Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Book Review: Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur.

Product details:
Publisher: Puffin.
Hardcover, 272 pages.
Release date: August 11th 2011.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: 9+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them. There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor.

When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn...

A charming coming of age tale that highlights the importance of family and friendship, Suzanne La Fleur’s Eight Keys is a gorgeous book that will find fans amongst readers young and old alike.

Eleven year old Elise has had a great summer, playing Knights in the woods with her best friend Franklin, and eating her aunt Bessie’s home made ice-cream. Now, though, sixth grade looms ahead, and with the beginning of the new school year, Elise’s life is about to change, and it’s not for the better. On day one at her new school, Elise makes a formidable enemy in the shape of Amanda, a popular girl who takes pleasure in making Elise’s life hell. Worse still, Amanda despises Franklin, mocking him and his “childish” games. Elise, so desperate for the bullying to stop pushes Franklin away, but this only makes her feel worse. Her school life is unbearable and she can’t concentrate on her homework. She can’t even make it to school some days, and her grades are starting to slide. She’s feeling lost and alone when a mysterious key shows up on her twelfth birthday, followed by another, and then another. Could these keys hold the secret to Elise’s past and maybe help her figure out her future too?

For me, Eight Keys was a wonderfully touching read, and an important one too. My heart went out to Elise as she tried to deal with Amanda’s bullying on her own. She feels as though her teachers don’t care, and that if she tells her aunt and uncle then maybe things will get worse. LaFleur tackles the issue of bullying well and offers advice for Elise and for anyone who may be going through the same thing. Girls will relate to Elise as she struggles with growing up and having more responsibility than before. The transition from childhood is not an easy one, and Elise, orphaned at a young age, is finding it especially difficult to figure her way through her problems, but with her letters from her dad who died years before, and her mysterious keys that lead to locked rooms in her uncle’s barn, she is hopeful of finding some answers.

A story of a girl unlocking her past and finding her future, Eight Keys is a heartwarming and moving tale from the pen of Suzanne LaFleur and is well worth checking out.


  1. his is a new title for me and because it focuses on middle school and bullying, I am really quite interested in reading this. Also love the idea of unlocking her past. Thanks for the review, I am adding this to my must read list!

  2. I adored this book, it was so cute! I loved the whole idea of the eight keys and the locked rooms :) Great review!

  3. First of all, that cover is gorgeous, I absolutely love it:) Second, I'm glad this book deals with bullying since it's become such a major issue in the past couple years. I hadn't heard of it before, so I'm glad you posted your review today Leanna!

  4. Loved books that touch on real issues! Nice review!

  5. Not sure if I have heard of this book before, but it sounds good. I def. going to add it to the wishlist. I haven't read lots about bullying.

  6. I nearly bought this the other day in Waterstones. I have heard such good things about this author. I have Love, Aubrey on my shelf just waiting to be read.

  7. Seen many great reviews of this and it sounds like such a good read, especially with the issues it deals with. Great review!

    The Cait Files

  8. I've heard so many good things about this one, and now after your review, I think I have to read it! Glad you enjoyed it :).

  9. Thank you for the great review, I hadn't seen this one yet, but I'm going to add it to my to read list!

  10. This sounds like a really good book. I'll add it to my tbr list. New follower stopping through.

    Tia @ Falling For Books

  11. This definitely sounds like a heartwarming story. I will have to add this to my reading list. Awesome review :)

  12. Wow, never heard of this story before. From the cover it almost feels like the book would have a spooky feel. Interesting to note that it's more coming-of-age. I'm adding this one to my list!

  13. @Julie - I totally got spooky from the cover too! It's not though!

  14. it was such an amazing book one of my favorites

  15. I think a lot of younger and older readers will relate to this book and see it from different angles, which is really clever. I still need to read Love, Aubrey though. Hoping it's just as good!

    ★ Under The Mountain's Review ★


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