I stayed up late last night to finish The Rivals by Daisy Whitney for an Around the World Tour.
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.
Just like the first book (The Mockingbirds), The Rivals deals with an important topic not only at boarding schools, but at all schools in general--a cheating ring. While I really enjoyed this book, it didn't quite have the power that the first book did.
While I'm still not sure that a system like this would work in a real school (and we kind of see that in the book) I'm the type of person that definitely sees right from wrong. I think I would be on a board like this, if I attended the school. So it makes the story all the more interesting to me.
And this story definitely had me guessing...wrongly, I might add! I definitely didn't see the culprit coming. My theories on who was behind the whole cheating ring kept changing, but I never guessed right. The violence at the end really shocked me. I couldn't believe that the scandal went as far as it did.
Since The Rivals isn't due out until February of next year, I guess it's too far away to guess if there will be a third book, but I sure hope there will be one!
I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.
The Rivals will be released on February 6, 2012.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 48
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 41
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 36
2011 YA Contemporary Challenge: 7
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.