Monday, February 06, 2012

Book #4 of 2012: The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie

I finished reading The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie a little over a week ago, but I'm just now getting around to posting about it.  I'd been hearing good things about Jaclyn Moriarty for several years now, but this was the first of her books that I've read.

Bindy Mackenzie is an Australian high school student.  She is a prodigy, a genius, and an incredibly hard worker.  She is ranked first in her class in everything and frankly, she considers herself to be far superior to her classmates.  Bindy is incredibly annoying.  Yet underneath her smug, superior exterior, we find a girl who is both sad and insecure (and has good reasons to feel both).

In Year 11 of her schooling, Bindy's school starts and requires a new course called Friendship and Development (FAD for short).  Oh, the horror!  Bindy is placed in a group with seven other students, none of whom are "her type" of people.  Bindy feels that the entire FAD process is a colossal waste of her time, and she thinks that her seven groupmates are as "poisonous" as they come.

But as the year goes on, things start to get a little strange for Bindy.  She feels sick all the time.  She is exhausted, but she has terrible nightmares and can't sleep.  She starts having problems with her memory.  She loses her motivation, stops doing homework, and starts failing quizzes.... and doesn't even care.  What could possibly be wrong with her?  Only her FAD group can unlock the answers....

The entire book is written in the form of emails, memos, and journal entries, mostly written by Bindy herself (but occassional notes from her relatives and FAD group).  I struggled a little with the beginning of the book, simply because the entire thing is written in Bindy's voice and she is SO annoying.  But that really sets the scene for the changes that occur in her later in the book.  It can be a very quick read, as evidenced by the fact that once I locked myself away in my bedroom, I read over 250 pages (of 491) in one sitting.

While I think this was the weakest of the four books I've read so far this year, I'd still recommend it to anyone looking for a quick-ish read with some humor and some unique personality.

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