Alex is considered one of the good girls at Themis Academy. She does her homework, is involved in activities, and has equally good friends. She's quiet and a bit reserved and when she wakes up in a strange boy's room after drinking a bit too much, she is mortified and completely ashamed of herself.
As Alex slowly starts to remember key points of her night, she realizes she's been date-raped. She's determined to keep things quiet, feeling that it was her own fault, and not understanding how reporting anything could possibly help, especially at a boarding school like Themis, where administrators would never want to damage their stellar reputation. Her friends suggest The Mockingbirds, a student-run justice system on campus and Alex agrees.
Though the subject matter is definitely serious, it's a page turner and a fun read. The power of a student body is usually underestimated and the portrayal of The Mockingbirds and the power they had over these students, while still being just regular kids themselves, is pretty awesome. Alex was realistic in her reaction to involving them...skeptical at first, not sure whether to trust, but as she warmed to the idea she realized that they were her best chance for any justice at all.
I think the concept of date-rape was handled brilliantly and the idea of a romance after something that traumatic happening to Alex was also done very well. It wasn't rushed or unrealistic, it felt honest and real. It's not only an entertaining book, but could be an educational one as well. Though most schools probably don't have The Mockingbirds, Alex's story may inspire other girls to speak up.
Review copy received from publisher