- Copertina rigida: 352 pagine
- Editore: Little, Brown Young Readers US; 1 edizione (29 marzo 2012)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0316090573
- ISBN-13: 978-0316090575
- Peso di spedizione: 544 g
- Media recensioni: 4.0 su 5 stelle Visualizza tutte le recensioni (1 recensione cliente)
The Rivals (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 29 mar 2012
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Praise for The Rivals:
"[Whitney] writes with smooth assurance and a propulsive rhythm as she follows Alex through the Mockingbird's trial process and its accompanying emotional storm of confusion, shame, fear, and finally, empowerment. Authentic and illuminating, this strong debut explores vital teen topics of sex and violence; crime and punishment; ineffectual authority; and the immeasurable, healing influence of friendship and love."―Booklist
"In The Mockingbirds, Daisy Whitney has written an unflinchingly honest story about the importance of taking a stand and speaking out. An emotionally powerful debut that will leave readers breathless."―Courtney Summers, author of Cracked Up to Be
Descrizione del libro
In this sequel to The Mockingbirds, Whitney explores the shakey moral ground vigilante justice stands on - and what to do if it's your only choice.Visualizza tutta la Descrizione prodotto
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Principali recensioni dei clienti
Scrivere una recensione su libri a sfondo sovrannaturale mi riesce più facile, lo ammetto, perché tendo a mettere un po' di distanza tra me e il libro. Quando invece mi trovo davanti libri come The Rivals è impossibile non fermarsi a riflettere su tematiche un po' più profonde, anche se lontane dal nostro ambito culturale.
Di Daisy Whitney avevo già letto The Mockingbirds, il cui tema principale era lo stupro, un argomento a me molto caro (la mia recensione potete trovarla QUI). È passato qualche mese e ho deciso di tornare a fare visita ad Alex, la protagonista, sempre alle prese con la politica del 'mettere la testa sotto la sabbia' della prestigiosa scuola che frequenta. Ora è lei a capo del gruppo segreto che si occupa di far rispettare la disciplina nel campus, visto che la loro preside non è in grado di affrontare i problemi, ma deve vedersela con problemi quali lo spaccio di sostanze stupefacenti per migliorare le prestazioni scolastiche e le sue amicizie e la sua stessa storia d'amore ne risentiranno.
Non è tanto la storia in sé che mi è piaciuta, quanto piuttosto la credibilità di Alex e la sua forza. Alex è rimasta marchiata per sempre dallo stupro che ha subito e non sarà facile per lei dimenticarlo. Non è perfetta, fa moltissimi errori, si pente ed è piena di dubbi. Sia come capo dei Mockingbirds che come amica, Alex si mette continuamente in gioco, si fa mille domande, ma alla fine il suo scopo è solo quello di cercare di fare del suo meglio.Ulteriori informazioni ›
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Having said that, I enjoyed The Rivals, but not nearly as much as I liked the first book in this series, The Mockingbirds.
Overall, however, I do enjoy Ms. Whitney's writing style and I think she creates very real, believable teenage characters, which is not common in much of today's YA literature. I will definitely continue to read whatever Ms. Whitney writes.
The Rivals picks up just after the Mockingbirds left off. It is a new school year, and after winning her Mockingbirds date rape trial against Carter, Alex is now the leader of the Mockingbirds and sits on the board, along with her new boyfriend, Martin.
The major case in this book is not a typical Mockingbirds type case as there is no clear victim. It is a ADHD drug cheating ring linked to the debate team. I actually like the ambiguity this case introduces and Alex's struggles between what is right and wrong when everything is a shade of grey, I just question the actual premise. Yes, using ADHD drugs can give oe more focused energy, but it isn't necessarily going to make someone win debates. They don't make people smarter, just more focused.
While I don't mind Alex's struggles, and I do appreciate that the book deals with challenges that I expect are very real for today's teens, I did feel that the book dragged a bit.
I had two major issues with the story. The first is the adult involvement. I appreciate that the story actually addresses that the faculty, specifically the headmistress, look a blind eye to what is going on and given that this is a boarding school, the lack of parental involvement makes sense. However, I do find it odd that none of these kids think to involve their parents. We do get some back story that some of the parents would not be good support systems, but surely among all of these kids, one of them has a decent parent who would get involved.
The second issue is the violent incident in the end. This is completely unbelievable to me that everyone would turn a blind eye to this. If I were Alex, you'd better believe I would be on the phone with my parents and lawyering up had someone done to me what was done to her. I find her complacent reaction pretty lame and the one thing in this story that was very unbelievable. I assume that Ms. Whitney was going for shock value, and she did achieve it, but I just did not like this turn of events.
As I said above, overall this was a good book, better than much of what I read, and if you like The Mockingbirds, you should definitely read it. If you haven't read The Mockingbirds, definitely do so and then pick The Rivals up. It is a good, but not great, second book in this story and I look forward to the third entry.
I have not been more frustrated with the ending of a book since Jodi Piccoult's "My Sister's Keeper". The first 80% or so of this book is actually fairly good. The author has a strong feel for the main and side characters. The dialogue's not too bad. It also takes the story in an interesting direction by having Alex investigate a crime that has nothing to do with her and is morally ambiguous. Then it starts to unravel as too many red herrings are introduced and the whole "plot" becomes entirely too convoluted. Then the mastermind is revealed and the book takes a nosedive into stupid.
Alex learns who the mastermind is and goes to confront her and two of her friends in the middle of their school common room. One of the friends is Natalie who was introduced in the last book as being a supporter of Carter, the boy who had raped Alex. This makes sense because in real life some females will actually side with rapists. However, in this book Natalie escalates her hostility towards Alex into outright violence, pushing and shoving her throughout the book. During the aforementioned confrontation, Natalie breaks four of Alex's fingers one by one.
First off, I was absolutely shocked when the scene ended to learn that Alex DID NOT have some kind of recording device on her or one of her friends listening just outside the door. The whole time I was reading the scene play out, I remember thinking that the book would end with her revealing either a teacher or a recording that would bring the plotters down. It would've been a conventional way for the novel to end but certainly an acceptable one. That would explain why she wanted to confront the plotters by herself and why she remains in the same room with them even after Natalie initially assaults her (Natalie puts her in an arm-lock twice, the first time just to intimidate her and then Natalie let's her go, and then 2 minutes later a second time during which Natalie breaks her fingers). This is a fairly shocking scene because it represents a major escalation in violence that simply had not been there in the story before. I could've accepted this but then the story continues to be stupid. For some ungodly reason Alex has to be talked into going to the hospital by her friends. And nobody, not her friends, not the doctors and medical staff, not even the teacher who is actually sympathetic to her, even brings up the idea of her going to the police. This makes even less sense when it's revealed that there are actually two witnesses to the attack (why they didn't get involved is never explained. I could accept the idea of two bystanders not doing anything but it still needs to be brought up. Here it isn't.) Also, her parents are not even mentioned. If Alex told the medical staff that she was a high school student her parents would've been contacted. If she didn't tell the medical staff that she was a high school student they still would've needed a way to pay her Health Care costs. Also, the book doesn't say it outright but the doctors and nurses would definitely have asked her how the injury took place and so it is implied that she made up some kind of a lie. I could sort of maybe understand her being too fearful or ashamed to openly seek out police involvement but it doesn't make sense that she would actively cover for her attacker.
Also, she tells her head mistress what happened and the headmistress attempts to sweep it under the rug and makes it very clear that Natalie will not be punished. This is a theme running through the novels, the way that the faculty repeatedly turn a blind eye to infractions and even violence in order to preserve their public reputation. This does have real world precedents. Look up the Silsbee High Rape Scandal. This would seem initially to justify the headmistress' reaction. However, when you think about it, the headmistress' reaction doesn't seem quite right for the very simple reason that with an act of violence like this that took place on school grounds, the school would be liable to lawsuits from Alex's family. As the headmistress of a posh boarding school she would be very conscious to the threat from litigious parents. A more realistic example would be for her to give a non committal answer to Alex and immediately seek legal advice on how to proceed in a way that would minimize her risk.
Furthermore, this scene itself is written poorly. Natalie puts Alex into two arm-locks and yet Alex neither physically resists nor yells for help. When Natalie breaks Alex's fingers the writer describes it as Alex screaming silently but trying not to make any noise. This doesn't make sense to anybody who has ever suffered a broken bone. It is nearly impossible to keep from shrieking out when it initially happens and afterwards the pain is so unbearable that most people would be sobbing uncontrollably. The only exceptions are if somebody either one has a very high tolerance for pain, or two are operating under such a strong surge of adrenaline that they don't feel the injury. Neither explanation is given in the book. Also, it doesn't really make sense that the people behind the conspiracy, who are apparently brilliant, would be so willing to injure Alex in a public place. Remember, this is felony assault that they have committed and they are all old enough to be tried as adults which would make prison time a very real possibility.
Even more strange is the fact Alex seems oddly placid and accepting about what happens. To be sure she does want Natalie to be expelled but that's it. We don't get any sense of rage which is what she would understandably be feeling. This is in contrast to the last book which actually did do a pretty good job of examining Alex's reaction to an act of violence that was done to her previously. Even then one of the things that was missing was a strong desire for revenge on Alex's part. I get that the author doesn't believe in revenge and that's fine to write a story about the character moving on from a desire for revenge, but the desire should still be there.
Last but not least, the books ending is very open. I suspect that the author plans to write a sequel. In fact, a sequel is requirement. I gave the rivals two stars because the first 80% of it is well written but that is on the assumption that the author is planning on concluding her story because if she hasn't then this is a one star book. I don't necessarily object to ambiguous endings but most of the plot threads in this book are left unresolved and that frustrates me. I don't necessarily mind it when it's part of the series such as Harry Potter, but generally I am of the opinion that books should be able to stand on their own and this one doesn't.
The whole cheating/drug ring plot seemed kind of strange to me at first. I'm still not sure I entirely get the premise - the debate team is using ADHD medication to win their debates? How is that supposed to work? When people abuse Adderall - or Annie, as it's called in The Rivals - it's to help them focus on getting work done, and I don't really see how that helps the debate team. But even if the premise didn't make all that much sense to me, I did really enjoy the mystery that evolves around it. There are various plot twists in The Rivals that will keep you on your toes - I didn't see half of them coming!
I especially loved the way The Rivals changed the way you think about everything we learned in The Mockingbirds, how it challenges what you thought was right and wrong. Just like Alex, you ask yourself how far you're allowed to go in the name of (what you consider) justice, whether it's more important to trust the people close to you or to do your "job" of questioning everything, and so on. The lines between right and wrong are a lot more blurred in The Rivals than they were in The Mockingbirds, and I loved reading about Alex trying to figure out what would be the right thing to do.
Within the context of this case, it was interesting to see how Alex's relationships with those around her evolved. I still loved Alex's character, and the cast of secondary characters is fully developed and complex, just like in the first book. I especially liked Alex's relationship with Martin - too often, sequels create too much unnecessary drama between the couples that are established in the first book, so I'm glad that Alex's relationship with Martin progresses in such a natural way in The Rivals.
Part of what makes these two books so powerful together, I think, is how in The Rivals, we get to see Alex still struggling to come to terms with her rape from The Mockingbirds. Daisy Whitney handled the issue of rape with as much grace and delicacy as she did in the first book; the scenes where Alex sees her rapist on campus and the scenes where she and Martin are trying to figure out how to have a "normal" relationship after what happened to Alex are some of the most powerful scenes in the novel, for me. The only thing that bothered me about this topic is how Alex's rape is continuously referred to as date-rape, just because I don't like how that term makes acquaintance-rape seem somehow less than the dark-alley rape many people still associate with the term.
The Rivals is everything a good sequel should be, and more. It's a complex and layered story that complicates everything we learned in The Mockingbirds. With fully developed characters, a captivating writing style, and a complex and fascinating plot, I can't recommend this series enough! I can't wait to read more from Daisy Whitney!
Alex (who was the date rape survivor) now heads The Mockingbirds, and with her two fellow leaders (one of whom is her decent and understanding boyfriend) must look into accusations of cheating-by-prescription drug. This book struck me as three stars (middle of the pack) all the way - pretty interesting characters, somewhat unexpected plot twists. Adults are unhelpful and fairly one-dimensional, the teens triumph. From reading other reviews, it sounds like The Mockingbirds might be a better book to recommend.
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: borrowed from a friend