Title: The Rivals (The Mockingbirds #2)
Author: Daisy Whitney
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: February 6, 2012
Source: Finished Copy from Publisher
When Alex Patrick was assaulted by another student last year, her elite boarding school wouldn't do anything about it. This year Alex is head of the Mockingbirds, a secret society of students who police and protect the student body. WHile she desperately wants to live up to the legacy that's been given to her, she's now dealing with a case unlike any the Mockingbirds have seen before.It isn't rape. It isn't bullying. It isn't hate speech. A far-reaching prescription drug rings has sprung up, and the 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 threaten to reveal even more about herself.
When I read The Mockingbirds at the end of 2010, I absolutely loved the book and once I finished reading I couldn't wait for more. So you can imagine I was really excited when it was announced that there would be another book focusing on Alex and her friends. I was extremely excited when my copy of The Rivals came in the mail, and once I sat down to read the book, I didn't get up again until I was finished reading it. Yes, it was THAT good.
It's a new year at Themis Academy and now Alex Patrick is the head of the Mockingbirds, the school's underground justice system. Alex is eager to be able to help fellow students the way the Mockingbirds helped her last year when she was date-raped. When a case lands in her lap, Alex doesn't know exactly what she's supposed to do. The case is unlike any other case the Mockingbirds have ever dealt with. But Alex decides to take on the case, because there is no way a school-wide drug ring can end well. But every step of the way Alex finds herself being led in different directions, and nothing seems to be adding up. Not only that, but Alex also finds herself being personally affected by the case and lying to her friends and her boyfriend. At the end of the day, could this case be the one that causes the Mockingbirds to fall?
Daisy Whitney's writing is addicting. While reading The Rivals I kept telling myself that I would only read one more chapter, but really, I just kept reading until there were no more chapters to read. The Rivals is not just one of those books that is incredibly addicting, it's also a book that will stay with you in more than one way. In her books, Daisy Whitney likes to deal with subjects that aren't easy. And those are the kinds of books I wish there were more of in YA. But beyond just that, I loved the story itself. There was something about it that just pushed me to keep reading. It was packed with twists and turns, and with every new piece of evidence that was presented, the culprit seemed to change. If nothing else, I wanted to keep reading just to finally be able to find out who was responsible for the drug ring.
Alex Patrick is a character I have come to love. I love how in spite of everything she has gone through, she never gave up and stood up for herself. In The Rivals, that same Alex is back and ready to help others do what she did for herself in the first book. And she doesn't succeed at it right away, and I loved that. I liked seeing her struggle and eventually work her way through it because it showed me that she wasn't perfect. And of course, in her place, I probably wouldn't have done much better. Another refreshing character is Martin. He isn't a bad boy or a complete jerk, but instead a total science geek and I love him for it. Martin was a great character to see again, and I love his relationship with Alex and the way he is with her. After everything she's been through, she deserves a boy like Martin…though I am tempted to steal him and keep him for myself.
The Rivals was a fantastic read. I've said it already and I'll say it again, but Daisy Whitney's writing is absolutely addictive. I just couldn't seem to get enough of this book and I am seriously hoping there are more books to come with these characters.