Monday, November 8, 2010
Good things first. I am thrilled that this novel brings up the subject of date-rape in a sensitive, discussion worthy way. There is no victim blaming and the idea of YES means YES vs NO means NO brilliantly brings across that if you don’t specifically agree to having sex, then you are being taken advantage of and are a victim of a crime.
Author Whitney, a date-rape victim herself, also deftly shows how Alex’s trauma effects her relationships and her day to day life and sets up a tender romance with a fellow student, Martin, to underscore the difference of consensual “hooking-up” and non-consensual date-rape.
However, I was extremely frustrated with Alex for taking action against her alleged rapist based solely on circumstantial evidence. She can’t remember if she had sex or not (question: especially as a virgin, wouldn’t she feel some physical effects of forced entry?), so simply takes Carter’s word for it (a boy who is known to make false claims) and sees two empty condom wrappers as proof that something MUST have happened.
Now I can see why she wouldn’t necessarily think of doing a rape-kit and why she wouldn’t want to go to the police, but why not see a doctor for some tangible evidence before making a very serious claim against someone that could severely damage their reputation?
SPOILER (invisio text! highlight with your curser to read): I realize this becomes a moot point once Alex regains her memories – still it really bothered me through most of the novel.
I also wasn’t thrilled with the idea of The Mockingbirds’ brand of justice. It’s clever, sure, but it also smacks of the very bullying it is trying to combat.
It is for those reasons that I recommend this novel, but with some reservations.
THE MOCKINGBIRDS is available now in hardcover. Find out more about it at the author’s website.