The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie
by Jaclyn Moriarty
I loved the first two books in this series, but for some reason I've been really reluctant to read this one. I don't know if it was because I didn't like the character much (based on the small glimpse we got of her in the second book) or if it was the plot that just didn't sound appealing to me...but yeah, I didn't want to read it.Summary: Bindy Mackenzie believes herself to be the smartest, kindest girl at Ashbury High. Unfortunately, she is alone in that belief.
To prove her likeability, Bindy decides to document her life in transcripts, essays, and e-mails. What this reveals is a girl who's funny, passionate, hilariously self-righteous...and in danger.
Someone wants to kill Bindy Mackenzie. The clues are in the documents. The detectives are the very students who hate her most. And time is running out.
I only read it now because I want to read the next book--they're more companion novels than an actual series, I think maybe they could be read as standalones but I still thought it would be best to read them all in chronological order.
And I'm really glad I decided that, because I enjoyed it way more than I thought I was going to. I didn't think I was going to like it, but it totally proved me wrong.
Bindy is one of the least likeable characters I've read in a long time...she's so infuriating. She's snooty and pretentious and judges everyone like they're less than her. And yet, by the end of the book, I kind of did actually like her. She grows as a character without becoming completely different, and she grows on the reader too and it's so subtle that you don't realise it until you're near the end and realise that you actually do give a damn what happens to her.
It's quite impressive that Jaclyn Moriarty can write a character who starts out so horrible but still manages to make you like her. Also, some characters from the first two books were in this one and she reminded me all over again why I adored them.
The plot was a bit more ridiculous than the previous two books, but it wasn't bad. It kept me guessing and I'd be convinced I had figured out what was going to happen only to be thoroughly proven wrong. The story did feel kind of long, but by the end it all felt necessary and stuff I thought could've been cut actually turned out to be important.
Jaclyn Moriarty is a really great author. Stories like this...when you read the summary or even read a few chapters, you'd think it would be one of those books that are just cute/fun without much depth to them, but she manages to make them more than that. So much more. I'd pretty much read anything she writes at this point.
And that's enough rambling. I'd rate the book 4 stars out of 5 (maybe 3.5? I'm not sure...I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two, so it's being measured against them, but it's really good in its own right).