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.
In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl’s struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone–especially yourself–you fight for it. (via Goodreads)
Y’all, there were a lot of things I liked about this book. However – there were a few huge glaring problems – in my opinion – that kept me from loving it.
First of all: the many good things. For one, I love the focus and awareness put on the specific form of rape that Alex suffers from. It doesn’t necessarily mean being brutally attacked. Alex was not in a position to say yes – so she was raped. End of story. I think that is an important point – perhaps the important point – of the story.
Second, I love the characterization of the story. Especially Alex. Her inner turmoil and the mental process she goes through to decide whether or not she was really raped was very well written. She was confused at first, and I think the way she came to the conclusions she did was very realistic. Her overall story was very engrossing and entertaining as far as making friends and becoming involved with the members of the Mockingbirds. I loved that aspect of things.
However: the bad. I do not think it is at all acceptable to imply that it is okay for the boy to be punished as he was – by a group of his peers. No way. Adults – teachers and police – should have been involved. The Mockingbirds are a good concept, and one I would be much more easy with for smaller issues…but rape? Nu uh. I mean…really. Being forced to quit sports? Not at all an acceptable punishment. Castration, expulsion, jail time? Those are acceptable. This, I think, is a major issue…and definitely keeps the novel from reaching its potential.