Publisher: Little Brown
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (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 tells the story of a girl named Alex who goes to Themis Academy, a top-notch boarding school who caters to an exceptional student body. The school's administration thinks their students were above any wrongdoing. When Alex woke up one morning naked next to Carter, she was horrified that she had sex with a virtual stranger and had no memory of what occurred the night before. She was date raped and going to the teachers and the headmistress will do her no good. At first Alex just wanted to put the whole incident behind her but as her memory of that night returns, Alex realized that she couldn't just forget. Then she also had to deal with the lies Carter was spreading about her. Her roommates urged her to enlist the help of the Mockingbirds--a secret club whose members were the school's own underground police, judge and jury, committed to righting whatever wrongs of their fellow classmates.
I wasn't planning on reading The Mockingbirds once I saw the words "date raped" in the blurb but I was in a contemporary young adults kick and I thought it time I step out of my reading comfort zone so I nervously began reading what I thought will be a very depressing book. Depressing this book was not because instead of focusing on the awful incident, it instead focused more on Alex's healing process. Yes, there parts that were really hard to read like the flashbacks of the night the rape occurred (if I was watching a movie I'd have my hands over my eyes) but it's not a sad book. The author didn't sugarcoat the consequences of date rape and Alex's feelings of confusion, guilt, self-blame and fear was painfully honest and I felt for her. But ultimately Alex's story of redemption was moving, even uplifting because with the support of her friends, her sisters, the Mockingbirds and Alex helping herself, she did stand up for herself and did not let the incident define who she was. She learned that she was not to blame and that not saying no doesn't equal consent. She came out a stronger person and for fighting for what was right, Themis Academy became a safer place for female students.
I loved Alex's character; she was smart, a passionate musician, talented, had great friends and everything going for her. Through her first-person narration, you're able to get to know her and her thoughts. She was a very relatable character and if put in the same situation my thoughts, emotions and actions will probably be similar to hers. The secondary characters--her friends, the members of the Mockingbirds, the romantic interest (yes, there's even a lovely little romance in this book)--were all fantastic and the idea of the Mockingbirds society itself was very clever. I absolutely loved the way the author's voice, the way she wrote the story, its tone and how it flowed. The Mockingbirds is an unputdownable read that I quickly devoured in a couple of days (if it wasn't for my job I would've read it straight through). I am not doing it justice in my review but this book is a definite must-read for everyone. 5 out of 5 stars
Book 2 out of 18 in read in The Contemps Challenge.