Monday, January 31, 2011

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Title: The Mockingbirds
Author: Daisy Whitney
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis way. So when Alex Patrick is date-raped during her junior year, she has two options: Stay silent and hope someone helps, or enlist the aid of the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of the student body.

In this account of a teenage girl’s search for her voice and the courage to use it, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that standing up for someone, especially yourself, is worth the fight.

I first heard about The Mockingbirds in two ways: first through The Contemps, and second through everything that happened with Speak Loudly last September. Personally I’m all for reading a book that will get people talking, especially when it deals with a subject that isn’t talked about as openly as it could be. The Mockingbirds was a great read and dealt with the subject of date rape in a way that makes it so people shouldn’t be afraid of it and as something that happens a lot more than we would like to think.

It’s the start of a new semester and Alex barely remembers what happened on the first Friday night back. She wakes up in a bed that isn’t her own, in a room she doesn’t recognize and everything around her seems to be indicating that she had sex, but she has no recollection of it. Now she doesn’t know what she should do. Did she say yes? Was it date rape? Who knows, Alex just can’t remember anything. With the help of her friends and her older sister, Alex goes to The Mockingbirds, a group of students who rights the wrongs the school’s administration just chooses to ignore. With their help maybe Alex will be able to find out what really happened that night and even possibly overcome it.

I really liked Alex from the start. You always here stories about rape victims being afraid to come forward or even admit what happened to them but Alex came straight out and said it. Sure there were plenty of times where she doubted that it was rape, having flashbacks to that night and remembering only disconnected moments. What made Alex feel more real to me was that she went through a whole range of emotions following what happened to her. Just the fact that she doubted herself, wondered if she was doing the right thing, but despite everything she still made it through and came to terms with what happened. Her friends were also pretty great and had me laughing. The book dealt with a pretty dark subject matter but those moments of laughter were really welcome.

Carter on the other hand was a real jerk. Whenever he showed up I just wanted to chuck my book at the wall. I don’t think there is any way I could have ever liked him. As much as I tried I just couldn’t find he quality that would have sort of made him better. And when the “trial” finally took place, I just hated him that much more. Martin on the other hand I loved. He was your typical cute nerdy guy and I’ll admit I can easily fall for those guys. He was so good to Alex with everything that happened and because of that you just can’t help but like him. Sure there were some moments when I wasn’t too sure what was going on with him but the rest of the time totally made up for that.

Daisy Whitney wrote an amazing story about a subject that a lot of people are afraid to deal with. The way in which Alex’s story is told tells girls that date rape is something that happens a lot more than we would like to think and that it’s not your fault despite what some people like to say. The book is also written a way that makes it impossible to put down. I would always tell myself that I would stop after that chapter but then read on to the next one, and the next and so on.

Overall, The Mockingbirds is an amazing novel and I would never have been able to guess that it was a debut. Daisy Whitney is a wonderful writer and I can’t wait to read the sequel when it comes out.

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  1. Thank you for the review, Emilie! I like how you give us an honest review, and while I haven't read many books about the sensitive topic of rape, I think this one would be very interesting. And from what you say, the reader will get a taste of Alex's fear and confusion. This is one I'm definitely looking out for.
    Thanks for the amazing review, Emilie!

  2. Great review! I just couldn't get into this book. I kept waiting for the action to was a little slow. But I'm glad you liked it!

  3. Good review :)
    I've been wanting to read this book for a while.

  4. It's amazing that there are so few date rape books out there. Speak is the only other one I can think of. How would you say this differs? From your review, it seems like it focuses more on the plot whereas Speak was as much a psychological analysis as a story. While I loved Speak, it's nice to have a good story as well.

    I fall for the cute nerdy guys too...I married one :-)

  5. I had no idea there's going to be a sequel, but now that I do, I look forward to it. I really enjoyed The Mockingbirds, and I enjoyed reading your review of it. It's great to have books like Speak and The Mockingbirds, which tell similar stories but in extremely different ways. I wish people were willing to write more books like these, and not just about rape. There are so many different issues out there, but I don't necessarily see a lot of books written about those issues.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this (and for putting in your review that there's a sequel, because now I'm excited to have more goodness from Daisy Whitney to read)!


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