The Mockingbirds

November 22, 2011 Uncategorized 0

The Mockingbirds

Author: Daisy Whitney
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: Nov. 2, 2010
Pages: 332
Series: The Mockingbirds, book one
Source: Purchased

About the Book: 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.

My Thoughts: Why did I wait so long to read this one? I remember reading rave reviews when it came out and seeing people mention it on Twitter. For some reason I bought it but never actually picked it up. Thank goodness for readathons! The Mockingbirds had me totally engrossed in the story and its outcome.

The book starts out “the morning after.” Alex wakes up in a boy’s bed and has no memory of the night before. It soon becomes clear that they had sex. Alex knows that if she had been thinking clearly she never would have consented to it. So what exactly happened? Much of the book is Alex trying to piece it all together. 

One of the things I most appreciated about this book was the discussion about the crime and the perception of the crime. It is brutal and honest to the point of being ugly (as it should be. Rape is an ugly, ugly thing.) The Mockingbirds looks at the ideas of blame and guilt as they relate to date rape. Alex was drunk and made out with the boy. Did she “ask for it?” Is she to blame. To my mind the answer is clearly no. Consent requires both people to say yes and also to be in a state where they are thinking clearly. The absence of a no is not a yes. Not everyone in the book agrees with me. 

Alex is confused an hurt by the whole ordeal. To heal she needs to know that she sought justice the school will never give her. Enter The Mockingbirds. It was interesting to see how this secret society of students worked. The way they dealt with injustices at the school was intriguing. Also, the connections to To Kill a Mockingbird were fabulous!

This was a tough book to read in the best possible way. It really reminded me how important it is to stand up for yourself and to surround yourself with people who truly care about you and what is best for you. I cannot wait to start The Rivals!

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