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Review: Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

Sunday, February 2, 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
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 a great story about self-discovery. There were so many things about this novel that reminded me of primary school, so the author did a really good job of portraying that period in time of a child's life when it felt like doing homework, being cool and liked and fitting in were a big deal.

I didn't like Elise much. She was easy to relate to but not very likeable. I felt Franklin was underdeveloped because it was hard to imagine that he was unaware of what people thought of him or how he didn't care or have any of the insecurities Elise felt.

The supporting characters of Elise's aunt and uncle and her father's best friend were a great bunch. I loved how they were always there to provide support and guidance. It was heartwarming to read the scenes where Elise spends time with them.

I expected a huge mystery surrounding the 'eight keys' but the actual way in which Elise comes in possession of the keys and opens the doors was more realistic. Turns out I liked how the story didn't focus so much on the keys and doors but on Elise's growth as a person.