Eight Keys: A Book Review


Eight Keys

Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

Summary: Elise and Franklin have long been best friends. They’ve spent their summers with each other, played “Knights” too many times to count, and, now, are starting middle school together. However, the first few weeks of  middle school are a bit more rocky than Elise expected. When playing Knights with Franklin the other day, Elise scraped her legs, leaving dozens of scabs down her calves. The classic mean girl, Amanda, picks on Elise for her cuts and for hanging out with a “baby.” Elise never thought that Franklin was babyish, but could he actually be embarrassing her? Amanda stops at nothing to make her locker buddy’s life miserable. She crushes Elise’s lunch every. single. day, and gossips about Elise behind her back. Elise doesn’t know what to do. She wants to be friends with Franklin still, but she doesn’t want to be a loser. And, with all of her social problems, Elise found a key from her father in her uncle’s barn. Her dad died when she was young, but he left her eight keys to open eight very special doors. As she unlocks each one, Elise learns one of the keys to life. Will her dad’s secret project help her deal with Amanda?

My Thoughts: I was giddy {literally jumping up and down as quietly as I could in a library!} when I realized that Suzanne Lafleur wrote another book! She blew me away with her debut novel, Love Aubrey, so I could not wait to begin Eight Keys. The plot of the book was a mystery to me. The inside cover wasn’t that helpful, so I went into reading it with a very little idea of what was going on. The story began with Elise and Franklin playing Knights. AH! They are so cute together. If the characters grew any older {sequel?} I would love to see them go out together. Side note aside, the first chapter set the story up with Elise and Franklin’s connection, and their youth. As the story continued, that playfulness was gone, and I always wished that the two could go back to how things were before school started. Elise was a very realistic middle schooler, and what she dealt with was pretty common. I thought she could get a bit whiny, and I was surprised at her lack of homework and organization skills. But I am kind of a neat freak :) She really developed throughout the story, and I think, in part, that had to do with her dad. Franklin was a tad too childish as a middle schooler, for me, but he was SUCH a good friend, I think I could overlook that quirk. I mean, he let himself take the blame and get suspended? Honestly, I’m surprised that Elise wasn’t that guilty. One character I haven’t mentioned is Caroline, who is a HUGE sweetie. Favorite character in the entire book! :) I was so happy for her when she left Amanda and became friends with Elise. Speaking of Amanda, we were given that huge plot bomb when Elise speed on her. {Amanda has an older brother and jerky friends who are probably not the best role models.} Elise’s uncle and aunt were a bit “flat” as characters, but lovely all the same. You could definitely see the love they had for Elise. The doors thing left me wanting more. It was an awesome concept, but I thought it could have used more development. Some reviewers felt that Elise acted like a fourth grader because she wanted to be a good “homework bringer,” or because she and Uncle Hugh came up with three goals for her to try to accomplish, but honestly, the switch between elementary and middle school can be pretty stressful. I wasn’t surprised when her grades slipped because she just wasn’t expecting the amount of work! Anyhoo, lovely read, and I look forward to LaFleur’s next book.

Pros: Fairly developed characters, good concept, well-written plot with a terrific theme.

Cons: Some development holes, i.e. the eight keys and the minor characters.

Heads Up: Bullying.

Overall: I give it 4 stars {****} and I recommend it for ages 9 and up.

Bella :)


32 thoughts on “Eight Keys: A Book Review

    • Hi Rebecca!
      Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it kind of sounds like this is for a school project? I don’t feel comfortable giving you that, and to be quite honest, I have’t read it in a while, so I wouldn’t be much help. Best of luck! :)


  1. hey im doing this book for my book report… its due tomorrow. forgot to work on it. if you wouldnt mind, can you tell me the ending of the book? i forgot what happene. i read it last year in grade 5 and now im grade 6 and i forget what happened… btw your page is so creative and unique!


    • Just as a general statement to any commenters, while I adore reading and discussing books, I really do not like, nor have the time, to assist with homework or projects. I’m not particularly comfortable doing that, especially when it is about a book I haven’t read in a while! I do wish you the best of luck with your assignment, though, and hopefully, you’ll learn how to manage your project better the next time. Thank you so much! :)



    • Hi Matti!
      Since it has been so long since I have last read this, I am afraid that my summary would be no help. And, as I have said above, I don’t provide homework help. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)


  2. This is not for homework or a book project (I can see you were getting annoyed having to repeat yourself), but I was just wondering what you think the overall mood/tone is?


    • Hi Ermaline! Thanks for commenting! I actually haven’t read this book in years, so I don’t think I can speak on the mood or tone! Have you read it recently? I hope to revisit it soon :)



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