Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty (Or Otherwise Known As My Ode to Ms. Moriarty)

I’m going to start here with a little note about Moriarty books for those of you who have never read her: characters move from one book to another, a bit part in one might translate to the main character in another. You do not have to read them all, they are not sequels, they are complete separate entities that happen to have a fun interaction with each other.

Having said that I have read every single Moriarty book (except one – Feeling Sorry for Celia why haven’t I read you???) and I can honestly say I have loved each one. The Year of Secret Assignments is the one I put most frequently in readers hands (and which has an awesome new cover), but The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie is probably the funniest. It is a laugh out loud story of the most annoying (and yet hilarious) person ever. A stranger, but no less lovely book is her The Spell Book of Listen Taylor.

Anyhow, the characters in Secret Assignments are some of the central characters The Ghosts of Ashbury High and it was a delight to visit with them again.

Moriarty is very big into writing epistolary novels. This one is no different. It is composed of transcripts, blog entries, exam essays, assignments, etc. They are written by several characters, both teachers and students are represented. The voices are all very individual and Moriarty takes you in a very non-linear, interwoven way to the conclusion. And she manages to do this in such a way that at no time are you looking around confused wondering what is going on. It is very obviously building up to something – but the strength of her writing is such that you aren’t quite sure what is going to happen – only that you want to follow her anywhere she takes you (dang, can you tell I’m a huge fan?). There are several huge reveals – some that you are saddened by, but most leave you giggling.

If you’ve never read Moriarty’s blog you really should. She doesn’t update much, but in May she posted entries every single day, and they seriously turned into the highlight of my day. It was the first thing I read in my Google reader every morning. She is funny and has a way with words that never fails to take me in. She also shares sweet stories about her really smart young son who’s got a super duper name (…which I might be a little partial to, you know, since it is shared with my kiddo).

She is currently working on a new series which I can't wait to read.

Book Source = Library Copy


Charlotte said...

I'm looking forward to this one lots--I loved The Year of Secret Assignments in particular.

Patti said...

I don't think you'll be disappointed! I couldn't put it down.

Amy said...

Ahh! I am a ginormous fan of Jaclyn Moriarty's Ashbury books and have read all three. Ghosts of Ashbury High is sitting right next to me but I'm saving it since it's the last one in the series *sobs*. I honestly can't wait for her next series and I'm dying for more information about it asap! :) Something about the kingdom of Cello and!

Patti said...

Oh man, me too. I'm always glad when a writer takes their time and gets it right, but seriously I am dying to read her next book too.