I was incredibly excited to have the opportunity to review The Rivals courtesy of Around the World ARC Tours! The Mockingbirds was one of the first books that I reviews on this blog back in February, so it naturally has a special place in my heart.
The Rivals picks up the next school year after The Mockingbirds. Our MC, Alex, is now head of the Mockingbirds, and she's finding that being the leader of the groups brings with it a whole new set of unexpected complications and difficulties. As she struggles to define her world with the group at center stage, she must learn what the most important things are and that sometimes things aren't always as they seem.
Alex is a character that you can easily connect with because she is a very real character--one with real problems, one who makes bad decisions and suffers the consequences. In short--her life's not some storybook tale of boarding school perfection. She really struggles in this book with the things that she "has" to do as well as continuing to recover from the events of The Mockingbirds.
I also LOVE the romance in these books because it's not some perfect, insta-love relationship. Alex meets and starts dating Martin in the first book (and there are definitely some bumps in the road involved there!). Their relationship continues into and through this book, and they deal with a lot of emotional stuff throughout. Martin is there for Alex as she continues to process last year's events and never pushes her when she's not comfortable. They also deal with arguments and jealousy throughout, which makes them seem like that much more real of a couple.
Finally (because I know this is getting long), I loved how this one ended. Alex really grows up throughout and I was really happy to see how things developed towards the end. Without giving too much away, it was nice to see the group changing a bit from its somewhat vigilante nature, even if that changed was force upon it by outside forces.
Ms. Whitney deals with serious issues facing teens in a realistic way that doesn't glorify the negative actions or attempt to scare teens into submission. In this second novel, she has also taken on the role that adults can play in the lives of teens and given her characters a positive role model (even if she doesn't really materialize as such until the end). This two book series is a phenomenal read that I highly recommend.
You can read my review of The Mockingbirds HERE.
|I received this book from review from ATWT.|