The Female of the Species
A Novel By Mindy McGinnis
Not my words but, nonetheless, an overview:
Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a dark and riveting contemporary YA novel that blends the unflinching honesty of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak with the relentless pacing and alternating perspectives of Gone Girl. A stunning, unforgettable page-turner.
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.
Welp, my first attempt at a book club and I accidentally choose a young adult book….surprise surprise! Nonetheless, this has to be one of my new favorite “quick reads” in terms of how interesting and fascinating the writing was. The Female of the Species delved into concepts that I never thought I would understand or emphasize with, such as revenge, violence, vulnerability, acceptance and love. I found myself understanding and questioning Alex’s nature, as it was so raw and loving – in a unexpected and completely abrupt way. The symbolism of how present animals (emphasizing the shelter) were throughout the book and the weight of that innocence as a parallel to Alex’s private narrative kept me fascinated from front-to-back. I related so heavily with Peekay’s character and her conscious-thought of trying to read/understand Alex’s character. It was interesting personally thinking the same questions as another character in the book. I think that the idea of friendship and the acceptance that goes with not understanding those closest to you was really cool and Mindy McGinnis did an amazing job weaving them throughout the story. I did think the whole “bad-boy playa-hata football jock” love-story was a bit overdone. Although, Jack knowing about Alex’s past and violent side made for a exciting and pleasant twist to Jack and Alex’s narrative. I definitely was shocked towards the end, as I am not sure how I thought it was going to end, but it surely wasn’t how it ended. I think this story, had it been told through one person’s perspective, would have been just-another-YA-read, but because it was done through multiple perspectives and dove deep into each character, it had the twist that kept me reading for hours on end. I would certainly recommend this book to friends, although depending on the age and their style. My boyfriend would not read this book. But alas, now I am without a book and next month is so far away!
I will update when I find another rabbit hole to escape into.