Friday, November 19, 2010

Review: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Book: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Series or Stand-Alone: Series, The Mockingbirds #1
Pages: 332
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2010
Description (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.
 The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney is nothing short of phenomenal. This book has been on my radar for a while now, and I was eagerly anticipating the day when it would finally show up in my mailbox. Well, it came at last, I immediately starting reading it - putting my current read aside. I finished this book the day I began it - I could not put it own. I read it under my table during my Psychology, Children's Lit and Government classes - I read it walking to my car, walking from my car - I had to draw the line while I was actually driving. 

The Mockingbirds is a story that absolutley sucks you in. It begins with a heart-wrenching scene; the morning after Alex's first time. The morning after Alex was date raped. From that point on you follow Alex on her quest to find out exactly what happened that horrifying night and then eventually as she seeks out justice. Fearful of her parents reactions, she decides not to go to the police, but instead to enlist the help of the elusive Mockingbirds. Now, being the dense person that I am - before I read the book, I did not get the reference to the beloved Harper Lee novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. Somehow, I missed the image of the tree on the cover, the one from the cover of  Lee's book. But alas, a light-bulb finally went off while reading. You see, the Mockingbirds are named after the book - they aim to right the injustices of Themis Academy - just like the injustice Tom Robinson faces in Lee's book when he is wrongfully accused and convicted of rape. 

I honestly, cannot explain to you how much I enjoyed this book. The entire thing was beautifully written and was one heck of an emotional roller-coaster. You cannot help but identify with Alex as she tries to cope with things and tries to overcome everything. It is absolutely heartbreaking to read as she begins to hide from everyone - she stops going to the cafeteria, she takes the long route to all her classes, she hides in her room; all because she fears she will run into Carter. I would imagine that this is the same reaction I would have and I am sure many other girls would react similarly. We would all like to say that we would never hide - we would stand up and face things, but could we really? I don't know if I would be able to look at something that ugly head on. I would be frightened and unsure, just like Alex.

Alex's narrative is flawless; every thought that she has seems completely spot on with what I would imagine. She is terrified of the entire situation; at first she simply wants to forget it every happened, but as horrible details start coming back to her, she finally realizes that she has to take a stand. She is backed by her faithful group of friends, including her roommates, her music friends and the Mockingbirds. Everyone shows Alex support and it provides her with enough strength to do what is needed. 

What makes this book so wonderful is that not only is the storyline remarkable, but it is conveyed is such a mesmerizing and beautiful way. With, The Mockingbirds Whitney pulls on all the right heartstrings and creates an exquisite heroine in Alex - she is a dynamic character who has a tremendous amount of heart and courage.  I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone - it should be added to everyone's reading list!


Jenny said...

Every review I've read of this book has been extraordinary, including yours. I need to read this one as soon as possible! It just sounds beautifully done, very intense and emotional, and something that will stay with me. Loved reading your thoughts Sarah!

Julie said...

Cool! I've been waiting to read this since I first heard about it. My copy should be coming today! :) Glad you enjoyed it so much. I like how you mention all the places you read it.

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