Alex, a junior at Themis Academy went out one night with friends and woke up in a boy’s room. The boy, Carter, is very popular and on the swim team. Alex barely remembers the night because she had too much to drink and passed out. She feels embarrassed and guilty about what happens and in the beginning she doesn’t remember much other than going to a concert from her favorite band. She does get the feeling that she did not want to have sex with Carter. She eventually tells her friend and room-mate who tells her that what she experienced was date rape.
Themis has a secret justice system, called the Mockingbirds, that is run by the students. The students represent each other and judge each other, even dishing out the punishment for the guilty. Alex decides to take her case to the Mockingbirds and lets them dish out the justice against Carter. Through the story she learns the history of the Mockingbirds and the part her sister had to play with it. She learns to trust boys again through her friends Martin and Jones.
Mockingbirds was an enjoyable book, but for me was not a page turner. The characters were not developed real deep but each kept the story moving forward. The issue it addressed is an important one that I’m not aware has been addressed in Young Adult literature before. The author reveals at the end that she was a victim of date rate in college. The book does give you a glimpse of the guilt and in secureness of a victim from date rate. It also showed that date rape is not always a violent stranger occurrence but can happen with a person that you are familiar with. I would recommend this book especially to teen girls. The subject matter it addresses and the issue of date rate is an important one for young girls to be aware of and this book does a good job with introducing the subject.
Disclaimer: I was given an advanced copy of this book from the publisher, Candlewick press.