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Book Review: The Rivals

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The Rivals (The Mockingbirds #2)
by Daisy Whitney

4 stars: Recommended
Format: Hardback
Publication: February 6th, 2012
Pages: 352
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Buy it: Amazon (Hardback) | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

Alex's role in the Mockingbirds, an underground student justice system at her elite boarding school, is challenged when she tries to stop a group of students using prescription drugs to help other students cheat, as school officials turn a blind eye to the wrongdoing.

After reading The Mockingbirds, I was excited to pick up The Rivals. While The Mockingbirds could have ended where it did, I loved the characters and story, and I was a very happy reader with book two sitting next to me, especially with how different it proved to be from book one. (While I enjoyed book one, it would be boring to read the same formula in a different setting with a new case.) The Mockingbirds dealt with date rape. In book two, some students are using prescription drugs to cheat; plus, the Mockingbirds find rivals in another student group of vigilantes.

While the story picks up where book one left off, book two is different in that there is more intrigue: there is a case, but we don't know who is at fault and must figure it out along with the characters, who show some amazing development once again. Alex struggles with leading the Mockingbirds. While the idea of a student vigilante group sounds amazing, it is hard to maintain. Alex doesn't have a clear set of moral guidelines to follow, and she doesn't know when to be a friend, a  student, or the head of a student vigilante group.

At the same time, Alex is still suffering from the same experiences that haunted her during book one, and her experiences prove an obstacle to forming new relationships. She and the other main characters' ethics are tested; they fail, they admit their mistakes, and they grow. I loved them the better for their human weaknesses. The culprits, on the other hand, are characters that you love to hate.

While there is not as much action as book one, The Rivals also confronts ethical issues that makes us consider what we would do in the characters' situations, and it is a great followup to The Mockingbirds. Whether or not you've read book one, The Rivals is a book that I would definitely recommend; and if you haven't read book one already, I highly suggest you get your hands on a copy!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
3 comments on "Book Review: The Rivals"
  1. I'm so happy The Rivals is just as good as the first book!

    And I love it when there are ethical dilemmas and our favorite characters have flaws that make them more endearing.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Will I be lost to read this one first? Because I have not read the first one, Rivals sounds really good!

  3. Hi Krista,

    I recommend reading book one first. It'll give you insight into the story that you wouldn't have had otherwise. Plus, book one (THE MOCKINGBIRDS) is a really good book! :)

    Hope this helps,


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