I don't usually blog about YA, but Daisy Whitney, the author of the just-released The Mockingbirds, is a friend of a co-worker, and her book has gotten great reviews, so I thought I would write about it for those of you that read or recommend YA. It covers a tough topic, but one worth reading about.
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 Compulsive Reader had high praise for The Mockingbirds (and featured a Q&A with Whitney):
The Mockingbirds is an excellent, excellent book that effectively portrays the psychological and emotional effects of date rape and also gives readers a different point of view in Alex as a girl who doesn't want to report the crime to the police. Whitney's prose is pitch-perfect and powerful; she keeps the reader right with Alex through her ups and downs, and she skillfully intersperses flashbacks from that terrible night among the chapters, building tension and angst.
Zoe's Book Reviews (written by a teen reviewer) also loved The Mockingbirds:
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… or are so intense that I couldn't read it in one sitting…. The Mockingbirds is the perfect balance between the two. The topic is taken seriously but you want to keep reading.
The Book Cellar calls The Mockingbirds "nothing but perfection".
I could go on all day pasting positive reviews here, but I think you get the point! Lots of praise for this book. I may even branch out beyond literary fiction for this one…
(Another reason to check out the book: Whitney has promised to donate a portion of the proceeds from The Mockingbirds to the charity Girls for a Change, to support a team of teen girls leading social change in their community.)
Please weigh in if you've read this – I know that the book was available at BEA so some of you may have gotten it there.