The Rivals (The Mockingbirds #2)Featured
It isn't rape. It isn't bullying. It isn't hate speech. A far-reaching prescription drug ring has sprung up, and students are using the drugs to cheat. But how do you try a case with no obvious victim? Especially when the facts don't add up, and each new clue drives a wedge between Alex and the people she loves most: her friends, her boyfriend, and her fellow Mockingbirds.
As Alex unravels the layers of deceit within the school, the administration, and even the student body the Mockingbirds protect, her struggle to navigate the murky waters of vigilante justice may reveal more about herself than she ever expected.
It had been awhile since I read The Mockingbirds, but within the first three pages of the book Daisy Whitney made me fall back in love with the world she has created with The Rivals. It was at this point, I was completely hooked and the only point in which I put it down was to go eat dinner. It was a book worthy of being carried with me as I walked around, rode the T, and anywhere else I needed to go.
I loved that the plot was hard to guess – it was a bit of a mystery trying to figure out who was behind what. The Rivals is a whole new ball game after what happened in The Mockingbirds, and I really wasn’t expecting any of it. I love the scenes between Martin and Alex – they are so adorable together.
The cast of characters I grew to love in The Mockingbirds was only expanded in The Rivals. Not only do you get to know the characters from The Mockingbirds better, but a few new characters who are pretty fabulous are introduced.
The Rivals by Daisy Whitney is a book to add to your must read pile. I am a complete and utter idiot for waiting 2 months after its release to read it, as it was just so incredible. Daisy Whitney is such a talented author, and I cannot wait to read the next character’s story she chooses to share with us.
In THE MOCKINGBIRDS the reader encounters Alex and Martin and the case of date rape at Themis Academy that led her to seek vigilante justice through the student led organization since the faculty and staff (mostly) turn a blind eye to students asking for help. Themis believes nothing bad could possibly happen among their overachieving students, so The Mockingbirds were born to handle cases.
In THE RIVALS Alex returns, having survived her previous case, she is elected the head of The Mockingbirds. But, just as the school year begins, Alex is tested by a group of students who are using prescription drugs to cheat. With no clear victim (other than the entire school), and a mysterious RIVAL group of vigilante students seeking to compete with The Mockingbirds, Alex is tested in every friendship and relationship and truth she thinks she knew from Book 1.
Not only is the story enjoyable as a reader, as a writer I also enjoyed the structuring Whitney has deftly built up in THE MOCKINGBIRDS and just as carefully unravels throughout THE RIVALS in a breathtaking deconstruction of the prep-school world of Themis Academy.
Date Rape is a serious topic, handled so expertly by Whitney in THE MOCKINGBIRDS, I appreciated how this provides another layer to the current case of prescription drug abuse as means for students to cross moral and ethical lines of cheating. For Alex, she is still regaining her ground after facing her attacker and holding him accountable for raping her. Whitney shows that surviving something as life altering as that is not easily done. Alex is completely relatable as a character, who must sacrifice everything to stand up to the injustice of THE RIVALS.