Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur is a really cute book! I stole it from Patti. She won it from Goodreads - I wanted it, but didn't win. Boo. And now I'm super jealous.
I don't typically read young adult fiction, but this was really quite good. I loved it.
Elise is an orphan. Her mother died when she was born and her father got ill when she was young. She has been raised by her Aunt and Uncle on the family farm.
Franklin is Elise's best friend. They do everything together. But now they're starting middle school and everything starts to change.
Elise is being bullied by her locker mate and she feels that maybe the games she and Franklin play are too childish. Maybe Franklin might make her less popular. She is afraid of not fitting in and she is struggling with the schoolwork. In elementary school it didn't matter if you did your homework late, but now it's piling on and her grades are slipping. Elise is beginning to feel lost and discouraged.
Shortly after her 12th birthday, things begin to happen that may help her figure out who she needs to be. She finds a key hanging on a hook in the family's two-story barn. She soon realizes that the key fits into the lock of one of the eight locked rooms on the second floor. Inside is a gift from her father.
Elise begins a journey that will unlock the other seven rooms and help her to figure out where it is that she truly belongs.
As we are dealing with homework problems with Darian, this book hit home here and there. In fact, I mentioned to Darian that he needs to read it. I've gotten ahold of an electronic copy so that he can put it on his Nook. I think it will be really good for him. Elise and Darian are a lot alike - trying to fit in and trying to understand who they need to be.
I couldn't put this book down. It reads really fast and easy. It's comfortable. Perfect for anyone over the age of 8. I would honestly feel just fine reading this book again right now. Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur earns 4 out of 5 stars. I only held back from a 5 star rating because (as tends to often be my issue) I didn't like where the story ended. It feels like there is so much more there to explore. I'm really hoping that LaFleur plans to write further books about these characters. I think she has created a great base for what could be an even better series. Hint, hint Ms. LaFleur...