The Compulsive Reader: The Rivals by Daisy Whitney

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Rivals by Daisy Whitney

Alex is back at Themis Academy for her senior year, and as leader of The Mockingbirds, the underground student justice system. She's still not completely over what happened to her last year, but she's eager to be a part of the Mockingbirds and help any way she can. When she's approached about a cheating ring using illegal prescription drugs, her job gets tough. There's no clear perpetrator, everyone has differing opinions, and every clue is sending her in a different direction. Can she hold the Mockingbiords together, find out who is playing with them, and bring down the cheaters without sacrificing her values?

The Rivals is an excellent sequel to Daisy Whitney's debut, The Mockingbirds. Though Alex still struggles with getting over her rape, the book doesn't focus on that issue--though Whitney does illustrate the point that standing up for what's right can have a lasting negative impact. But The Rivals sticks mainly to the problems at hand, and how Alex can fight the dirty tactics of the cheaters without becoming underhanded herself or crumpling under the pressure. It can be hard, and Alex isn't a perfect protagonist or leader, but the lessons she learns help amplify Whitney's message that doing right, and doing it honestly, are more important than winning and being the best. Whitney pulls this off without being preachy, and with an engrossing mystery as well. The books offers quite a different perspective than The Mockingbirds, but is no less entertaining. The Rivals is a riveting book aboutjustice and the peer pressures of high school.

Cover Comments: I like the yearbook style of this cover, and the graphics, but it does seem a little average compared to a lot of YA covers out there.

ARC picked up at BEA.

Stay tuned on Thursday for an exclusive video with Daisy Whitney!

1 comment:

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I am very excited about this as I mostly enjoyed The Mockingbirds; this sounds like it expands more on the concept of justice while exploring new issues.