The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
When Alex wakes up naked in a strange boy’s dorm bed, she has absolutely no idea how she ended up there. She gets out of there as quickly as she can, but she can’t understand how she had sex with a stranger, when she didn’t even do that with her ex-boyfriend. As bits and pieces of the truth start coming back to her, the high school junior realizes she’s had non-consensual sex with Carter, and starts doing her best to avoid him around the small, New England boarding school campus. But even that doesn’t help because Carter starts bragging about his sexual exploits to all his water polo teammates, painting himself as as irresistible stud. To add insult to injury, the Themis Academy administration won’t help Alex–they view their students as perfect and rarely even discipline students since they trust them to behave honorably, and just don’t “see” any other types of behavior. Alex’s roommate and her older sister Casey encourage her to take her problem to the Mockingbirds, a semi-secret student organization that seeks justice for students through a regimented trial process. But Alex doesn’t know if she wants to invite the entire school into her personal business.
This book kept me on the edge of my chair! The story moved along quickly, and I got caught up in Alex’s fears and emotions as she decided to let the Mockingbirds try her date rapist. I especially liked that the writer stressed that “Silence does not equal consent. . . . The only thing that means yes is yes.” Writer Whitney also includes a brief afterward where she talks about her own date rape experience during college, and gives a good list of resources for students to use for further information or assistance. This would be a great title to read after reading Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson.