Plot without spoilers: Daisy Whitney's THE MOCKINGBIRDS tells the story of Alex, a musical prodigy in her junior year at prestigious Themis Academy where the administration can't imagine any student doing harm to another. So, where can Alex turn when she is date raped? To the unique form of justice administered by The Mockingbirds.
Literary highlights: In writer circles, there's a great deal of discussion about WHEN a novel should begin (e.g., a little bit before the inciting event to establish a sense of normalcy). THE MOCKINGBIRDS breaks the mold by opening with an incredible, dramatic, right-into-it-we-go scene that totally works. And, of course, the artful tie-in of themes and language from the Harper Lee classic To Kill a Mockingbird give this novel a cool literary twist.
Finally, just gotta say: Alex's evolving recollections of that lost night, her moments of uncertainty when she must grapple with her own actions, and her honest struggle with the consequences of pursuing justice are all authentically depicted. This book feels very realistic and brave--something teen girls should definitely read.
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