Alex always thought she would remember her first time. And when her sister asks her a simple question, did you say yes?, her life is turned upside down. Alex was date-raped. And at her quaint little boarding school, the teachers think to highly of their students to admit that they could ever do anything wrong. Therefore, they feel no need to punish them. With a lack of punishment, the Mockingbirds formed. They are a group who unbeknownst to the administration, tries and convicts those who have done wrong. Alex, with very little options, goes to the Mockingbirds and starts a journey that will have huge consequences. Alex chooses to stand up for herself but she may just lose herself along the way.
The Good: I really enjoyed this book. It was a great change of pace for me. The message behind the story is really an empowering one. Its inspiring and eye-opening. I like the minor characters a bit more than the main. They really stood as good examples of what kind of people are in a high school rather than being stereotypical. I think Alex’s sister Casey and Martin were my favorite with Alex’s roommate and friend, Maia, a close second. These characters had strong opinions and even stronger personalities. They were the kind of people I would want as my friends.
The Bad: The thing I most dislike about this novel was the Alex, the main character. It was really hard for me to relate to her. She did things and reacted to her situation completely differently then I would have. That made it difficult to sympathize with her or even understand her. I got frustrated and annoyed with her. The situation of a school where the authorities (teachers and administrators) were too close-minded to accept their responsibility of exercising their authority seemed too unrealistic. I couldn’t wrap my head around students resorting to secret trials in the laundry room and stealing birthday cake to assert their authority. I kept thinking, “But this would never happen in real life.” The unrealistic nature was distracting. And just to make things clear, I enjoy and recognize the unrealistic nature of paranormal, sci-fy, and fantasy books. But they are quite different from realistic fiction. Realistic fiction should ultimately be realistic.
Overall despite the lack of connection with this book, I enjoyed it and it had an amazing message that came across in an interesting and clever way.
The Ugly Updates: The Mockingbirds came out November 2nd. Whitney is a journalist and producer, as well as a debut author. She also hosts her own web-show on the business of Internet video. So if you want to learn more about her and her web-show visit her sight here. The Mockingbirds' sequel will come out next fall and will be the last book with these characters. But don't be alarmed, Whitney has lots of other projects in the works, which is very exciting to hear. Stay up to date on Mockingbirds info on Whitney's blog. Learn more about the Mockingbirds book on its site. And like the book on Facebook.And follow Whitney on Twitter.