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The Mockingbirds

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Amazing.

    This is definitely not a boarding school I'd ever recomend to anyone. Alex has been date raped by another student and goes to the Mockingbirds, a group Alex's sister had started her senior year due to a girl committing suicide because of bullying. The guy who raped her denies it, spreads rumors that she was begging for it, and treats Alex as if she's easy. Alex begins to avoid the risk of seeing him as she takes the long way to classes, avoids the caf, and spends a majority of her time playing piano in the music hall while waiting for the Mockingbirds to try her case. As time goes on throughout the book, she begins to remember more about the night she was raped, being too drunk and passed out for most of the event. At the trial held in a laundry room, the Mockingbird council must decide if Carter date raped Alex.
    This book mentions To Kill a Mockingbird many times, and it fits in so well. I'd recomend this to almost anyone. This has been one of the best books I've read. And if you enjoy this one, read The Rivals, also. It continues on from this book to where Alex is the leader. It's very good.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Law & Order: teen sex crime adjudicated by secret high school society!

    The students at Themis Academy, a boarding school for exceptional high school aged kids, are above average; and Alex fits the profile. Gifted musically above any of her fellow juniors, she is expected to go far and hopes for eventual acceptance at Julliard in New York. So when she wakes up the morning after attending a concert to find herself in bed with a stranger with which she had obviously had sex, she doesn't know what to think, to feel, or even whom to blame. Yes, she had indulged in alcohol, something unusual for her; yes, she had danced and flirted with a boy she'd never met and had eventually gone with him to his room. But things are fuzzy after that, and not only can she not remember losing her virginity, she can't recall whether she'd said yes...or no. So begins Daisy Whitney's excellent precautionary tale of a good girl to whom a bad thing happens with extraordinary ease. Alex's life changes in one evening. And since the faculty at Themis Academy wear blinders and can't see any of their gifted students behaving in a less than civil manner, who can a girl go to for help? Fortunately, Alex's big sister had been instrumental in forming just the sort of group that can help win justice for Themis students. It takes a walk of shame the morning after, stares and whispers and growing rumors about what really happened that night along with the support of her roommates to convince Alex that what happened to her was a crime and not her fault. The Mockingbirds is a not-so-secret society that hears claims, investigates and judges cases brought between students at the academy. And because peer pressure and reputation is everything to young people, when they administer a sentence, it is swiftly carried out. Whitney does a great, non-preachy job of stirring Alex through her returning memories of that fateful night and revealing the self-doubt of many a date-rape victim. It's also a great lesson in discovering that although one is young, a person can still fight for justice for oneself and others. There's also a budding romance between Alex and her nerd-extraordinaire friend, Martin, that shows that rape doesn't stamp out the possibility of love. This sensitive yet sensible teen novel should be on the reading list of every parent, teacher, counsellor, and principal as well as that of both teen girls and boys. Especially instructive to girls is the warning about drinking too much in the company of people you barely know and to boys, the never over-emphasized warning that no means NO!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2010

    Powerful and Moving!

    I'm hoping I can get more put into this review than AH!! I Loved it!! Fan girl SQUEE!!
    Maybe now that I got that out of my system I can write something coherent ;)

    The Mockingbirds begins with Alex waking up in a room that is not hers, in a bed that's not hers, completely naked, and beside a guy she doesn't remember going home with. As she rushes to gather her clothes and get out of the room he wakes up and informs her that they had sex, twice. As Alex does the walk of shame back to her dorm, wearing the same clothes she wore the night before, she wonders how someone could loose their virginity and not remember it.

    This is such a powerful book. We are taken through the journey along with Alex as she struggles with what's happened to her. As she avoids the cafeteria so that she doesn't have to see him, or hear him telling his friends how she was easy. She walks the long way to classes to avoid running into him. We're with her as she struggles with whether she should tell anyone, whether she should stand up for herself. And we are with her when she finds her voice and finally stands up for herself, and other girls like her, and decides to *SPEAK LOUDLY*.

    This book was very emotional, but it's written so well that you feel like you're living her struggle along with her. I was laughing and crying and screaming in outrage while reading this. This book helps me realize that we all need to speak up when bad things happen, whether for ourselves or for someone else, and help cause a change to be made. We can all do something! This book is wonderful for teens and adults alike, and I hope everyone rushes out to buy a copy ASAP!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Mockingbirds

    I checked this book out and finished it in one day. At first I thought it was a little gross (im 13!) But it became very absorbing and I was sucked in to its whirlwind of drama. Its a real page turner/ tapper!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    great book!!!!!!

    This is a fantastic book. It is amazingly realistic and has realistic problems. You will feel as if you are living this characters life as you go through her whole journey.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Beautiful and haunting!

    This book takes a shockingly unfortunate circumstance and deals out justice most people never receive. Thoughtful, poignant, and heart-breakingly honest. If you liked the Lovely Bones, you will love this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    Wow

    Wow i couldent stop reading my eyes were like glued to the page!!!!!
    (: ROCK ON!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    has problems in its message

    I'm of two minds on this book, that deals with a date rape on a boarding school campus. At first I thought the writing was brilliant: the pain and emotion the main character, Alex, felt due to the rape was real and raw. However the continuation of the story and the student body's vigilante court trial was unrealistic and bothered me on some levels. In the author's note at the end, she writes about having gone through a date rape so she knows what she is talking about in this. She also writes that her date rape case, which happened at Brown University, was one of the first the campus took seriously and prosecuted within its judicial system. I think she was trying to recreate a similar atmosphere of students refusing to be quiet about an important issue that the school wasn't taking seriously enough. However, in the fictional case, the school is so incompetent and turns a blind eye that the students must devise their own system for trying such cases, without any involvement from teachers, administration or parents. In fact, capable adults are pretty much entirely absent. I know many teenagers don't feel that any adult could ever help them with their problems, but the situation in this book is unbelievable. There is only one sympathetic teacher to whom the main character eventually turns pretty much after the students have tried the case.

    My parental evaluation: this book has some similarities with Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, but that book is in my opinion, far superior, though I think Alex's reaction to what happened was far more realistic. Alex blames herself, feels guilty, but doesn't cut herself off from everybody. However, the description of the rape in Mockingbirds is more graphic. There is some crude language. One implied lesson to be taught from both books is that getting drunk is really not smart and can lead to situations between men and women where no or yes are easily confused. The book also seems to say that adults are incompetent imbeciles who can't help a teen in trouble.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Amazing

    This book has a little bit for everyone. At first I hesitated to buy it, but i am very glad that I decided to get it. One of.the most addictive books I have ever read!

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  • Posted March 19, 2012

    I am not sure how I can write a review that truly captures how p

    I am not sure how I can write a review that truly captures how powerful this book was. The Mockingbirds is about standing up for yourself and being willing to fight for it.

    Now thankfully I have never been date-raped but I think if I were I would react the same way Alex did in the beginning. She didn’t want to tell anyone because she thought they would look down on her, and that she would forever be seen as “that girl who was date-raped.”

    Another reason Alex doesn’t want to tell is because she doesn’t remember it so she is not positive whether she gave consent or not. This is a huge deal, thousands of girls every year use that reason as the reason they don’t report/tell someone. Whitney paints the picture of a lost and confused girl absolutely perfectly. Unfortunately that is because it happened to her. After you read The Mockingbirds make sure to read the author note. It really solidified for me the feelings I had about the book.

    The secondary characters in The Mockingbirds were really strong and I wish we had gotten to know them better, but I did like how we got to learn more about Anna as the book progressed.

    I highly recommend this book to everyone. I think it is important to have books that bring up these issues and empower girls through them.

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  • Posted February 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderfully Moving

    The Mockingbirds starts out with Alex waking up from a bad night of drinking and she's naked, in a guys bed, and she does not remember anything, other than she wants to get away. So begins a powerful book on date rape and the struggle to take back your life. The boarding school turns a blind eye to the whole thing which is sad. They are so concerned with how the school looks on the outside, but inside its just a mess. Thats why there are the Mockingbirds, a student run police force that helps keep order. I like Alex a lot. She is someone you feel good about rooting for. You want to stand up there with her and help her get justice. But this book also deals with how Alex feels about herself and how she tries to give her feelings a chance with another guy.
    The good thing is she recovers, she makes a stand and wins, but you see snippets of other girls at her school who come to her, telling her that she's not the only one, that there are others out there. That knowledge gives Alex power because she's not only taking a stand in her case, she's helping others do the exact same.
    Its not something for younger readers, but for someone in high school, it should be required reading. Just so girls can see that its not okay what happened and that there is help out there.

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Page-turner!

    This book was great and made me want to read more; the imagery was awesome!

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo

    Gold Star Award Winner! What happens if one night you imbibe too much alcohol - and when you pass out someone rapes you? This is what happens to Alex. She is attending a private school and studies music. One January morning, she awakens to find herself in a bed and a room where she has never been before. She is naked and there is a strange guy in the bed with her. She sees opened condom packages and then realizes what has happened, though she cannot remember the details. She can't even remember the guy's name. Alex quickly gets dressed and goes back to her room on campus. From there she tells her roommates and one of them insists that she speak with her older sister. They want her to go to the police, but Alex doesn't see that as an option. She doesn't remember what happened and she knows that she was out of her mind drunk the night before. She doesn't want her parents involved because she doesn't want to go home, and I don't think there is a lot of trust between them. Her sister, who is an alum of her school, tells her to go to a secret organization of students which she coincidentally started years ago. This organization, called The Mockingbirds, handles justice at the school. Alex makes her complaint to The Mockingbirds and the rest of the story is how she stays strong and is able to get some justice against this boy. I really loved this story. It was well-written and the characters were likable. It kept me interested. I do believe that Alex should have gone to the police, or at least to an adult on campus, but the reality of it is that many girls don't ever report this type of crime to anyone. They suffer through and never stand up. That is the important lesson here. If something like this happens to you, you need to stand up and fight for justice. Since the author actually was date raped in college and stood up at a time when date rape was not a believable crime, I believe this mirrors some of what she went through and faced. I really believe that THE MOCKINGBIRDS is a very important book that teens should have to read and discuss.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

    highly recommend for every teen girl..

    Daisy Whitney handled the sensitive subject of date rape in a brilliant way.It is a must read for every teenage girl. It is written in a way that every girl will "get" the message Ms. Whitney wants them to understand.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2010

    A Must Read To All Teens !

    This is a really good book for teens to read ! I Read it and it taught me some valuable life lessons about speaking up and fighting for what you know is right ! I have read this book 2 times in a row and its amazing ! Buy this book for a teen you love and they will instanly fall in love with it !

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  • Posted November 10, 2010

    Great reading for everyone!

    I purchased this book to screen it for my daughter and ended up being captivated from the first sentence. Beautiful writing, important story, timely topic, great message, empowering---. Great book for girls to read - and parents too. Also great for boys to read and understand that if it's not "YES" - then it's "NO." I look forward to more books by this talented author!

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    The Best Young Adult Book Published This Year! A Must Read!

    Wow. I am speechless. Daisy Whitney is a debut author who will make a fantastic name for herself with this book. The Mockingbirds is something to watch, this book is making my Top 10 2010 books. Throughout reading, I've noticed that books that discuss the topic of rape either take it too lightly (Fade by Lisa McMann) or are so intense that I couldn't read it in one sitting (Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott). The Mockingbirds is the perfect balance between the two. The topic is taken seriously but you want to keep reading. It took me about two days to read, and all the while I was emailing back and forth with Daisy telling her how much I loved it. I was fortunate enough to be the first teen to read the book. Right away, I knew it was something special. I can practically recite the beginning of chapter 2 because I love it so much. The wording that Daisy used illustrated what the main character was going through really well. Looking back at the email I wrote Daisy immediately after I finished reading The Mockingbirds, I would like to share with you some of what I wrote to her. "Let me start off by saying it is the first book where I have actually read it when my teachers aren't looking. All through the school day I was sitting there staring at it in my backpack wanting to read it." This is completely true, when I wasn't reading The Mockingbirds, I was thinking about reading The Mockingbirds. I would wake up in the morning looking like death because I had been up all night reading it. The characters in this book were strongly written and had gumption. There were a few characters that made me want to drop into the book and slap them (hard, in the face). There was also some very interesting people that I couldn't have been more excited to read about. The Mockingbirds is a book you won't want to miss. The emotions that the main character has are ones that you know are true. I couldn't help but sympathize with her. Daisy Whitney wrote an original, truthful, engaging novel that readers are sure to love. This will easily be one of my favorites, if not the favorite book of mine that I've read this year. I can't give this book an amount of praise that will do it justice. I think that everyone should read it. Really, it will change your life.

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  • Posted November 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Phenomenal Debut - It Will Leave You a Changed Person

    Daisy Whitney's debut book, The Mockingbirds, tackles the issue of date rape at a prestigious prep school, but she does it in a way that is less about rape tearing a person apart, and more about reclaiming who you are after it.

    Alex is date raped and, after much consideration, she turns to the Mockingbirds, the schools underground vigilante justice system, for help. The group deals with the things the school administration chooses not to acknowledge exist. They have a system of checks and balances that insure the utmost fairness for both parties involved and act as court system in the school.

    Alex's journey from victim to survivor is emotional, honest, and insightful. Daisy Whitney makes this story personal, she was date raped herself, and she wants the reader to feel that personal connection to Alex. Every time Alex questioned what she was doing and what happened to her, I felt for her. She became someone who I not only connected with, but who I cared for. Her pain was my pain.

    The characters surrounding Alex lend to the story in such strong ways. Her roommates T.S. and Maia are there from the beginning, helping Alex and just being there for her. Her friend Martin, a member of The Mockingbirds, becomes this source of humor and happiness. His quirky science-geek knowledge lightens the story and had me both me and Alex smiling.

    Whitney flawlessly weaves together this honest and raw story with beautiful prose, touches of humor, and more than a few gut-wrenching scenes. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more, but in the end, I felt good. I felt changed and not many books can do that to a person. I'm not going to lie, The Mockingbirds may be a little difficult to read for some people, but once the book is closed, it will have been more than worth it.

    I've never been faced with a situation like Alex's. I've never felt that sort of powerlessness, but after reading The Mockingbirds, I still felt stronger. Like, maybe, if something like that were to happen to me or someone I knew that things would get better eventually. That life will come back to you eventually and every single day won't be a reliving of the event. You will get back to being you, a different you, a changed you, but you all the same.

    Opening line: Three things I know this second: I have morning breath, I'm naked, and I'm waking up next to a boy I don't know. ~ pg. 1

    Favorite lines (There are a million and one lines I could pull out and say were my favorite because this book was that good, but here are a couple.):

    But it already is bigger than everything else. It already is the defining moment of my junior year. It lives in front of me, behind me, next to me, inside me every single day. My schedule is dictated by it, my habits by it, my music by it. This - the Mockingbirds - is how I deflate it. ~ pg. 159

    And this one:

    Justice doesn't work like that. It doesn't erase what happened. It doesn't make you who you were before. I'm becoming someone else - someone else I'm figuring out how to be. ~ pg. 317

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  • Posted October 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A powerful book that manages not to stray into "lesson learned" territory A powerful book that manages not to stray into "lesson learned" territory.

    Starting the morning after that night, The Mockingbirds is an intense book. The reader, like Alex, starts out not knowing what's going on and, with her, pieces that night together over the course of the entire book. It isn't until almost the end that Alex remembers the entire night, or as much as she's ever going to, and by then she's come to terms with a lot of it and had some time to heal. It's still horrible, clearly, but presenting the rape in that way, in short pieces over the course of the book, takes away the shock and some of the horror of it. It's not graphic, though it may still be triggering for some people.

    Alex's big conflict for most of the book is accepting what happened to her as rape. She has loads and loads of guilt about being drunk enough to be taken to the room of a guy she didn't know. If she can't remember getting to his room or even large chunks of the party before hand, maybe she's also simply not remembering that she wanted to have and enjoyed having sex with him. While she knows this isn't true, the dirty and used feeling won't let her actually think that, she knows she has to prove that she wasn't "asking for it," something no sexual assault victim should ever have to do. It's bad enough hearing other people recount her drunken exploits of that night in front of the Mockingbirds while she's building her case; she could never explain her drinking and other bad decisions to the cops, her parents, or the administration of Themis Academy. It takes her a really long time to really believe that though she made bad decisions, being raped was never her fault, but that point is eventually made very clear for Alex (and the reader) by her friends, the Themis Academy Honor Code, and during her trial.

    Still, this doesn't read like a problem novel. Of course Alex is consumed with what happened to her and its aftermath, and that takes up a lot of the book. But this is also about the Mockingbirds themselves, their founding, the checks and balances in their system, and ultimately their power over the student body. It's very cloak and dagger, but on the side of truth and justice! Through her interactions with the Mockingbirds, Alex gains confidence and strength. She also makes plenty of new friends and figures out just how much all of her old friends are willing to go to bat for her. She even gets a bit of romance. And, of course, this is all set at a boarding school for the extremely gifted. This book would be just as good and just as compelling (though not nearly as heart-wrenching) if Alex were pressing charges for bullying or some other offense rather than date rape. The story is really balanced in that way. Because The Mockingbirds is this year's big book about date rape, one might assume that it should be reserved for older young adults, but all the other elements in the book make it, I think, accessible to all high schoolers, not just the about-to-go-college ones. And, as the book points out when other girls start telling Alex their own stories, it's not as though date rape is something that only happens to high school upperclasswomen or older.

    The book closes with an author's note where Whitney talks about her own experiences with both date rape and a student-run justice system. Resources for victims of sexual assault as well as organizations promoting the empowerment of young women are also provided.

    Book source: ARC provided by the publisher.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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