Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bookanista Review: The Mockingbirds, by Daisy Whitney


It's been an INSANE week thanks to the Epic Giveaway of Epic Epicness at WriteOnCon--and I have to take a minute to thank you all for your amazing support and donations. Thanks to you guys we're about halfway to our fundraising goal--which is unbelievable, especially considering that's all from only two days. THANK YOU! Really, you have no idea how grateful we are. And if you haven't had a chance to enter all the contests and giveaways, you can find the complete list here.

BUT--that's not what we're here to talk about. It's Thursday, so of course we Bookanistas are out in force, gushing and raving about amazing books we've read. And today I have an especially awesome one by an incredibly fabulous author: THE MOCKINGBIRDS, by Daisy Whitney.

Ooo--look at the pretty cover...

Here's how the publisher describes it:

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.

Now--I'll admit--while I was intensely curious about this book because of all the buzz, I was also more than a little apprehensive.  Not just because of the subject matter, but also because so often books that deal with issues turn into 300+ page soapbox lectures about THE ISSUES and you start to feel like, wait--is this a Lifetime special of the week? So I was relieved and amazed when THE MOCKINGBIRDS was nothing like that.

Yes, it deals with the subject of date rape in an honest, heartbreaking way. And it shows girls the importance of standing up for themselves and fighting for what's right. But it's so much more than that. 

Alex is a real, complex character who is struggling to find a way to still be herself after being date raped. She doesn't want to let that one horrible incident define her life or rob her of all the things that mattered. And through her friends, her music, and The Mockingbirds, she's able to not only take a stand against her assaulter, but she's able to take back her life. 

Will she ever be the same girl she was before it happened? Of course not. But she finds a way to play her songs again. To love again. To feel safe again. And to me, that was the best part of the message within THE MOCKINGBIRDS. It's not just about standing up and fighting back. It's about going on. Dealing with the daily realities and finding a way to feel whole again. 

The book is page-turning and elegant and real and I loved every single word. And I applaud Daisy Whitney for having the talent and courage to write it. I'm sure it can't have been easy, considering her own personal experiences with date rape. But she poured her heart into the story and created something truly amazing that I highly recommend to all of you reading this. 

THE MOCKINGBIRDS will be released on November 2nd, and I strongly suggest you pick up a copy. You won't regret it.

For more awesome book recommendations, check out what the rest of the Bookanistas are up to today:

  • Christine Fonseca is celebrating THE DUFF

  • Elana Johnson is raving about FIRELIGHT

  • Carolina Valdez Miller is gushing about THE UNIDENTIFIED

  • Lisa and Laura Roecker are praising NIGHTSHADE CITY

  • Scott Tracey is ravenous about HUNGER


    1. Sounds like an amazing book. Thanks for the review.

    2. Yet another great book to add to my list. Thanks for the amazing review!

    3. Wow! This sounds great. And an important book for girls to read so they're aware that sadly, date rape is something they have to be on the look out for.

    4. YES! This has been on my list! THX for the review!

    5. Sounds amazing. Added to (my eternal) TBR.

    6. Huh. That's a different kind of premise for a story. Sounds interesting. Thanks Shannon!

    7. Another book just got added to my list. I love the idea of secret society helping out kids in a school. Very cool.

    8. Beautiful review, Shannon. *applause* I loved this book, and I'm so glad you loved it, too!

    9. Wonderful review, Shannon! I was thinking along the same lines you were, so I wasn't sure if I'd want to read this one. But you've convinced me!

    10. Can't wait to read this one, and you know I mostly stick to speculative YA! Thanks for the review!

    11. Great review! I'd heard some of the buzz, but now I'm tempted to check this one out.

    12. Fabulous review! I can't wait to check out this one. *pushes it up on the TBR list*

    13. Sounds like a great one! I've been wanting to read this one for a while ;o) Thanks for the great review!

    14. Great review! I also loved this book and have been trying to figure out how to put those feelings into words. You said what I was thinking and then some!

    15. Haha, yay for it not being a Lifetime special! I'm putting it on my TBR list now--thanks for the review!

    16. Woo hoo! I can't tell you how much I love your site... so many great reviews!

    17. Ooooh...I like the sound of this one. Good lord my TBR list is growing like crazy. Hopefully I'll have knocked out some of my reading by November.

      Great review!

    18. It sounds like a powerhouse of a novel! Heavy subject for YA but relevant.

      Shannon you sure are busy here today!!! I want to win 'em all! Oh wait, what? I can't just say that? I have to enter below? Shucks. ;)

      And the Bookanista's are right, books are the new black!

    19. The subject matter made me leery too - but after reading this I think I'll add it to my wishlist :)

    20. I love when serious subjects are discussed in YA. It's so refreshing.


    Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.