11 August 2011

(ARC) YA Book Review: The Rivals by Daisy Whitney

Release Date: 6 February 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Pre-Order Your Copy! Amazon

Goodreads description:
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 ring has sprung up, and 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 may reveal more about herself than she ever expected.
My Thoughts...

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.


Bookish Brunette said...

Well the cover leaves MUCH to be desired... ;) But it sounds freaking AWESOME!

Rachel Brooks said...

This sounds like a really great book. I need to go back and read Mockingbirds first though. I like that the author deals with heavy issues in a realistic way.

Also, I’m a new follower— awesome blog! Stop by my blog and follow
me too? :) http://rachelbrookswrites.blogspot.com/

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