Monday, July 29, 2013

* YOU PICK WHAT I READ REVIEW* The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Release Date – November 2, 2010
Publisher Website - Little Brown/Hachette Canada
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  332 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**borrowed from fellow blogger**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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 is a story of choices. Choices we each make, and how we are all responsible for our own actions. It's also a hopeful, empowering message of finding yourself after being victimized.

Daisy Whitney's careful way of exploring this topic shows how close this topic is to her. Daisy's own experience gives Alex's character a realistic and truthful voice. It adds a layer that makes Alex's journey resonate a little deeper.

Alex possesses and inner strength that helps her deal with the aftermath. She stands up for herself, and instead of letting what happened to her define her, she finds a way to get back to being someone she recognizes. The event changes her, but she finds a way to make it part of her, and not the most important part. For those who have been through something like this, reading that your life can continue on and that you can work through it, is a pretty powerful message for them to take away from this.

Rape is one of those subjects that easily gets a reaction, especially date rape. Daisy Whitney makes this issue pretty black and white with her character's stance of 'anything other than a yes is a no'. Alex is incapacitated and is unable to give consent. It enrages me that often girls who are drunk are deemed to be having 'second thoughts' and are 'using it as an excuse for something they wish they didn't do'. This novel clearly shows that Alex was not capable of putting up the proper resistance, because she simply was not in control. The shades of grey that society seems to think exist in this issue are tossed aside for a clear message that this is, in fact, date rape.

Martin, Alex's friend, and someone she leans on for support was a refreshing change of pace from the usual YA 'bad boy'. He was sweet, caring, and just all around a good guy. His protectiveness came across as gentlemanly. The entire group of friends that Alex has around her are pretty fantastic. They're loyal, and understanding. It helped her feel not alone in what she was going through and made her braver. It shows that good support system goes a long way in situations like this.

The Mockingbirds themselves are a fantastic group. Do I think they could function effectively outside of a story? I am unsure. Not in the format that they exist within this story. The tactics that they use in order to make sure the defendant will show up are fairly benign, but I am not sure if missed points and cake would actually enlist compliance.

The other issue I had was that rape, and another case we learn about, are serious issues. Issues that should involve real courts, and police. I get that Alex did not want this, but it seemed strange to have a group of teenagers judging someone for an actual crime.

A well written, thought provoking debut that handles a difficult subject with care and compassion. Alex shows that it takes strength and courage to stand up for yourself, but that gaining back your sense of security is the best thing a victim can do for themselves.

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