Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Book:  The Mockingbirds
Author:  Daisy Whitney
Published:  November 2, 2010 from Little, Brown BFYR
My edition/number of pages:  ARC/332

Age group:  Young adult
Source:  Friend
Series?:  No.

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 is an astounding debut novel from Daisy Whitney.  I was blown away by her amazing writing and her gut-wrenching subject matter.  Just plain wow.

Alex Patrick is not a slut.  That’s why when she wakes up naked in a strange guys bed she knows something is wrong.  It turns out she’s right to be worried.  She can’t remember anything about the night before but she knows she had sex with the strange guy.  When she finally admits that she was date raped she doesn’t go to the police.  No, she goes to the Mockingbirds.  The Mockingbirds take on Alex’s case but maybe things are so black and white after all.

Word of Warning:  The Mockingbirds is definitely not for younger teens.  It has some graphic descriptions and language.

Alex reminds me of myself.  That is the first thing that I thought about after finishing the book.  She is driven and smart but she is also shy and terrified.  Now admittedly our reasons aren’t the same but I loved the connection I felt to her.  I loved how brave she was but how scared she was at the same time.  She was a real three-dimensional character.  Her feelings were real, her actions were real, and her spunk was real.  What else could you want in a main character?

The subject matter that Daisy Whitney chose is a very real problem but one that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention.  I know this is the first time I have read about it.  The way Daisy Whitney approached it though made it readable.  I felt like I learned more about it but it was snuck in subtly, not told outright.  It was brutally honest but beautifully written.

Overall, The Mockingbirds is one of my top debut novels of the year.  I think Daisy Whitney deserves a lot of recognition for writing about such a strong topic and tackling it head on.  I know I will be passing this one along to my friends.

First 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. 

Writing:  5

Characters:  5

Plot:  5

Ending:  5

Originality:  5

Overall:  25=A++

Cover:  5=A++

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