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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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.


MAY


STACEY LEE Launch Party
Books Inc. in Palo Alto
Thursday, May 26 @ 7pm


JUNE

BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL
June 4&5 in downtown Berkeley
Julie Buxbaum
Gail Carriger
Veronica Rossi
Daniel Handler
Stephanie Keuhn
Stacey Lee
Caroline Paul
Wendy MacNaughton
Lauren Myracle
Alyson Noel
Yvonne Prinz
Jason Reynolds
Evelyn Skye
Wendy Spinale
V.E. Schwab
Nicola Yoon

NINA LaCour and DAVID LEVITHAN
Books Inc. in SF OPERA PLAZA
Tuesday, June 7 @ 7pm

BRODI ASHTON, CYNTHIA HAND, and JODI MEADOWS (My Lady Jane)
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, June 8 @ 7pm

JENNIFER LYNN BARNES, TIFFANY SCHMIDT and TARA ALTEBRANDO
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, June 9 @ 7pm RSVP Here

STACEY LEE with JANDY NELSON

Barnes and Noble in El Cerrito
Friday, June 10 @ 7pm

WENDY SPINALE

Linden Tree Books in Los Altos
Friday, June 10 @ 6pm

LILY ANDERSON a B-FEST Event

Barnes and Noble in Emeryville
Friday, June 10 @ 7pm

AASHNA AVACHAT
Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Saturday, June 11 @ 12 NOON

LILY ANDERSON
Barnes and Noble in Roseville
Saturday, June 11 @ 12 NOON

JENNIVER NIVEN a B-FEST Event

Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Saturday, June 11 @ 2pm

WENDY SPINALE a B-FEST Event

Barnes and Noble in El Cerrito
Saturday, June 11 @ 4pm

B-FEST Book Festival Panel(s) with
Hannah Jayne, Gayle Parness, Jane George and Wendy Spinale

Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Sunday, June 12 @ 12 Noon and 2:00pm

ANN JACOBUS
Barnes and Nobel in Corte Madera
Sunday, June 12 @ 2pm

WENDY SPINALE
Book Passage in Corte Madera
Friday, June 17 @ 6pm

STACEY LEE
Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
Thursday, June 30 @ 7:30pm

JULY

SONYA MUKHERJEE
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, July 28 @ 7pm

AUGUST


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

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