Spotlight Wednesday: THE MOCKINGBIRDS by Daisy Whitney

One of the most vivid memories I have of high school is walking down the hall with a few of my friends and witnessing someone else's very public humiliation at the hands of a fellow student. I'm going to spare you the details, but I'll never forget how cornered and embarrassed the person on the receiving end of the act looked and I'll never forget the proud and satisfied look on the face of the person causing that pain and embarrassment. I'll also never forget the mix of horror and enjoyment spread across the faces of the crowd who had stopped to watch it all unfold.

I didn't say anything. I regret that I didn't and I still wish I had. There were no teachers around to put a stop to what was happening. It made me wonder how many times a day those kinds of things happened at my school. As I watched the perpetrator of the act smugly leave the scene, I was furious they could inflict that kind of cruelty on another human being and would never have to answer for it. I wanted that person to be held accountable for their actions. They should have been.

This incident crossed my mind the first time I read THE MOCKINGBIRDS by The Contemps' own Daisy Whitney, which hit bookstores yesterday. Obviously my school did not have The Mockingbirds, but it was hard not to wonder how things might have been different if they had. Would the humiliated student have sought justice through them? Would there have even been an incident if the possibility of calling on The Mockingbirds existed?


It is my absolute pleasure to be featuring Daisy's compelling debut for this Spotlight Wednesday.

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.

Guys, The Mockingbirds is a beautiful and important book about taking a stand and speaking out that will give you pause and stay with you for a long time after you've read the last page. It broaches the topic of rape and consent and justice frankly and sensitively, offering such potential for discussion in schools and book clubs, I think it should be essential reading for EVERYONE. Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau-Banks and--of course--Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird will love this stunning novel.

Check out the book trailer:

Powerful, yes? Daisy also created The Mockingbirds Diaries, a series of videos that give you a taste of what the novel is about and how The Mockingbirds operate. They're VERY cool and you can watch the first one right here!

I (Courtney) had the good fortune of getting an early read on The Mockingbirds and in case you couldn't tell? I LOVED every single word in it. And I know I'm not the only one! Here's a small sampling of the awesome and much-deserved praise The Mockingbirds has been getting:

KellyVision wrote, "I cannot possibly recommend this book more forcefully. I want everyone I have ever met to read it and actually want to demand that strangers on the street do, too." Steph Su wrote, "[I] put the book down at the end with an enormous sense of empowerment and the motivation to go out in the world and make a difference."

WOW. All that and PublishersWeekly gave it a STARRED review too!

"First-time author Whitney boldly addresses date rape, vigilantism, and academic politics in an intense and timely novel... [she] masterfully evokes the complexity of her protagonist’s emotions, particularly her intense longing to feel 'normal' again."

So what are you doing still reading this blog post? Quit readin' and get yourself a copy of this book if you haven't already! I promise you, it's so worth your time. And if you've read The Mockingbirds, don't forget to let us know what you think of it in the comments!

CONGRATS on your debut release, Daisy!


Bee said...

Love the video!
And I'm really looking forward to The Mockingbirds.
It'll be the first book I buy this month.

Pam Harris said...

Can't wait to read this book. Great spotlight. :)

Lydia Sharp said...

Looks like another MUST READ. You guys are on a freaking roll.

Sara said...

I'm so excited to read this book, and so thrilled for all of the wonderful buzz it's been receiving. Congratulations, Daisy!

Denise Jaden said...

I cannot wait to read this. I've been hearing such wonderful things from so many people whose opinions I really respect. Congrats, Daisy! I wish you boatloads of success!

Micol Ostow said...

My copy arrived yesterday. Squee!!

Lisa_Gibson said...

I can't wait to get this and read it. Thanks for the thought provoking review. :)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Lois D. Brown said...

The book sounds very interesting. High school can be brutal. I'm just so glad I can say I was never the one who picked on others. I think things like that weigh heavy on a conscious even if people don't admit it.

Lindsey Leavitt said...

Congrats on your debut, Daisy!

Mindi Scott said...

Congrats, Daisy! I'm looking forward to your book, too!

Claire Dawn said...

Unfortunately, I don't read in November (nano), but that trailer gave me the tingles. Wow!

Melissa Walker said...

I cannot WAIT to get my hands on this one--huge congrats, Daisy!

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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