The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Published September 20th, 2016
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Mystery-Thriller
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon
A contemporary YA novel that examines rape culture through alternating perspectives.
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.
Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.
As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.
This was so brutally amazing! I can’t even process it. What a nasty and yet brilliant book.
This book is about Alex, whose sister was raped and murdered. After that, she became different; detached from everyone else. Until she befriends Jack, the most popular guy in her high school who is slightly obsessed with knowing her, and Peekay, the preacher’s kid who works at the animal shelter with Alex and whose ex-boyfriend ditched her for the hottest girl in school – Branley – who is interested in Jack. All their stories tangle together and everyone is fighting their own battles. But in Alex’s case, she acts on it. She manages to kill her sister’s murderer and get away with it. After that, she became aware that something has to be wrong with her and her impulse to hurt people who hurt others keeps getting bigger.
This book shows the purest of realities. It’s exactly the world we live in, there’s no sugar coat and there are no soft words. We live in a world where violence is common. No one blinks an eye if you talk about it because it’s just what is considered to be “normal”… But it shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t have to live in a world where we get sexually assaulted, where children are molested, where cities are destroyed with everyone in it, where dreams are crushed by words and where everything that is different is automatically considered bad. And that’s one of the things Alex talks about.
“Tonight they used words they know, words that don’t bother people anymore. They said bitch. They told another girl they would put their dicks in her mouth. No one protested because this is our language now.”
The story is told in three different POVs – Alex, Jack and Peekay and they are incredibly well developed. I loved all the family and friendships shown in the book, the contrast between Peekay’s parents and Alex’s parents. How a person changes after something incredibly wrong happens. But I loved especially how Alex is kind of a hero. A twisted one sure, but still a hero. She takes justice into her own hands and we all understand that that’s wrong. But it’s difficult not to like her. It’s difficult not to be on the side of a person who kills an actual monster…
This book contains topics such as rape, animal cruelty, slut-shaming, drugs and sexual assault. It talks about a lot more than that, but for sure these are some triggers for anyone sensitive to any of those topics. It’s told in a very different way, a very effective one actually. It took me quite a long time to process everything I read in this book. There are parts that did make me uncomfortable, I have quite a dark taste, but animal cruelty is something I’m not particularly comfortable reading about. And this book was spot on honest and transparent. It was great but wow, it made me feel a hell of a lot.
It’s quite a dark read. It’s by no means an easy read but it’s definitely worth it. It’s an amazing book that talks about incredibly important topics in an unforgettable way. It’s a book that hits hard from start to finish and I highly recommend it.
“I live in a world where not being molested as a child is considered luck.”
“But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdains and punctuated with an eye roll”
“You can love someone down to their core and they can love you right back just as hard, and if you traded diaries you’d learn things you never suspected. There’s a part of everyone deep down inside of them not meant for you. And the sooner you learn that, the easier your life is gonna be.”
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!