Friday, November 12, 2010

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Themis Academy has the best and brightest. You see the ivy-covered walls, the graduates going on to prestigious colleges, students performing at the top of the game, both academically and athletically. It’s the perfect, picturesque campus….but it’s only the surface of what really happens.

Alex, a junior a Themis, is gifted with musical talent. She does everything a model student is expected to do, but one night changes her life. When she wakes up in Carter’s room, all she wants to do is disappear and hide, but it doesn’t happen. Now, everywhere she turns, he’s there telling everyone what happened, and the shame she feels for that one mistake is now becoming the new fodder on campus. The stares, the whispers, and the lies…

Alex doesn’t realize that there is help on campus, even if the teachers and administrators only want to see the fa├žade they’ve created. Now, walking on campus, going to the caf, even trying to study in the library is extreme torture for Alex. She does everything to avoid Carter, but he keeps showing up. With the help of her roommates, Maia, and TS, Alex is introduced to the Mockingbirds, a group on campus dedicated to underground justice.

In bits and pieces, her nightmare comes back to her and the reality of the situation is serious – date rape. It’s after the Mockingbirds decide to “take the case” that Alex begins to feel that there is justice, especially after hearing and seeing other cases of bullying and student abuse that go on at Themis Academy. But she also knows that her situation is a he said/she said situation, and will it be that easily remedied?

Drawing on personal experience, author Daisy Whitney takes the reader inside the walls, hearts, and justice of the students in this novel. The complexity of the Mockingbirds itself creates a system that has a complex structure for both the accuser and accused. Alex’s character runs deep, from the personal shame, to fear and humiliation, to a sense fresh beginnings. Whitney writes an excellent novel on the psychological and emotional response of and from a victim who has nowhere to turn but inwardly and a group who saves her from it. This is an excellent novel and one that will resonate with readers, especially after a year where bullying has made headline news. Highly recommended

1 comment:

KF said...

I agree - I loved this book, especially the reality checks built into it.