Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Release Date: November 2, 2010 
Publisher: Little, Brown
Source: Publisher for Review
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 Patrick is date-raped during her junior year, she has two options: Stay silent and hope someone helps, or enlist the aid of the Mockingbirds-a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of the student body.

In this account of a teenage girl's search for her voice and the courage to use it, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that standing up for someone, especially yourself, is worth the fight.
When I first heard about The Mockingbirds in 2010, I didn't want to read it. The book itself sounded like a worthwhile read but at the same time, I didn't want to have to read about the subject matter: date rape. While different from other books I’ve read about this topic (Easy and What Happens Next come to mind), The Mockingbirds has to be one of the strongest books I’ve read in a while.

Admittedly, the idea of a secret society that deals with issues in school when the administration doesn’t do a thing was rather interesting and somewhat far-fetched. I know it has irked many people that something like this existed in The Mockingbirds but after a while, I realized that I was happy it was there. Too often, I see students get away with cheating or bullying and no one does a thing. While the idea of the society was a little hard to believe at first, I quickly realized that had they not existed, Alex would not have told anyone about her situation. In a time where women need to speak up about these things, I was happy Daisy Whitney gave Alex a way for her to move on.

Alex is a character I found myself drawn to. Her personality was so much like mine that I saw so much of me in her. I quickly became protective of Alex because she could have easily been one of my good friends. Daisy Whitney’s characterization was phenomenal and rather surprising. I some how found myself extremely invested in Alex’s well being. I cried reading this book. I didn’t like that Alex blamed herself for what happens. After all, she didn’t say no. She drank; she went to the guy’s room so the rape had to be her fault in part, right? I realized that this is very common. Any time Alex thoughts these things, I wanted to go in and tell her “NO, Alex. The rape was NOT your fault. A no is NOT a yes. Saying nothing is NOT a yes.” Thankfully, Alex had a strong will. While the events still stayed in her mind, she learned that she could move on. She could live her life without hating herself.

I can’t write this review without mentioning the supporting characters in this book. From Alex’s friends to the Mockingbirds to the perpetrator, they all came together to make this book the amazing product it truly is. Alex’s roommates and her sister believe that what happened to Alex did happen and that she didn’t ask for it. They were there to help her get through the school year and face all of her demons. The perpetrator and other people at the school disgusted me and saddened me. The reality hit: many of the men who rape women don’t think they did anything wrong. I will admit: I liked the way the perpetrator was depicted. In many cases, the person doing the wrongdoing can end up being pushed on the back burner and forgotten but Daisy Whitney showed how real and horrible people like this guy can be. I felt him to be disgustingly realistic and I’m glad Daisy Whitney didn’t think her readers needed to be protected from the truth.

Overall, The Mockingbirds is an excellent book by Daisy Whitney and I can’t wait to see what more she has in store for us. The Mockingbirds will make you sad and furious. It’s heart wrenching and heartwarming and harrowing all at the same time. You’ll love some characters and hate others and I’ll hope that you’ll love this book as much as I did. It deals with a topic that is very prevalent to our society and something we need more awareness of.
Cover Comments: 
First Thoughts: Oh no. No. No. I actually liked the other over better! 
Comments: I really wish they had gone with the other cover, the more simple one. This is just weird looking and I don't like it. It doesn't look original at all. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: