The Female of the Species
By: Mindy McGinnis
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Purchase the Book: Amazon
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. (Goodreads)
The Female of the Species was a dark and relevant story. Not only did it make me cry, but this story also made me think a lot. The first time I heard about this book, I didn't think it was going to be for me. However, once I started to read more reviews, I knew I had to read this book and I'm so happy that I did. This is definitely one of those books that is going to stick with me for a long time.
The Female of the Species is the story of Alex, Jack, and Peekay. Alex is familiar with violence and doesn't feel guilty about it. Her older sister was murdered years ago and her killer was never punished. She now carefully hides away in the background every day. Next there is Jack, the popular guy at school who can't seem to stop thinking about Alex. Lastly there is Peekay, the preacher's daughter, who doesn't want to be the good girl she is expected to be.
Alex was a complex and well developed character. She believes that she is too dangerous to be around people so she's taught herself to blend into the background. It was interesting to get to know Alex piece by piece. She isn't all that great with humans, but she is great with the animals at the shelter where she works.
Jack was a well developed character too, but wasn't always very likable. He worries a lot about getting stuck in a small town for the rest of his life so he works hard to make sure he can get out. I loved the relationship that developed between Jack and Alex though. I thought that it was paced really well.
Peekay was a well developed character as well and I enjoyed getting to know her. She is so jealous of her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend that she can't seem to think of much else. I loved the friendship that developed between Alex and Peekay though. They didn't seem like they would share much in common at the start, but I loved the close bond that formed between them. I also really loved the whole emphasis on female friendship that McGinnis made throughout this book.
The plot was paced well and held my attention. It was difficult to put this book down for any amount of time because I just couldn't stop thinking about it. It's been days since I finished this book and I still can't stop thinking about it. The plot is dark and handles a variety of topics really well. McGinnis makes a real and important statement about rape culture and gender throughout this book. Each of the three characters observes and reacts to what is occurring around them in different ways. McGinnis truly does a great job at showing you three entirely different perspectives.
Overall I loved The Female of the Species. It's one of the most brutally honest and relevant books that I've read all year. I highly recommend picking this one up!