The Mockingbirds #1
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, November 2, 2010
Hardcover, 332 pages
Borrowed from library
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.
- Description from Goodreads.com
One of my favourite things in the entire world is landing upon a good book by accident. Or at least, without the intention to. And I'm so happy I got to experience this just when my reading was in crisis mode. A string of not so good books plus some not so good books I have to plow through PLUS school made for a very dire reading situation. I desperately needed a breather and what do you know, I found it in this book.
The Mockingbirds doesn't strike me as a book I would love. It deals with a very serious topic - date rape - and though serious topics may not leave me running for the hills, they definitely make me frightened. I'm always thinking about how far the author will delve into the situation: too little and I feel it's shallow, too much and I want to block it out, I feel so uncomfortable because the words are hitting me so hard. And truthfully, it's tough to find that balance of just right in any book dealing with very serious, very important, very real issues. But The Mockingbirds brings that.
The Mockingbirds tells the story of junior Alex who gets date-raped by another student at her school, Themis Academy. And here's where Daisy adds her originality, rather cleverly I might add. Themis isn't your typical school. The administration barely bats an eye at the secret happenings of the students. Someone got killed? Just act like nothing happened. And so obviously, this type of setting is great for misbehaviour. People can do whatever they want and the teachers won't step in. Which is why it's up to the students to make sure everyone's in line. There's a secret group called the Mockingbirds made up of Themis students whose very job is to police the grounds. And when Alex gets date-raped, she turns to the Mockingbirds for help.
I loved getting to see the inner workings of the Mockingbrids. It was so fascinating and incredibly vibrant in the way that it nearly stood out from the page. The impact they have on the students in Themis is wonderful and it's represented in the way Alex begins to develop throughout the story. As she's consulting with them about her situation, we see Alex grow into such a strong figure that it's hard not to be inspired by her.
And that was the best part of this book. Being inspired to DO something when things aren't right. I truly have to extend my thanks to Daisy Whitney for writing such an important book. It's great that teens can educate themselves with books now. You know, once again, I have to be grateful I'm growing up during a time when YA books really do hold power and influence. I feel so much stronger now having just read this book.
Incredibly moving and just amazing in its entirety, The Mockingbirds is a book you won't want to miss. Highly recommended.