The Female of the Species
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publication: September 20th, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Kindle Edtion, 341 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Read: April 2017
Mindy McGinnis — Goodreads
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.
While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.
But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.
So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.
Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.
Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This book is a punch in the gut and there’s no way around it. It’s a brutal look at humanity and rape culture and how it’s become so common within society today. We follow the day to day lives of the characters and it’s not a linear plot line. It’s dark, gritty, violent and intense. I won’t be able to forget this story for a really long time.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style lent really well to the way the narrative is told. There’s three different POVs and each has it’s own distinct voice. It was easy to read and fast paced and engaging. It was intense, powerful and honest. It was lyrical, brutal and violent. Another punch to the gut to be quite honest.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
The characters in this book are so real and complex. From the main characters, to the side characters, they all feel like complete people and we’re just getting a little glimpse of their lives.
Alex is really intense. She doesn’t really understand social interactions and her point of view is almost robotic and factual in the way that she speaks and thinks. But she is also very kind and protective. She understands herself better than anyone and knows her limitations. I ended up being a huge fan of her which wasn’t something that I expected when I first started reading.
Then there’s Jack who is a douche. Honestly, there’s no other way to describe him, he’s a very typical asshole boy who has the world at the tip of his fingers and doesn’t really think about why. He’s kind of annoying but I appreciated how much he grew throughout the story. He’s really torn and confused.
And the last protagonist is Peekay, who definitely should not go by that name because she represents something so much better. She’s really sweet and kind and loving. But she’s also really accustomed to the way life is and unaware of how bad things actually are. However, she’s determined to improve and I really enjoyed reading from her point of view.
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