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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney [Review]

Release Date: November 2, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Source: ARC Tour
Rating: 5 Keys

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

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 is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.


It has been months since I had the opportunity to read The Mockingbirds and I still think about it constantly. I can't express my love for this book enough or how important I feel it is for everyone to read it.

Alex's character is honest and well developed in every way, she doesn't hold anything from us and the first person narrative just adds to the emotion within the pages. We feel what Alex feels and her story is powerful. We witness the changes that the rape does to not only how she feels about herself, but how it impacts her day to day life and essentially everything within it. It all revolves around IT. Everything, from where she goes, how she gets to class, even whether she eats lunch or not. It all revolves around what happened.

Themis Academy was a great setting for such a story because I myself went to a school which liked to ignore things that happened within the student body, they were there to teach us and that was where it ended. It wasn't because they believed we were perfect, but because they essentially didn't want to know. Whatever happened among us, we could work it out, so I completely took the idea of The Mockingbirds and saw the genius within such an idea. I imagine a lot of schools take that approach to dealing with their students and I wish The Mockingbirds had been there for us.

The topic of consent is what drives this novel and it's an important one that everyone needs to understand. Alex's story of rape is not one that is traditionally told. When most think of rape they think of being dragged off of the street or other such events, but with Alex that is not the case. Her story is about consent. That night she was in absolutely no condition to consent, and her lack of memory of what happened proves that. Only a yes is ever a yes

With all of the serious topics in this novel there are its light moments, particularly those involving Martin. I adored her with Martin because her interacting with him seemed normal and with all of the darkness circulating her recent life she needed some touch of normalcy. Alex had a group of friends who truly never turned their backs on her.

I really believe this book will be taught in schools one day because its subject matter is so important for teenagers to know.

Everyone should be required to read this book.


Katie said...

This sounds truly amazing. I looked over this one so I'm so glad you posted this review. I'm definitely going to read Mockingbirds! Thanks Christina :)

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

Great review. I think we need more books like this :)

Lori said...

I really really can't wait to read this!! It downloaded to my Kindle yesterday so I think I will read it next. I already know I'm going to love it!

Jen said...

I've heard a lot about The Mockingbirds on twitter, but this is the first review I've've convinced me, I will def be reading it!

T.B. said...

I can't wait to read this one. It seems intense, yet very real. Great review!

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