Sunday, May 02, 2010

REVIEW: Being Bindy by Alyssa Brugman

Being Bindy by Alyssa Brugman
Pages: 198
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: 5th May 2005

From Amazon
Bindy, aged 15, has known her best friend Janie since they were babies and they've been inseparable ever since. But now the unthinkable has happened - Janie's attaching herself to a different crowd at school and she's acting as if she doesn't want to know Bindy any more. The new crowd is loud, bitchy, interested in boys and clothes, rebellious, daring. All the things Bindy isn't. Added to which, things aren't great at home. Bindy's mother who left the family years ago is now trying to forge a closer relationship with her children. Bindy's brother doesn't want to know - which leaves Bindy stuck in the middle. And Bindy's dad has started dating Janie's mum. This is a book about being yourself, even if other people think you should be someone different. It's also about how to renegotiate the relationships around you when circumstances change. 

15 year-old Belinda Grubb (also know as Bindy) has been life-long friends with Jane Madden (aka Janey). But then it all starts to go off the rails when Janey changes. And Bindy doesn't like those changes. Janie has started to become interested in clothes, boys, while Bindy continues to be her usual immature self, watching cartoons all day. Bindy would prefer it for things to stay as they were, but unfortunately we don't always get what we want.

Bindy doesn't know what to do when she has to face the 'initiation' to prove that she is cool enough to hang around with Janey and her new 'popular' friends. Everything in Bindy's life is changing rapidly, into a blur, her mother seeming act protective around her new boyfriend, and trying to bribe Bindy off with new things; her school life becoming hopelessly unbearable; and the ultimate humiliation, as well as the fact that Janey and Hannah are constantly talking in abbreviations such as SVC - So Very Chic - without telling her anything, and then Bindy's dad is suddenly developing a fondness for Janey's mother.

Will the two girls be able to forget their silliness and become friends again with nothing (this time) standing in their way, or will their own stupid decisions get the better of them?

The basic structure for this was quite interesting but at times I thought it was a bit boring when there was a bit too much detail in one scene. 
I would recommend this book to younger teenagers especially and definite fans of Judy Blume will really enjoy this! Also, I liked Brugman's sense of humour; it showed that she wasn't afraid of her characters' embarrassments and it was hilarious, but also very true to life and interesting.



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