Thursday, 4 August 2011

Review: Eight Keys - Suzanne LaFleur

Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur, published by Puffin on 11th August 2011

Goodreads synopsis:
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...

‘Eight Keys’ is the first book I’ve read by Suzanne LaFleur but it certainly won’t be the last!  I’d heard fantastic things about LaFleur’s debut novel ‘Love, Aubrey’ so I was really excited to read her second book which sounded wonderfully intriguing.

Aimed at a slightly younger teen audience, ‘Eight Keys’ absolutely captured my heart.  It was a quick read but it’s one that stayed with me long after reading the final page.  Some bits had me absolutely sobbing and I found the story incredibly moving and touching.

Eleven year old Elise lives with her Aunt and Uncle.  Her parents both died when she was young but she’s grown up with no shortage of loving people around her.  She’s known her best friend Franklin forever and indeed he seems to spend more time at her house than his own.  When she starts at a new school she thinks everything will continue the way it always has but she has a lot of lessons to learn as she turns twelve and discovers a secret mystery about her family’s past.

The beauty of this book is that the story is quite simplistic but this allows the focus to be placed solely on the characters and the themes which are interwoven throughout.  I absolutely loved the friendship between Elise and Franklin and the way that it comes full circle by the end of the story.  They’ve shared so many landmark moments as they’ve grown up together and that’s depicted as a being a gift in itself.  Not many people have someone like that in their lives and this is something to be treasured.    

The book also touches upon life lessons and the process of growing-up, which can sometimes be difficult and painful, but which always shapes us into the people we are today.  I liked the device of the eight keys and the mystery surrounding them and I was as excited as Elise to find out what they were going to lead to.

‘Eight Keys’ was an emotional and hugely enjoyable read.  What came across for me from the story is that the things to be treasured most in life are the family and friends we have around us.  I will definitely be recommending this book to people I know and will be eagerly looking out for anything else by Suzanne LaFleur in the future.       

1 comment:

  1. You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give to fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with the Best Books Blog Award for all the hard work you do!

    Go to and pick up your award.


Thank you for leaving me a comment. I love reading them!

Related Posts with Thumbnails