After a party Alex wakes up naked in a room she doesn’t recognize. She doesn’t remember anything that happened the night before, but she knows she had sex. Once her friends make her realize that it is rape to have sex with an unconscious person she decides to push for justice, but Alex goes to Themis Academy. Themis is supposed to be for the best and brightest and she doesn’t believe the cops will help, so she learns about the Mockingbirds, a secret school court (inspired by the book To Kill a Mockingbird) that judges other students and hands out punishments. Will Alex find justice, and what would she do with it if she got it?
This is a really tricky book. A lot of readers may not like it, because the issue of date rape is such an emotional one. I won’t spoil the ending, but it certainly won’t satisfy some readers. This is a very intelligent look at the consequences of rape and the meaning of justice, but I’m still not sure if I agree with the novel’s idea of justice. I think the fact that Alex doesn’t tell anybody but other students is unfortunate, but unfortunately that is a realistic reaction to date rape. This novel doesn’t read like just a moral lesson. The Mockingbirds work through secrecy and their odd methods (also inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird) keep the book interesting. A new romance that Alex develops is also well developed. I liked that Alex is able to experience and appreciate joy and start to move past what happened to her. It shows that she is more than just a victim. All in all, this is a wonderful read for fans of realistic fiction that like to think. I can guarantee this book will make everyone that reads it think long and hard about the characters, the ending, and justice.