The Female of the Species
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover image and summary from 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.
Well. I’m not quite sure where to start reviewing this book. It was definitely one of my most anticipated books of the year, and I was really excited to read it.
I really loved this book. It’s a difficult book to read at times, but so good. I loved the three different perspectives we got. I don’t always find stories with multiple POVs that do it well, but I thought it really worked here. Mostly. I liked Alex and Peekay, and getting to be in their heads. I was less interested in Jack’s character. I was actually more interested in Branley than Jack, and getting her POV.
This book goes to some dark places. It’s violent and a little disturbing at times (warning if you don’t want to read about animal cruelty – there is some of that in this book), but the characters really got under my skin and stuck with me long after I put the book down. Mindy McGinnis tackles a lot of subjects in here, and I found myself thinking a lot about feminism, violence, animal cruelty, slut shaming, rape and rape culture, but it didn’t feel too heavy handed or ‘issue’y, for the most part.
I definitely recommend this book, but I know that it’s dark and violent and may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Buy a copy for yourself!