Friday, 31 December 2010

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Author's Website
Series? The Mockingbirds #1
Copy obtained: for review from UK Book Tours
Cover: 3/5
Rating: 8/10

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.

The Mockingbirds gets off to an intense, impressive start with Alex waking up naked in bed with a boy she doesn't remember. She's stumbling around, trying to get dressed and out of there, trying to remember what happened and panicking about exactly what could have happened. The confusion of emotions Alex is going through are very vivid and it almost feels like you're going through them with her. That intense and vivid writing continues throughout the book as Alex makes her choices of what to do and how she's coping with the aftermath of the rape.

I found The Mockingbirds very hard to put down. It's a very strong book both in writing and with the characters, most of whom I found to be really well drawn. It's brutally honest as Alex starts remembering things, and the roller coaster of emotions that go with the events. Even down to the littler details, like how she took different routes to classes to avoid the boy and wouldn't enter the cafeteria for lunch. I loved the idea of the Mockingbirds and how they worked too. I liked seeing Alex adapt and grow and stand up throughout the book and her reactions felt very real. It was hard reading at times because I got so wrapped up in Alex's emotions it felt like I was right there with her.

One thing that did bother me a bit though and stop this from getting a higher rating from me, is the lack of adult involvement. I can understands why Alex was adamant not to go to the police, although I wish any girl in real life facing the same situation would go to them. And I can understand her hesitance to speak up to any of her teachers as well, but I really wished she would have. I don't think it's the kind of thing where a student shouldn't find an adult to talk to. There is one scene in particular where there are a couple of teachers talking with Alex and another student after an incident in class and I would seriously hope that that is not a real portrayal of how any teachers at any boarding school would act now!

However, it is still a very strong book. I really liked how things worked out in the end and the roles various characters played, I won't mention details for spoilers sake but it was something I found very satisfying. It's a heart wrenching, powerful read and one I'd highly recommend! It is brutally honest and not easy as it doesn't hide any of the dark facts about date rape, but those are reasons to read it, not avoid it. This is a subject that needs to be talked about more, not less, so that girls who are raped don't feel that they can't come forward, so they can stand up and take their lives back.


Jan von Harz said...

I agree that the lack of adult involvement bothered me too. It was, however a good read. Great review!

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

This sounds like a good read with a tough subject matter! Hopefully I'll get around to checking it out sometime soon! :)

Misha said...

I have been wanting to read this book for a long time now. Lack of adult involvement really bothers in some YA novels.Thanks for the review!

Clover said...

Hurrah, now that I've finally written my review of this, I can now read and comment on yours. I really, really liked this one as well, but I did have a huge issue with it. And it sort of goes along with yours - I wish that The Mockingbirds was integrated into the academy. I *hated* the fact that they've punished the boy before the trial had started and before they'd heard his side of the story. Yes, he did rape her, but I would have liked the punishing to happen after the trial and not before just in order to show strength, if you know what I mean.