December 18, 2010

REVIEW! The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie.

(Hardback and paperback, respectively.)

The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie
Jaclyn Moriarty


Bindy Mackenzie is the smartest girl at Ashbury High. She memorizes class outlines to help her teachers. She records transcripts of everything said around her. She offers helpful critiques for her fellow students. And she wears crazy nail polish to show she's a free spirit.

But then Bindy's life begins to fall apart. She can't stop feeling sleepy and she fails an exam for the first time ever. And--worst of all--she just doesn't care. What could be the cause of all these strange events? Is it conspiracy? Is it madness? Is it . . . murder?

Lots of people hate Bindy Mackenzie--but who would actually want to kill her? The answer is in Bindy's transcripts. The detectives are her fellow students. But Bindy has made every one of them into an enemy . . . and time is running out.
My rating: 3 stars.


I had high hopes for this novel because I really enjoyed Moriarty’s The Year of Secret Assignments. But The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie is bizarre.

The story is told through Mindy’s viewpoint, in the form of diary-like entries; some are lists, some are ramblings. Mindy’s got a type-A personality: she’s proper, a perfectionist, hopelessly arrogant in what she thinks is a nice manner. Sometimes her personality is utterly ridiculous and comes off humorous. Other times it’s just plain annoying. I sure didn’t form any connection to her. She’s too outlandish in her nitpicking – like a cartoon character.

The other characters are so-so. Basically, they each represent a stereotype, and sometimes break free from it. The typical, Well that was unexpected of someone like them! situation.

The plot isn’t any better. For the entire novel the plot takes you in one direction, then right at the end it abruptly changes course. And it didn’t work for me. At all. Everything suddenly seemed out of place and the story tried to turn itself into a murder/mystery.

The writing itself works. It’s fitting. There’s not too much of either dialogue or description. There’s a balance. It just doesn’t save this mishmash of a story.

1 comment:

  1. I've always loved the hardcover's cover, but it never really interested me enough to read it. Thanks for the review!


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