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Description - The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Some schools have honour codes. Others have handbooks. Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds. Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school where the students are exceptional, the faculty trust that everyone does the right thing, and the administration sees only what it wants to see - perfection. So when Alex spends a drunken-night with a male student and awakes to evidence of a sexual encounter she can't remember, she doesn't know where to turn for help. As she slowly comes to terms with the fact that she was date raped, she enlists the help of the Mockingbirds - a secret society of her peers whose mission is to right the wrongs that the faculty and administration don't even know exist. In standing up to her attacker, Alex discovers a strength she never knew she had and begins to understand that if you love something or someone - especially yourself - it's worth fighting for.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780316090537
ISBN-10: 0316090530
Format: Hardback
(216mm x 150mm x 28mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Little, Brown Young Readers
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Publish Date: 2-Nov-2010
Country of Publication: United States

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Book Reviews - The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

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Book Review: Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney - Reviewed by (09 Aug 2011)

I had no idea what to think of The Dead I Know before -- or even as -- I started. All I knew is that it was a recent Aussie release, and that was good enough for me. Though, by the end, I was pleasantly surprised.

There's a lot of mystery shrouding Aaron in the beginning. He's stoic, and initially doesn't give much away through either his dialogue or first-person narration. We understand him better once we get a look at his home life, and sympathise with him more. While it's heart-wrenching to see his life begin to fall apart, it's also inspiring to watch how he grows and develops from this.

The writing style was simple and engaging. It easily evoked Aaron's voice and helped the reader to become invested in his well-being.

The background characters -- namely the Barton family -- were realistically developed and fleshed out. John's almost fatherly role in Aaron's life created a hopeful dynamic, and Skye's relationship with him was in equal parts adorable and touching (Something about her character was really likeable... it was probably her name). Aaron began to feel like a part of their family; a second family contrasting the state of his real one.

The mysterious element to the story -- what Aaron's sleepwalking, almost- crazy mother, and strange recurring dreams all meant -- was well done, with suspense building until the mystery is finally unravelled. It isn't hard to piece it together yourself first, but it's worth sticking around to see Aaron's emotional reaction to it and how he bounces back.

Overall, an short and enjoyable read that I'd recommend to fans of darker YA.

I give The Dead I Know a 4 out of 5.

Book Review: Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney - Reviewed by (09 Aug 2011)

You know what's cool in books? Boarding schools. But what's cooler than books involving boarding schools? Books involving secret societies in boarding schools. And cooler than that? Books involving secret societies that do positive things for the boarding school they're in. So The Mockingbirds was an automatic must-read for me.

Alex wakes up in a stranger's dorm room, hungover, naked, and finds two used condoms. After slowly remembering the night, she finds that what she at first thought was a poor decision on her part wasn't actually a decision of hers at all. With the support of her friends, she seeks the help of the Mockingbirds - a secret society that punishes students for offences that the school turns a blind eye towards.

The Mockingbirds was written beautifully. It was smooth and had a nice flowing quality to it that made the story easy to read. Each word felt like it was pain-painstakingly chosen and ordered, and the effect was gorgeous prose that felt natural to a teenaged narrator.

Alex was a dynamic character. She's realistically affected by her ordeal initially, but she also grows a lot as a result of it, and later, with help from The Mockingbirds, learns to stop it from holding her back. Her journey was inspiring (a word I'm going to use a lot in describing this novel!).

The Mockingbirds were such an interesting and amazing group. Their mission for retribution and the peaceful and professional way they carried it out was awe-inspiring and just lovely. The world needs more people like those in The Mockingbirds.

The plot was fairly straight-forward, but I wasn't too concerned about that. I knew when I started The Mockingbirds that it was intended to be more of an issues, character-driven book. But, I was raising my eyebrows at a small complication that rises in the end that was solved as quickly as it came up. It took away from the smoothly-paced chain of events.

Overall, The Mockingbirds was a wonderfully told story that I'm sure many people can relate to and that I hope many people will be inspired by.

I give The Mockingbirds a 4 out of 5.


Author Biography - Daisy Whitney

Daisy Whitney is an expert in new media, specializing in covering Internet video, social networking, YouTube, and iTunes. She writes for a number of national publications and blogs about reading and writing at Bookchick.com. She lives in California

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