Justin Lim's Reviews > The Mockingbirds

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
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M_50x66
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May 21, 12

Read in May, 2012

The book "The Mockingbirds" is author Daisy Whitney's first novel, and it definitely makes itself evident throughout the novel. The book follows Alex, the protagonist, through her experience after being date raped by a guy named Carter. What follows is a shallow cliche tale of a girl shunned by society, only to turn to her two gal pals and a new love interest who is actually a member of an organization of vigilante high school kids. This secret society keeps the peace by punishing wrongdoers through unseen methods such as marking them absent when taking the attendance to the office... truly heart-stopping justice at play.
The author herself was a victim of date rape when she was younger, and it is implied that this is her way of expressing how she feels on the topic, yet the expression could not be any less clear than it is to most readers such as myself. Among the many plot holes in the book, one of the most confusing issues was that Alex had gotten herself drunk by her own choice, willingly gone with Carter, and then ended up sleeping with him, and suddenly that's date rape. Not saying that none of this was Carters fault, but in all honesty the fact that Alex being underage and willingly consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol is enough to throw this into controversy. This really doesn't help portray a message to people of what date rape really is, seeing as this rape was partly a result of Alex's foolish decisions, as opposed to the kind of date rape that happens when some twisted sick creep comes along and spikes your drink with rohypnol.
The reader is made even more confused later on when Alex recovers memories of her physical movements cooperating with the sexual intercourse, quote page 301 " I'm enjoying it, I'm enjoying it, I'm enjoying it. Then I open my eyes and I see my hands are on his back. My arms are around him.". From this point on I wasn't sure if I was reading a book about the horrible experience of date rape or the journal of a girl who made stupid decisions and then blamed other people because she didn't want to look "easy".
Aside from plot holes, I think that the book fails most when trying to separate itself from most teen reads, and instead decides to paint itself black and white stripes and go stand in the herd. The sheer lack of originality is enough to make me want to drop this book, as Alex is pestered by a group of "mean girls" as well as finding a prince charming who gives her the happily ever after that satisfies the hearts of millions of readers who have an apparent lack of taste for good literature.
The flaws aside, the underground society of young vigilantes is really quite intriguing, up until you realize that their rulings over very serious matters such as rape are handled with consequences comparable to leaving banana peels in the hallway. Overall I would be uneasy to recommend this book to anyone, and if wanting to read a book within the rape genre i would highly recommend "Speak", which really was the only rape themed book I've ever read that took the genre and really ran with it. The Mockingbirds is really just too rough around the edges and doesn't do justice to genres such as rape and underground society which can make for truly intriguing literature.
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