Series? The Mockingbirds #1
Copy obtained: for review from UK Book Tours
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.