Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages: 332 (HC)/ 352 (PB)
Number of Pages: 332 (HC)/ 352 (PB)
Blurb 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.
Wow....seriously, wow. I was blown away by The Mockingbirds. I knew I would like it, it sounded like a fantastic premise, with an extremely powerful message, but I didn't know how much I would like it. In fact, I loved this book!
Daisy Whitney has a wonderful writing style. It's straight-forward, realistic, and extremely character driven. By the end of the novel I felt like I knew Alex. Her voice in The Mockingbirds is so strong. I think it would be hard to walk away from this book without feeling like you'd just gotten to know her in the most intimate ways possible. That's not to say that everything she thinks makes sense or is clear, but throughout her moments of confusion, she is so real. She exposes everything to the reader. Maybe not her every single thought, but the important ones, the ones that pull you up short and let you get to know a character.
I also have to mention that I love when characters have a passion. Something that weaves into their narrative and becomes a defining trait. For Alex, this trait was her music, her piano-playing. Her passion for the piano wove so intricately into her life that she would actually imagine composers in times of need for their advice. Another character I've read that was similar to this was Chloe in the Darkest Powers Trilogy, she loved movies, so she'd imagine parts of her life as scenes. I love these defining characteristics! They help me get into the mindset of the character, and imagine that I could have the same passion, and I thought that Daisy did a brilliant job weaving Alex's passion into her story.
Well, I can't go this whole review without mentioning the Mockingbirds now, can I? There is so much that I can say about the Mockingbirds, but I don't want to keep us all here forever, so I'll keep it short. The Mockingbirds were inspiring, as was Alex for standing up for herself, but as a group, the Mockingbirds were amazing. In a school where perfection is expected, and any deviation from it (other than actual failing at school) is ignored, they represent something so profound. An organization where students try other students, and punish them for their wrongdoings. I loved that they helped to defend what was right and wrong, and while it seems strange that students would organize this kind of society, in Themis it seems to work. My favourite part about the Mockingbirds was their association with To Kill a Mockingbird. I remember reading it in school, and I really enjoyed it, and I thought it was fantastic that Daisy Whitney used it as inspiration for the Mockingbirds, and her little allusions to the story were fantastic! :D
Above everything else, this book was inspiring. It was hopeful, and I hope that people in Alex's situation can learn from it and realize that it's okay for them to stand up for themselves, and that being raped is not the victim's fault. The inspiration is The Mockingbirds doesn't end with the story though, it continues into Daisy's "Author's Note" where she reveals that, like Alex, she was date-raped, and that she stood up for herself and continued to talk about it and fight for other women in her situation. To me, this note was just icing on the cake, inspiration piled upon inspiration, and I love Daisy for sharing her story and Alex's with us readers. I've never been in their situation myself, but it never fails to impress me when I read stories like this, where someone has the courage to speak. It impresses me because if they could have the strength to speak, so could I, or if it ever happened to someone I knew, I'd be able to stand up for and with them. It lets you know that life goes on after terrible traumas like this, you just have to let it. I also can't wait to read the sequel, The Rivals, to see what happens next at Themis.
Add The Mockingbird's sequel, The Rivals, to Goodreads: The Rivals