The Rivals

The Rivals

by Daisy Whitney
4.5 8


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The Rivals by Daisy Whitney

When Alex Patrick was assaulted by another student last year, her elite boarding school wouldn't do anything about it. This year Alex is head of the Mockingbirds, a secret society of students who police and protect the student body. While she desperately wants to live up to the legacy that's been given to her, she's now dealing with a case unlike any the Mockingbirds have seen before.

It isn't rape. It isn't bullying. It isn't hate speech. A far-reaching prescription drug ring has sprung up, and students are using the drugs to cheat. But how do you try a case with no obvious victim? Especially when the facts don't add up, and each new clue drives a wedge between Alex and the people she loves most: her friends, her boyfriend, and her fellow Mockingbirds.

As Alex unravels the layers of deceit within the school, the administration, and even the student body the Mockingbirds protect, her struggle to navigate the murky waters of vigilante justice may reveal more about herself than she ever expected.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316090575
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 02/06/2012
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

About the Author

Daisy Whitney reports on television, media and advertising for a range of news outlets. She graduated from Brown University and lives in San Francisco, California, with her fabulous husband, fantastic kids, and adorable dogs. Daisy believes in karma and that nearly every outfit is improved with a splash of color. She is the author of The Mockingbirds novels, When You Were Here, and Starry Nights. Daisy invites you to follow her online at

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Rivals 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars The Rivals is vastly different from The Mockingbirds, both in plot and tone, but it works. Alex isn’t retelling or reliving her story; she’s coming into her own and learning what it takes to head up a secret judicial system within a very well-to-do private school. And it’s a lot more complicated than she could ever have imagined. The thing I really loved about The Rivals, that Daisy Whitney did a phenomenal job conveying, was that these characters – Alex in particular – are so three dimensional and complicated. Alex is a great person who has a big heart, but she is still very capable of screwing up. She compromises her morals, she lies to the people she cares about, and she does things she shouldn’t; because that’s what real people do. In the end, she sees it as being right, even if her vision is a little skewed. The supporting cast of characters is as strong as ever too. Martin, Alex’s geeky boyfriend, is sweet and caring, and has a bit of a jealous streak. Alex’s musician friend Jones is the guy brining out Martin’s jealous side, and it’s understandable. Jones is a great guy too. Alex’s circle of friends keep her grounded, especially when the responsibility of the Mockingbirds gets to her. Having Alex go all gung-ho about a cheating scandal doesn’t seem all that interesting, but this cheating/drug ring is far more complicated that it sounds. There are plenty of red herrings, some betrayal, a lot of false claims, and a ton of sleuthing. The Themis administration truly stands out this time around as being utterly useless. The headmistress blatantly ignores all the issues at the school, so it’s necessary for an organization like The Mockingbirds to exist. Anyone who enjoyed The Mockingbirds is bound to fly through The Rivals. It’s different, but Daisy Whitney has created these lifelike characters that feel like friends. Alex faces more strife and struggle, not just from coping with what happened to her the year before, but also with a slowly deteriorating relationship with Martin and attempting to the toe the line with her role in the Mockingbirds. It makes for very good reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't want it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story and very inspiring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Mockingbirds last year and thought it was a great book. I wasnt as enthusiastic about the sequel. The plot of the story, students being accused of cheating, is a good idea. I was excited to see the head of the Mockingbirds, Alex, return as a senior and take on a new case. However, the book was not as good as i had hoped. The trail was brief and biased. The book also ended kind of randomly which makes me wonder if there will be a third. I was also disappointed in Alexs character. She turned into a brat with her back talking teachers and snooping for evidence on the trail. She never fully resolved her relationship with Martin. My last complaint is that there was too much girl drama. Its okay to have protagonists and antagonists but unneccassary cat fights is a little bit too much in my opinion. Its up to you. It wasnt a bad book, it just wasnt my favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blue_coyote More than 1 year ago
While The Rivals stands on its own, first time readers of Whitney's YA novel - set again at an exclusive boarding school for elite kids who are just too damn smart and talented for their own good - may enjoy it more if they have read The Mockingbirds first. But if you are up for a mystery, try this one first. To recap, The Mockingbirds is about a student run justice league meant to protect victimized students and serve justice to those students who are guilty of inflicting crimes, when the school administration looks the other way. The first book tackled the all so real and heavy subject of date rape. In the sequel The Rivals, victim turned survivor/heroine Alex is back as the new leader of the justice group the Mockingbirds. Now the first third of the book moved nicely, with Alex investigating the 'victimless' crime of the use of ADHD drugs on campus. But whoa! Red herring, red herring, red herring...the story shifts in an unexpected way in the middle act, with the true mystery beginning to unravel as Alex continues to dig. Sometimes digging in ways that she regrets and even begins to question her authority. Of course while all this is going on, like the first novel, she seeks comfort in two men - boyfriend Martin, and good friend Jones, will we have another love triangle emerging as in the first book? My lips are sealed. Just when you think you know where the story is going, Whitney shifts directions again and throws the reader a surprise. Though the subject matter of the first book was more intense, this book seems darker than the first as the extent to which some privileged kids will go to hurt others is a reflection of what happens in schools all over regardless of socio economic levels. I think the subject matter once revealed will hit home with a lot of kids. And even Alex is not above the act of revenge. It provokes many questions, is Alex's actions different than the others? And how far will some people/kids go to get what they want? How far would you go?
AmyO122 More than 1 year ago
I loved The Mockingbirds. I loved that it addresses the topic of date rape with class and respect without making the crime any less horrific. I wasn't sure what I would think of the sequel- how could the author top the emotional journey that takes place in The Mockingbirds? I was very pleasantly surprised that the next installment of Alex's journey was just as heartfelt and moving. Alex is still struggling with what happened to her last year plus she is dealing with the pressures of senior year and leading The Mockingbirds. Throw a boyfriend, a male friend who she's not sure how she feels about, a couple of bullies, an unsupportive school leader and her first big case with The Mockingbirds into the mix and you get a story that requires its main character to really figure out who she is, what she wants from life and where her loyalities lie. As with The Mockingbirds this book isn't always an easy read but the lessons learned are well worth the extra effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago