The Mockingbirds Review & Winners

Thursday, October 28, 2010

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.

Taken from GoodReads.

The Mockingbirds is the story of teenage musician, Alex, who attends the prestigious and progressive Themis Academy. The boarding school is run on a sort of honor code with a hierarchy, giving the older students more privileges and allowing them more free time. However, when the free time backfires and Alex is date-raped, she has to decide whether to be the victim, or whether she wants justice. If she decides on the latter, she'll have to enlist the help of the Mockingbirds to bring her rapist to justice.

I've been dying to read The Mockingbirds for a while now, and I was so excited to get my paws on it and crack it open. In some ways, I was extremely pleased with it, but in other ways, I'm a bit on the fence. First, I must say that Daisy Whitney has an exceptional writing voice. Clear, concise, and fluid, she perfectly captures the conversational tone of the story, allowing the reader to move at a quick and steady pace. Furthermore, she has taken some very delicate subject matter (and a topic that many would shy away from) and made it into a story that's poignant, believable, and relevant.

I'll start with what I really enjoyed about The Mockingbirds. The story starts in the aftermath of the actual event, letting is quickly get into Alex's head. I was really pleased that the story got going right off, but I had a bit of a problem with the backstory muddled into the mix of the first three chapters, almost as if to just get it in there. I felt that pulled me out of the story, and that sucks. Once the story got going again for me though (around page 80), the pacing was steady and nice. My next issue was not so much with the book as it was with the punishment Alex's rapist received. In my own humble opinion, I don't think that it was harsh enough, and I was truly hoping that The Mockingbirds would impart a much more vengeful sort of justice, but colour me crazy.

In the end though, I think that The Mockingbirds is a brilliant story. Well-written, delicately balanced, and only a few flaws (in my opinion) scattered throughout, I think it's a story that needs to be read. I give The Mockingbirds a 3.5 out of 5, and I would recommend it to an upper YA audience due to sexual content and language, as well as adults, and fans of contemporary fiction.


Alright, now for the three winners of the FOUR ARCs, generously provided by Hachette Book Group, has chosen:

Ivy Hawthorn, Jan von Harz, and Deepali

Congratulations, ladies! You have 48 hours to send me an email to my address on my contact page, and I'll get your info off to the publisher. To those who didn't win this time - never fear! I'll be holding another international giveaway soon - a big one!


  1. I've been wondering about this one, I have difficulty with rape storylines, they're hard for me to read (as they're supposed to be) but I like that this one starts after the event and is more about her decision to stay silent or speak up. Thanks for this review Melissa, despite the minor flaws you pointed out, it sounds like a great read!

  2. Great review Melissa...

    I don't know if I would read this one -- having a college age daughter makes the story line a little too close to home for me...

  3. Nice review.
    But I don't think it's the book for me

  4. I've heard such great things about the writing in this one--definitely checking it out. Thanks for the review :)

  5. I'm not sure about this one but you're review gave me a good insight. Thanks!

  6. I've been interested in reading this book since I first heard of it. I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for mentioning the few flaws you had with it. I'm really looking forward to reading it. I'm curious to see what punishment the guy will get,

  7. congrats to the winners!! i think this one might be too intense for me, but i'm glad you liked it, Melissa!

  8. Believe it or not, I've only heard of this book during the Book Ban Week just couple of weeks ago. By looking at the subject matter, I've to agree with you when you said that it is the kind of book that need to be read. Despite all the flaws, I can still see why some people still love this book so much. I am pretty sure that I'll be reading this book, sooner or later.

  9. I picked up The Mockingbirds yesterday and started it on a whim. I only read the first 3 chapters, but I liked the feel of it and Alex's voice. I'm hoping to finish it soon. Thanks for the review Melissa.

  10. Hmm, I can understand how you could say whatever the punishment was for such a thing is never harsh enough in my eyes. Great review

  11. I am dying to read this one. Great review!! :-)

  12. Oh wow great review. I am a bit disappointed that the back story made this less enjoyable of a read for you.

    But I am very happy to hear I won! YEAH!! Thanks. heading off to my email now.

  13. Great review. I'm really excited for this one - it sounds so intense. I'm glad to know you thought it was a good book even if it was flawed.

  14. I'm happy I won!! Thanks, this is one of the first few times I've won anything since I started taking part in contests, and I'm glad it is from a blog I visit so much.

    - Dee, from e-Volving Books


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