Tuesday, February 26, 2013

“In this moment I'm not defined by the other things, the things that happened to me, the things I didn't choose. This is the part of me that defines for all time, for always. The thing I choose completely.”



The Mockingbirds – Daisy Whitney

332 pages

Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Summary: Alex wakes up one morning, blurry eyed and confused, and finds herself in an unfamiliar room lying next to a boy she doesn’t know. She has no memory of what happened the night before, and as the memories start flooding back in the days that follow, she discovers, much to her horror, that she and this boy, Carter, had sex. While Alex is not quite sure how she got here, she is definitely sure that she did not want to have sex with Carter. Rumors begin to fly and Alex’s world is turned upside down. Will she ever get the justice she deserves?

Review:  I’ve read very mixed reviews of The Mockingbirds, so I went into this with a little trepidation, hoping for the best. Much to my relief, I thought this book was extremely well done, and I actually devoured the entire thing in one sitting.

The subject matter is heartrending, but it’s incredibly important that people write about it. Far too many teenagers and young adults experience date rape, and they ask the same questions of themselves that Alex asks throughout the book, wondering if they somehow brought it on themselves. Many date rapes don’t get reported for this and various other reasons, but it was wonderful that Alex had the courage to get help. As we find out in the author’s note, Daisy Whitney was actually a victim of rape, so it was incredibly interesting, yet extremely sad, to read a story written by someone who had firsthand experience with the subject matter.

Alex was a wholly believable character, and I could feel the impact of her conflicting emotions throughout the book. My heart broke for her when she figured out what happened, and all of the uncertainty surrounding said event seemed so authentic to the trauma a rape survivor would undergo.

 I loved how supportive her friends were, and while I hated the characters who sided with Carter, they, too, were authentic. Of course people would give her a hard time about her allegations, believing that they couldn’t possibly be true and trying their best to ruin her life, especially if they were friends with the accused.

Maia and Martin were probably my favorite characters in this book. Maia was so tenacious and would defend Alex at all costs, and Martin was so sweet and protective. It was nice that Alex had such wonderful people to lean on when things turned so dark in her world.

The concept of The Mockingbirds as a society was also really intriguing. I’ve always been fascinated by secret societies, but one that isn’t so secret (except from school administration) that dispenses justice was absolutely captivating. I loved finding out how they operated, and I especially loved all of the references to To Kill a Mockingbird. Well played, Ms. Whitney.

If you’re looking for a realistic read that deals with complex issues, The Mockingbirds is a can’t miss book!

Rating: 4/5

Other Book in this Series: The Rival (Book 2)

Read-alikes: Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson, Impulse – Ellen Hopkins

6 comments:

  1. The main criticism I've heard of this one is that they Alex was pursuing and accusing him before she could remember what had happened. I was really impressed though. Not sure if I care enough to read the second one, though.

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    1. I completely understand that particular criticism, but I thought this book was good, too.

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