Saturday, April 7, 2012

"The Mockingbirds" by Daisy Whitney

book cover of The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Alex cannot remember what happened to her last night.  All she knows for sure is that she woke up naked in a boy's dorm room - she can't quite remember his name - and it appears that she had sex for the first time.  But she doesn't remember any of it.  Confused and scared, she opens up to her best friend and roommate who helps her confront what happened. She was date raped.  Alex isn't sure what to do next as the administration  of their posh boarding school refused to admit that the students could do anything wrong...  and she's afraid to go to the police or her parents.  Her roommate offers one more suggestion:  The Mockingbirds.  Who are the Mockingbirds and can they really help her?

First of all, I want to commend Daisy Whitney for writing about such a sensitive topic.  Date rape is such a difficult crime to acknowledge, as most victims feel that they are to blame.  Somehow they caused it and since it is their fault, they could not bring any action against the perpetrator.  Whitney repeats several times throughout the book that the absence of a NO does not mean YES.  That is so true, and so necessary for men and women alike to remember always.

I am glad that eventually Alex felt confident enough to confide in one of her teachers.  It didn't amount to much other than helping her realize the truth of the matter, but at least one adult was consulted in all of this.  As Alex is the victim, she also undergoes the biggest change throughout the book.  She learns to stand up for herself - finally.  She has a great group of friends who help her through her ideal, and they each add their own different kind of help.  And of course the ending is set up for a sequel (The Rivals which was published earlier this year).

Overall, I'm glad there is a YA novel out there that speaks to this topic, and I think it did so realistically.  But I am not in love with this novel.  I really wish that the adults in this situation were not so removed or off-limits.  In an event as serious as date rape, I think it is sad that parents are not consulted for fear of overreaction or being taken out of this boarding school and that the police are not informed due to fear of a big scene and the possibility of a rape kit being performed.  So I hope this has been getting people talking about date rape and thankful that there are resources listed in the back of the book if anything like this has happened to you...  but other than that - I'm all set.

The Mockingbirds
by Daisy Whitney
Little, Brown 2010
332 pages
Source:  Purchased New
Links for purchase:

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mheretowrite said...

I have read another YA book which touches on such a topic, "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson. Have you read it?

Sarah Reads Too Much said...

Yes, I have read "Speak". I thought that was an excellent book.

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