By Daisy Whitney
The Mockingbirds, by Daisy Whitney, is the story of protagonist, Alex Patrick who, during her junior year at elite boarding school, Themis Academy, is date-raped. A lack of trust in the school's administration to take appropriate action causes Alex to turn to a secret, student-run society known as the Mockingbirds, for help in getting justice. Throughout the ensuing events, Alex struggles to come to terms with what happened to her, and to find the courage to stand up for herself.
So here it is, I liked this book very much. I thought that there were a lot of good things about it, and that it addresses a sensitive, but important issue that is prevalent in today's society. Alex, as a character, exhibited strength throughout the story that continually surprised me.
First off, the pros:
First off, the pros:
1. I found the main character, Alex, to be very likable and relateable.
2. It deals with the issue of date-rape. This is something that unfortunately many young woman may be able to relate to. If you look at rape statistics, it is something like 1 in 6 women have been victims of rape, or attempted rape. That means over 26.3 million women have experienced something akin to that of Alex. Because this is such a sensitive topic, I find many authors do not write stories that focus on it, or highlight it in such a blunt manner. So I am glad to find a book that handles to the topic in a positive way.
3. The book was realistic enough to be believable to a certain extent. The situation Alex finds herself in, her emotions and experiences related to the rape afterwards, are all handled very well by the author, and they are very believable reactions. Many attribute this to the fact that the author herself was date-raped in college.
4. The romance...I always love to see romances like this one in a book. It was not the main focus, but rather a side plot that played an important role in the main character's development. It was just enough but didn't consume the story.
5. The situation was not spelled out in black and white. As is the case more often than not, rape is not so cut and dry. The story reflects that through Alex's missing memories.
Now for the cons....
1. The setting did not feel genuine to me. I have no experience with boarding schools, but only a small portion of the population actually attends them. In this case, I feel the setting would have worked better if it were a college campus.
2. Not as important, and most people probably wouldn't feel the same, but as a trained musician, the main character's piano talent didn't feel real to me!
Overall, I was thoroughly engrossed by the book, and it is one that I will probably reread in the future.
Check out Daisy Whitney's website here: http://daisywhitney.blogspot.com/
(If you enjoy The Mockingbirds, there is a sequel!)