REVIEW: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books (November 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316090530
ISBN-13: 978-0316090537
Source: Purchased
Rating: YYY

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.

REVIEW (a tad spoilerish)

Debut author, Daisy Whitney has written a story that is very close to her heart. The subject of rape is never an easy subject to broach and she gives us a story that tells us to stand up for the injustice, to let your voice be heard.

The Mockingbird's opens up with one of the most frightening situations around; waking up next to someone and having no knowledge of what happened the night before then knowing that something has gone horribly wrong. Alex Patrick is that girl, waking up next to Carter, a boy she barely knows, and as she presses her mind bits and pieces come forth and she realizes that they had sex. Still confused she leaves his room and goes back to her dorm and after confiding in her friend she realizes that she had unconsensual sex...rape.

Knowing that justice needs to be served Alex's friend leads her to THE MOCKINGBIRDS, a not-so-secret-society that quietly governs the student body when crimes are committed. Alex is not convinced at first that she should engage The Mockingbirds for any assistance, she just wants everything to go away. Then more bits and pieces of that night fall into place and she is soon witness to the rumours that Carter has begun. Scared and traumatized, Alex begins to alter her day to day life avoiding Carter and all things that remind her of that horrible night, even her beloved music serves as a painful reminder and it isn't until she takes control and decides to fight does the tide turn and put her in control.

What I liked about this story is how well Daisy described the emotional turmoil that Alex was going through. The emotional and physical support she recieved was good to witness and the budding romance with Martin, a Mockingbird, provided the contrasting difference between being in control of whom your with and the date-rape.

What I had issue with is the vigilante justice of The Mockingbirds. Although their presence and actions became a source of power for Alex in this story I think that certain actions were of the same bullying nature that they themselves advocated against. When I stopped to think about it, I could not condone it. I believe that Alex should have gone to the authorities, because the sentence that Carter recieved would never have been enough. I was also a bit put off by Alex not going to the doctor and verifying if she had sex or not for never was the mention of pain or blood being present afterwards.

That being said THE MOCKINGBIRDS is a good read, dealing with a subject matter that is difficult with a voice that should be heard.

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

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I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

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Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is always best to verify any event prior to attendance.

2016
JANUARY

Hello, fellow readers! Look at the upcoming events in our marvelous SF Bay Area for next year. There are some events that are coming out that I cannot post about yet, but believe me when I tell you they are made of awesome.

FEBRUARY

PARKER PEEVYHOUSE

Hicklebee's Bookstore in San Jose
Friday, February 12 @ 7pm

LINDA JOY SINGLETON and DANNA SMITH

Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills
Saturday, February 13 @12

MEG CABOT
Copperfield's in Santa Rosa
Saturday, February 13 @ 7pm

RUTA SEPETYS Book Event and Pizza Party
Great Good Place for Books in Montclair
Thursday, February 18 @ 6pm

PARKER PEEVYHOUSE, STACEY LEE, L.B. SCHULMAN, CHRISTY LENZI, TRACI CHEE, RAHUL KANAKIA, AND MORE
Milpitas Public Library in Milpitas
Saturday, February 20 @ 3pm

CAMMIE McGOVERN

Copperfield's in Petaluma
Friday, February 26 @ 4pm

KIM CULBERTSON
Hicklebee's in San Jose
Friday, February 26 @ 7pm

APOLLYCON

Hilton DeSoto in Savannah
February 27 2016

MICHELLE MODESTO
Barnes & Noble in Redding
Saturday, February 27 @ 3pm

VICTORIA (V.E.) SCHWAB with Margaret Stohl and
Stephanie Kuehn
Boderlands in San Francisco
Saturday, February 27 @ 3pm

MARCH

CONSTANCE COOPER
NYMBC Books Inc. Berkeley
Wednesday, March 2 @ 7pm

MATT DE LA PENA

Hicklebee's in San Jose
Friday, March 4 @

VERONICA ROSSI
Rakestraw Books in Danville
Friday, March 11 @ 7pm

LAUREN BIRD HOROWITZ

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Sunday, March 6 @ 2pm

K.C. HELD
The Avid Reader in Davis
Sunday, March 6 @ 2pm

VERONICA ROSSI in conversation with MICHAEL GRANT
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, March 16 @ 7pm

VERONICA ROSSI, CARAGH O'BRIEN and STEPHANIE KEUHN
Books Inc. Opera Plaza in San Francisco
Friday, March 18 @7pm

ALLY CONDIE

Rakestraw Books in Danville
Thursday, March 30 @ 7pm

PENGUIN TEEN ON TOUR with SABAA TAHIR, RACHEL HAWKINS, APRIL GENEVIEVE TUCHOLKE, ALYWN HAMILTON, ALISON GOODMAN and KAREN BAO
Hicklebee's in San Jose
Thursday, March 30 @ 7pm

APRIL

ALLY CONDIE
A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair
Friday, April 1 @ 7pm

PENGUIN TEEN ON TOUR with SABAA TAHIR, RACHEL HAWKINS, APRIL GENEVIEVE TUCHOLKE, ALYWN HAMILTON, ALISON GOODMAN and KAREN BAO
Books Inc. in SF
Friday, April 1 @ 7pm

EMERY LORD in conversation with EVELYN SKYE

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Friday, April 8 @ 7pm

CECILIA AHERN in conversation with CARAGH O'BRIEN
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Monday, April 11 @ 7pm

JUNE

BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL

...and lots more events are coming. I am so excited but cannot share them yet :) Stay Tuned!!

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