The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty
Series: Ashbury/Brookfield #3
Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | 2008 (first published 2006) | 494 pages
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I thought it’s just an ordinary book about Bindy Mackenzie and how her life is at school. How she’s like a genius and takes her schoolwork seriously. She even takes life a little too seriously. If you had met her, she might seem a little bit odd and perhaps a little unemotional. I guess she rarely shows her emotional side. All that come out from her mouth are hard, scientific facts so it could be like talking with a walking encyclopedia.
Bindy is a student at Ashbury High, in Year 11 which she thinks is the year that will determine her whole life. Yeah, I guess she’s kind of an extremist too. Anyway, there’s a new self-awareness course called Friendship and Development or FAD. Meetings are held every Wednesday in the storage room at the back of the gymnasium. Bindy’s FAD group consists of 8 people: she, Finnegan, Sergio, Emily, Astrid, Elizabeth, Briony, and Toby. Their teacher is Try Montaine from Ohio. Finnegan has been chosen to be Bindy’s FAD Buddy.
It all started from the Name Game where the members of the FAD group were supposed to write a comment on somebody on a piece of paper with the person’s name printed on it. Everyone knows Bindy is a high achiever, has weird social skills and is always ready to lend a helping hand although it’s sometimes rejected. So for the Name Game, Bindy thinks that the other seven students wrote unkind remarks about her. She has promised herself that they’ll pay for it.
Bindy chose animals to represent the members in her FAD group. For example, she compares Toby to a cane toad. She then lists out the unpleasant characteristics of the cane toad and indirectly refers them to Toby’s personality. She does this to all seven of them. However, when things got too far, Bindy deeply regrets her actions.
She decides to make up to them and begins to spend a lot of time watching their whereabouts. She keenly observes them and thinks of new animals to compare them with. Since this new personal project takes up a lot of time, her assignments and schoolwork are neglected. For the first time in her life, she thinks she might fail Year 11!
Furthermore, Bindy loves writing memos, e-mails, philosophical musings in her diary, entries in her dream diary, letters, and also transcripts. She listens to people’s conversations around her and types them out in her laptop. In other words, she loves to eavesdrop but not with bad intentions. She happened to witness the argument between two supposedly substitute teachers. When one slapped the other, Bindy quickly rushed to the victim and offered to testify about the assault. There’s your Bindy, always ready to offer help to the needy.
The Murder Of Bindy Mackenzie is meant to be funny but I think I only started laughing at page 387. And during the final pages of the book, it’s no laughing matter though. There are 491 pages and I can say that I enjoyed reading almost every one of them. Bindy’s fellow schoolmates were likeable enough. I thought Bindy likes Toby but she also pays a lot of attention to Finnegan. Toby seemed a little retarded in the beginning because nothing he said seemed intelligent. But later in the story, he appeared to be mature and thoughtful.
I have read reviews on Amazon that this book was really boring but I beg to differ. It is far from boring, I assure you. I like it probably because it’s a school story and I like school stories! By the way, The Kool-Aid Mom sent me this book as I was one of the winners in her book giveaway.