Friday, September 6, 2013

The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie

by Jaclyn Moriarty
published: Arthur A. Levine Books
pages: 491

Bindy Mackenzie has always been the top student in her school. She is an incredibly disciplined and hard worker, some may even call her an overachiever.  She considers herself the kindest and most inspiring student in her year.  Unfortunately, she is alone in consideration.  At the beginning of the year, she is put into a group with unlikely friends who help her discover that she is in danger.  Apparently someone wants to kill her, and the clues are in her carefully documented life.  They have to figure out who wants to kill her and why before time runs out.

I was very unsure about this book to begin with, mostly because of the narrator.  Bindy Mackenzie's personality shines through her documentation of year 11 and while it is excellently executed, I found it hard to get into.  I was skeptical that someone so ordered and formal could also entertaining and inviting.  To be frank, she was kind of annoying.  Yes, it did take me a bit, but I finally started to enjoy Bindy's commentary and her portrayal of the other characters.

The voice of this book is just so ridiculous.  While the story seems very far-fetched, anything is up for grabs at Ashbury High. I had to extend my suspension-of-disbelief for this story.  It could happen but highly unlikely that it ever would happen.  I will say that is was almost entirely unpredictable, the twists and turns were welcomed and brought new life to the story.

One thing I did really enjoy was the connections back to some of Jaclyn Moriarty's other books.  I've only read one of them, but characters and situations are referenced from the other books.  Even though these were passing moments, I thought they were fun and clever.

Now that I'm getting used to Moriarty's writing style, might pick up another one of the Ashbury High stories.

Stars: 3/5


"The novel - written entirely in letters, diary entries, e-mail, etc. - is fast and funny but not frothy.  Moriarty's story is complex, original, and unpredictable enough that it's much more than a guilty-pleasure read."
     --The Horn Book Magazine, starred review

"Moriarty's characters speak in voices as playful and inventive as the novel's format.... An unisial novel with an exhilarating pace, irrepressible characters, and a screwball humor."
     --Booklist, starred review

"Moriarty's novel keeps readers guessing - and...laughing out loud - all the way to the end."
     -- USA Today

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