Review: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney + Giveaway

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney + GiveawayThe Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Series: The Mockingbirds #1
Published by Hachette Digital, Inc. on 2010-11-02
Genres: Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Sexual Abuse, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 300
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

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 premise of The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney is that Alex is a student at posh Themis Academy. At Themis, students do not face repercussions for engaging in bad deeds. Instead, by virtue of being a student at Themis, the students are simply trusted to be honorable. However, the reality is that not everyone is honorable, thus the students start a secret group called The Mockingbirds, who act as a cross between Atticus Finch and Boo Radley to police the student body. When Alex is date raped, she turns to the Mockingbirds, as there is nothing the teachers can do for her, or so it seems.

For me, the Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney was a one-sitting book. The plot was fascinating, as we unearth the details of what happened to Alex little by little. I liked that we weren’t given everything upfront. I thought the issue of rape was portrayed with sensitivity. I liked that there was a distinct lack of victim blaming. No one said to Alex, that because she had imbibed it was her fault. To be quite honest, I think a bit of sensitivity is needed in writing about rape. Like, I think the author should never ever engage in victim blaming. Nor should rape ever be glorified — i.e. she was raped, but enjoyed it and is in love with her rapist?! Uh, what? Well, I guess that doesn’t exactly happen in the books I read. So good call, YA authors.

The writing style is unburdened by purple prose. Daisy Whitney gets her point across quite well, and in a way which I think will appeal to reluctant readers. Don’t get me twisted, I love purplely prose, however, sometimes I think when a book is unencumbered, you get to the heart of the story faster.

Finally, the characters. I think Alex made some stupid choices, like not going to the police and not getting a rape kit PLUS taking a shower right after. However, she’s a teenager, she doesn’t know those things. Plus, I found her love of classical music and piano playing to be quite endearing. Sorry, but I like a good musical person. I did like her roommates, the actual Mockingbirds, and her love interest. I mean, they weren’t douche-y or anything, and the support system they presented was excellent.

I think The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney is a worthy read, especially to people who may have been sexually assaulted, after all 1 in every 4 adolescent girls and 1 in every 7 adolescent boys will be raped. Therefore, these reads which actually talk about sexual assault are SO important, especially when they affirm it is not the victim’s fault.

Finally, I will say, as someone qualified to make this last statement (I’m a certified rape crisis counselor and currently serve as an educator for a domestic violence agency), if you are sexually assaulted PLEASE get help. Get a rape kit done. Call your local domestic violence agency, there are people there who will help you for free, and act as an advocate for you. Someone from the agency can accompany you to the hospital. You don’t have to deal with it alone. If you are raped and plan on doing a rape kit, don’t shower. Don’t pee. If you need to change put your clothes in a non-plastic bag. Insurance typically covers the rape kit. If you don’t have insurance, there’s a crimes victims board which will pay for it. Also, should you decide not to get the kit done or press charges or report the rape, you can get free counseling through your local domestic violence agency. People are there to help you.

Finally, thanks to Daisy Whitney and Little, Brown I have 5 copies of the Mockingbirds to give away, to US addresses only. To enter, just leave a comment. Ends 11/14.

Thanks to Novel Noise for graciously letting me be a host during this tour. You can check out the other tour stops here.

Finally, there’s this awesome promotion for the Mockingbirds on youtube called The Mockingbirds Diaries, and I have the first episode below for you to watch:

Disclosure: Book received for review at BEA.

Other Reviews of The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney:

The Page Flipper

The Book Cellar

Amy Reads

four-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. Awesome giveaway! I am super excited about this book! Cannot wait to read it! Thanks! apereiraorama @ gmail.com

  2. (don’t enter me in the contest)

    I loved the book too, but I still felt so unsatisfied that he wasn’t punished enough. I wish the police HAD been involved. I mean, he should have been…chopped into pieces or castrated or something way more severe than what happened to him.

    It was still fascinating though, I really appreciated the writing style and the portrayal of the characters also.

  3. I would love to recieve a copy of Mockingbirds! =D I have been trying to get a copy, but I just don’t see to have any money lol Thank you so much for this giveaway! =)

  4. I think this book looks so interesting. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! Thanks for having a giveaway 🙂

  5. Melissa V. says:

    Thanks for the great giveaway. I really want to read this.

    coffeebooksandlaundry(at)gmail.com

  6. Oh wow!
    You make me wish I lived in the US! lol

  7. Great honest review! I thought this was an incredibly poignant read, but the prose got to me at times. It wasn’t my favourite read of all time, but I think it’s definitely something all people should read 🙂

  8. I haven’t read the Mockingbirds yet so that means that you can enter me in this giveaway…
    Other than that, this was a great review. I’ve read other reviews about this book but yours was the first to mention about all these things (rape kit, calling the police). So I’d like to thank you for including these things because I never knew there were rape kits, ever actually. /very clueless person at times

  9. I’ve read several reviews of this book and they all make it sound like a very worthwhile read. Thanks for the contest.

  10. I want to read this one bad! Great review, and I love that you give real advice at the end that people can use. Hopefully, no one will have to, but it’s nice to have it offered. Great job April!

  11. I would like to read this book, I have heard so much about it.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

  12. Ariel Wilson says:

    Wow, 5 copies? Great! I’ve read nothing but good reviews about this book and am anxious to try it!

    pinkdaddysgirl[at]msn[dot]com

  13. Erica Onuoha says:

    Great review! I think every girl should read a book like this. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Great review! I have really been wanting to read this book. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

    mimosastimulus[at]gmail[dot]com

  15. Great review! I loved this book too, obviously 🙂 Thank you so much for linking to my review. GREAT that you added the extra information for victims.

  16. Great review! I’ve been considering reading this! Thanks for the giveaway!
    rivkarno1(at)hotmail(dot)com

  17. Briana @ Bree's Books says:

    Love the review! 🙂

    And I can’t wait to read this book, I’ve heard great things about it.

  18. Sounds like a good book. Please enter me (:

  19. I definitely must read this book. I intern in a domestic violence agency, and while we don’t outright assist rape victims, many of our clients have experienced sexual violence of some sort. This book sounds like a worth read for a very ugly societal problem. Thanks for the review and the giveaway!

  20. Thank you for the giveaway. I would like to read this book.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

  21. Thanks for the chance to win! I liked your review and can’t wait to read this book now.
    melodiousrevelry (at) gmail (dot) com

  22. Great review! I have to say that I can’t blame Alex for not knowing what to do after her rape. I read Lucky by Alice Sebold where she talks about her rape and what she went through when it happened, and I don’t think I’d be as knowledgable about rape if not for that book.

  23. I’ve heard so many good things about this book. Great review and advice. Sometimes people need to be reminded that there are others out there who will help you.

    bookworm@lovemarie.net

  24. I’d like to win this book.

  25. I think this book and I have good chances of becoming BFFs. Even before reading it, I’m SO glad it exists.

  26. Jacinda (jacmom) says:

    I can’t wait to read this book! It sounds so good!

  27. Carol Wong says:

    Glad there is no purple prose that would make it difficult to read.
    Great review.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

  28. the book sounds incredible. Can’t wait to read it. I agree that sensitivity is so important when speaking about rape. And I am so grateful for books like these that (hopefully) will educate many people. Thanks for the giveaway and recommendation!

    hmatkins@gmail.com

  29. Phenomenal review!

    I have to admit that I’ve never read a book that has delt with rape. Most have read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, but I have not. I heard about this book earlier in the year and it sounded pretty good. Being a teen, I think I should be reading more novels written about this stuff. And reading your review just added to how much I want to read this novel.

    You know how you just read the summary of a book and then think “That’s something I have to read” ? Yeah, that’s how I feel about this book right now. Thank you for giving away this book!

  30. I’ve been dying to get my hands on this one!! It has one of the most interesting premises I’ve seen in the past few months.

    brokeandbookish (at) gmail (dot) com

  31. Wahoo! Great review! I’m excited about this giveaway – I too read Speak, and that definitely threw me off, but I think this is a serious topic that needs to be discussed.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Happy Reading,
    BrandiHeather

  32. Great review! I would love to read this!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!

    thebookwormsorg@gmail.com

  33. This book sounds so powerful! I would love to win. 🙂

  34. I’ve read so many great reviews for this book and the video is awesome, I totes want to read this one!

    smartin_90 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  35. Theresa M says:

    Grrrr….You Tube videos will never play on my computer. It drives me crazy!

    Anyway, thanks for the giveaway!

    theresa9854@gmail.com

  36. jessica b says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

    jecca.0104@gmail.com

  37. Thanks for doing this giveaway, April. And thanks for giving out this information and for your great review. It’s always a pleasure to read them. 🙂

  38. Oh yeah, email: tahleen.ovian@gmail.com

  39. This book looks amazing! Its been on my wishlist for a long time and I have been hearing so many great things about it, which only makes a book that much more intriguing. Awesome giveaway!

    Erin D.
    erin(.)dubrock(@)comcast(.)net

  40. I can’t wait to read this!!
    sarahesullivan at gmail dot com
    @SarahReads2Much
    http://sarahreadstoomuch.blogspot.com

  41. I would love to read this book

  42. I cannot wait to read this book. It looks absolutely amazing!!

  43. Thanks for this contest! I’ve heard lots of praise for this book and I can’t wait to read it!

  44. Thanks for the review! I’ve really been looking forward to this book and can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway! 😀

    ~Briana

  45. I’ve heard that this book was awesome. Thanks for the giveaway!

  46. I heard so much about this book. I would love to read it. Thanks for the chance to win.

  47. Thanks for the givaway!
    horselovercutie@yahoo.com

  48. Just requested it from my library, thanks for the review. Sounds like an interesting book that would encourage dialogue with young women around the subject of rape and date rape.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brandi Heather, April C. April C said: Curious about The Mockingbirds by @DaisyWhitney ? Check out my review AND enter to win 1 of 5 copies! http://wp.me/p15oks-ay […]

  2. […] to start?Here’s some books with themes of sexual assault:Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson* The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney* Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager* You Against Me by Jenny Downham as recommended by […]

  3. […] Books by Daisy Whitney: The Mockingbirds […]

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