Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Mockingbirds Review

The Mockingbirds - Daisy Whitney
*November 2nd, 2010 Little, Brown

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.

In The Mockingbirds, Daisy Whitney uses a very intriguing medium to draw attention to a tragic - but nonetheless very real - issue: date rape. With interesting context, literary references and kids-next-door characters, Whitney explores this issue in a thought-provoking manner.

Having just started university this year, there was a fair amount of time spent on the issue of date rape during Frosh Week - there was a play on it (the performer was amazing! She chose to write & perform said play due to her own experience with date rape) and information session. Unfortunately, this is an issue that is altogether too real these days. It's mentioned in the back of The Mockingbirds that Whitney herself experienced it during her frosh year of college.

As such, it's great to see [Whitney] getting the message out there and raising awareness about this. This is one of those issues that doesn't always have a clear right/wrong side to it, so it's admirable that Whitney chose to have Alex, the main character, involved in a slightly more ambiguous situation.

The Mockingbirds also draws reference to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and several Shakespearean works. It's always great to see YA books paying homage to other literary pieces. And I must say, the concept of the Mockingbirds (the group) is certainly a very intriguing and well laid out one!

Alex's journey through The Mockingbirds - and that of those who become involved in it - is definitely one that starts out very unfortunately, but towards the end, there's a note of hope, a concept of "light at the end of the tunnel", if you will. As such, The Mockingbirds is a very important book, dealing with an important issue.

Daisy Whitney's The Mockingbirds was ranked 7th on Lucid Conspiracy's Top 10 YA Reads of 2010 list lately. Definitely one worth checking out!

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