Thursday, August 19, 2010

Something a Little Different: Bookanista Love for THE MOCKINGBIRDS

Occasionally, you come across a book you know you will like. Maybe it’s getting serious buzz, so you become determined to like it, drenching it with some pre-love. Maybe you see a book trailer with really cool music and a hottie playing the main character, and think Ohmotherofdrool I WANT him—err…that book. Some books are so shiny and everpresent and actiony-paranormal-cool and popular all over the Internet that you simply have to have it. IN MY HANDS. Like NOW, people.

This book was not like that.

And it was all the better for it—better because I loved it unexpectedly.


The Mockingbirds


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.

I was a little nervous about reading THE MOCKINGBIRDS. For one thing, there’s no magic. No time travel. And no spunky, sarcastic, trash-talking, slang-flinging main characters. There are no crazy action sequences. No monsters, demons, angels, or shapeshifting whatevers in sight. It’s not like any YA I’ve read recently, especially because it deals with the very difficult subject of date rape.

And yet?

I couldn’t put the frigging book down. I simply had to know how it would end. I felt so attached to Alex, the main character, like she could be my best friend, my daughter…me. I felt invested in what happened to her—and let’s be honest, that’s hard to come by in books nowadays.

The thing is, the really bad stuff happens even before the book starts. So the reader doesn’t have to face the live action horror—only the aftermath. And while this makes the rape easier to bear, it makes it, well, more difficult—because we get to know Alex, like really get inside her head and fall in love with her, before she relives the rape inside her mind and for others. It’s downright gut-wrenching.

But pure effing genius.

I love that Alex is level-headed and intelligent and put together—but also real. She’s a smart teenager, with normal angst and expectations and dreams, thrust into an unbearable situation. And though I’ve never gone through what she did, the phases of her emotions felt genuine to me. But as much as the date rape monopolizes the premise, it doesn’t monopolize all the action in the book—or even the experience of the reader. Alex continues to live her life, fall in love, worry about normal teen stuff…hope.

Indeed, it’s hope that drives the book—it’s what sucked me in. This is not one of those books where bad things happen and then happen and continue to happen. You don’t get to the last page thinking, WTF? The secret society of The Mockingbirds offers a lot of hope, but most of it comes from inside Alex herself. While they might seek justice on her behalf, it is the strength inside Alex that makes everything okay, no matter what the outcome is. And this is the true beauty, the true gift of THE MOCKINGBIRDS. It is sweet, poignant, gut-twisting, sad, frustrating, funny, and hopeful. It is strength embodied—courage up for grabs.

THE MOCKINGBIRDS will be released November 2, 2010, but is available for pre-order now.



Bookanistas_logo Be sure to stop by and check out what some of the other Bookanistas have going on today:

Myra McEntire: WHITE CAT

Shelli Johannes Wells - PARANORMALCY

Elana Johnson - THE ETERNAL ONES

Christine Fonseca - THE HEALING SPELL 

Shannon Messenger - NIGHTSHADE CITY 

Jamie Harrington – PARANORMALCY

Lisa and Laura Roecker -- PARANORMALCY


  1. Sounds like an excellent book. Putting it on my to-read list. Thanks Carol!

  2. Wow - what a harrowing subject to read about but I'm glad to know this book tackled such a delicate subject admirably with a feisty mc in Alex!

    Thanks for the review and the intro to this new book and author!

    Take care

  3. This one sounds very moving. The topic is relevant and one that you don't see everyday. Thanks for spreading your enthusiasm about it. I'll keep it in mind for when it's available!


  4. OOOHHHHH. I really want to read this one!

  5. I'm looking forward to this! Daisy is lovely.

  6. What a glowing review. I'm looking forward to reading it.

  7. Wow - to have the book be about date rape and yet be about hope - that's AWESOME!

  8. Everyone is reading this! And It sounds so good! thanks for the grest review :)

  9. Oh my gosh, I have to keep my eyes on this one. I want to read it now. Great review.
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  10. Beautiful review Carol (why do you always put my reviews to shame.) Definitely makes me want to read this one--even though it's not my typical read. Thank you!

  11. I'm writing this one down...

  12. Thanks for the recommendation, Carol. It sounds like a great book.

  13. Wonderful. I really want to read this one too. It sounds great.


  14. Don't you just love this book? I read it a few months ago and I'm dying, DYING to talk about it on my blog. But I shall wait. :)

  15. Thanks for the rec! I will definitely be adding that one to my list.

  16. Fabulous review! I had the pleasure of reading this one recently. It is AMAZING!

  17. I haven't read any YA that is based in real life with real issues lately either. I tend to shy away from them, especially ones that deal with rape but this does sound like a great story.

  18. Sounds like an amazing book, thanks for the review!


Make your comment stand out. Use bold words. Or italics. Whatever.