Title: The Mockingbirds
Author: Daisy Whitney (debut author)
Page Count: 332
Release Date: November 2, 2010
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.
I had a copy of The Mockingbirds sitting on my shelf for months. I really wanted to read it and needed to read it, but rape is a hard subject to tackle and you really have to be in the right frame of mind and mood to read something this heavy.
The opening scene is Alex waking up in the dorm room of a stranger--or more accurately, a strange boy. She's disoriented, groggy, lying in bed with a boy she doesn't know, and can't remember how she got there. Her confusion and realizations are horrifying and absolutely gripping. I was hooked by the end of the first page. It's startling because author, Daisy Whitney captures the after-effects of Alex's date rape with pinpoint accuracy and cringe-worthy details. She makes the reader slowly relive the moment over and over as Alex's memory comes back a little at a time.
Despite the burden she carries, Alex is encouraged to seek justice thru the Mockingbirds since she knows the school officials will not and going to the police is out of the question for her. They are a secret society that investigates, hears, and tries the cases that the school officials sweep under the rug. The dirty little secrets that couldn't possible happen at "their" fine institution of learning. Based on the principles from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, the society takes a fair and just approach--students seeking justice for their peers.
Whitney expertly handles her subject matter, giving Alex a strong support system. Even though Alex is learning to cope and deal with the aftermath (& flashbacks), she never comes off as weak. She finds strength in her friends, the Mockingbirds, and most importantly--her own voice. It will stay with you long after you leave the pages behind.
Keep an eye out for the follow-up title, The Rivals due out on February 6, 2012!
A gripping read! Despite its heavy subject matter, it is so compelling and well-written that you will fly thru the pages. It is VERY realistic, so I recommend it for mature readers. The author's note at the end helps give you more insight into the background behind the development of this story. Highly recommend--especially for a book club or discussion group.
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Reviewed by: ch3rrybl0ss0m