Paperback: 447 Pages
I didn't know what this book was about when I grabbed it at BEA. I kinda like not knowing what I'm getting into when reading a book. But I must say that I was blown away with this story. There were a few clunky moments with the writing, but we'll chalk it up to first-time writeritis. But I will say this, Daisy Whitney is a kick-ass writer. And the story she tells is one that teens should read. Heck, parents should read because date rape is a problem in high school and college. As we send our teens out to the real world after they graduate high school, who will watch them?
Alex Patrick goes to Themis Academy. A close and tight-knit community. Every student there, according to the teachers and administrators, are intrinsically good. There is no discipline in the school. So a few years ago, Alex's older sister, Casey, created the Mockingbirds to self-police the students. Too many students were staying quiet when they were being bullied, raped, or just a simple cheating case. During a Friday night concert, Alex has too much to drink, hangs out with Carter. Ends up back in his room and wakes up the next morning, naked and not sure what has happened. As she starts piecing together the evening, she realizes that she never agreed to have sex and she's not exactly sure what has happened. In talking to her roommate, TS, Alex realizes that the possibility is that she has been date raped. She is presented with a dilemma: stay quiet and allow this to happen again, or get The Mockingbirds involved to help her come to terms with what has happened. Because a date-rape case has never come before The Mockingbirds, they must get the student body to ratify the code before they will take the case. They must vote on:
Sexual assault is against the standards to which Themis students hold themselves. Sexual assualt is sexual contact (not just intercourse) where on of the parties has not given or cannot give active verbal consent, i.e., uttered a clear "yes" to the action. If a person does not say "no" that does not mean he or she said "yes". Silence does not equal consent. Silence could mean fear, confusion, inebriation. The only thing that means yes is a yes. A lack of yes is a no. The Mockingbirds, Pg 268.From there, Alex starts the arduous journey of clearing her name and proving that a sexual assault occurred when she was not in her right mind. There were times when you're not sure what exactly happened and whether if Alex was misremembering things. With the help of The Mockingbirds and a sweet boy named, Martin. Alex realizes that The Mockingbirds are working in her favor to help her. She just has to let them to help. I absolutely loved the definition of what describes a sexual assault. So from the book I took it verbatim. If anything like this happens to you, please do not be ashamed and tell your parents, a confidante, guidance counselor. They are there to help you. This book is here to help you realize that you are not alone.