Monday, November 8, 2010

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Title: The Mockingbirds 
Author: Daisy Whiteny
Publisher: Little Brown
Hardcover, 332 pages
Date Published: November 2, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads):
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.

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. 

Daisy Whitney’s debut book, The Mockingbirds, tackles the issue of date rape at a prestigious prep school, but she does it in a way that is less about rape tearing a person apart, and more about reclaiming who you are after it.

Alex is date raped and, after much consideration, she turns to the Mockingbirds, the schools underground vigilante justice system, for help. The group deals with the things the school administration chooses not to acknowledge exist. They have a system of checks and balances that insure the utmost fairness for both parties involved and act as court system in the school.

Alex’s journey from victim to survivor is emotional, honest, and insightful. Daisy Whitney makes this story personal, she was date raped herself, and she wants the reader to feel that personal connection to Alex. Every time Alex questioned what she was doing and what happened to her, I felt for her. She became someone who I not only connected with, but who I cared for. Her pain was my pain.

The characters surrounding Alex lend to the story in such strong ways. Her roommates T.S. and Maia are there from the beginning, helping Alex and just being there for her. Her friend Martin, a member of The Mockingbirds, becomes this source of humor and happiness. His quirky science-geek knowledge lightens the story and had me both me and Alex smiling.

Whitney flawlessly weaves together this honest and raw story with beautiful prose, touches of humor, and more than a few gut-wrenching scenes. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more, but in the end, I felt good. I felt changed and not many books can do that to a person. I’m not going to lie, The Mockingbirds may be a little difficult to read for some people, but once the book is closed, it will have been more than worth it.

I’ve never been faced with a situation like Alex’s. I’ve never felt that sort of powerlessness, but after reading The Mockingbirds, I still felt stronger. Like, maybe, if something like that were to happen to me or someone I knew that things would get better eventually. That life will come back to you eventually and every single day won’t be a reliving of the event. You will get back to being you, a different you, a changed you, but you all the same.

Opening line: Three things I know this second: I have morning breath, I’m naked, and I’m waking up next to a boy I don’t know. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines (There are a million and one lines I could pull out and say were my favorite because this book was that good, but here are a couple.):

But it already is bigger than everything else. It already is the defining moment of my junior year. It lives in front of me, behind me, next to me, inside me every single day. My schedule is dictated by it, my habits by it, my music by it. This – the Mockingbirds – is how I deflate it. ~ pg. 159

And this one:

Justice doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t erase what happened. It doesn’t make you who you were before. I’m becoming someone else – someone else I’m figuring out how to be. ~ pg. 317
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it. 
Find Daisy Whitney online:

Buy it online:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders | The Book Depository

The book trailer actually uses one of my favorite passages in the voiceover


~The Book Pixie said...

What I love about the idea of this book is how it is more hopeful and less tragic. Most books involving teen rape, the girl's fellow peers turn there back on her, blame her, etc. In The Mockingbirds, the students are actually helping and this is one reason I'm dying to read this book! I'm so glad you liked it and I can't wait to read it for myself. :D


Melissa said...

Great review, Nikki! I read this one recently, too, and I thought it was an extremely poignant story. While I found some of the characters tedious, for the most part, this story excelled for sure :)

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I'm so, SO excited to read this one! I've heard so many good things about it, and it sounds like a truly great story. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Briana & Natalie - You have to read this one. I promise you that you won't regret it. The story is so much more empowering than other stories involving rape and that's part of why I loved it so much.

Melissa - I understand what you mean about the characters. Sometimes when I read a story so quickly, I push aside anything and everything that I didn't like and cling to the best parts of a book. Still, I really did enjoy the story and most of the characters.

Bere said...

Brilliant review, Nikki. You've really made me want to read this one. I had seen this book around but I had no idea what it was about. I have just add it to my wishlist. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention, Nikki! Can't wait to pick it up. =)

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