as an adult, whenever I read it I love it just as much as I did as a kid. And all the follow up companion novels are awesome, too.
For people who love Australian young adult and/or written-in-letters novels, and for those who enjoy a certain strain of humour.
My rating: 5/5
Goodreads rating: 3.82/5