The Female of the Species
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Check it Out: Goodreads
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 is going to be such a hard book to review. To put it simply; this book was so real and raw and I want everyone to read it. It’s not an easy book to read but it touches on so many important topics.
Alex. I loved her. I felt for her. She was the type of character that made you question your own outlook on right and wrong. She decided to do what the police didn’t do, and that was punish her sister’s killer.
”I am a wolf that my sister kept in a cage, until her hand was removed.”
Alex’s actions really put things into perspective. Do you think she was wrong? It’s hard to answer. Of course, the bottom line is yes. However, we have to look at it from her eyes. The law wasn’t on her sister’s side. She needed and wanted vengeance for what happened to her sister.
This book is like a letter to rape culture. It shows just how much we have really let things pass over us without even realizing what we are doing. So much of the way we speak and allow others to speak so candidly about sexual assault really shocked me.
“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 disdain and punctuated with an eye roll.”
This is told in the POV of Alex, PeeKay aka Claire, and Jack. I enjoyed Claire’s character and the way she opened up Alex up to life. She became such a good friend to her and I loved seeing such a good female friendship on page.
Now Jack, I think differently. Was I supposed to like him? The one good thing that I can say about him is that I loved the way he still accepted Alex when he found everything that she had done. After that? I have nothing good to say. He thought with his dick and was in so many predicaments with girls that he shouldn’t have been in since he had a girlfriend.
Besides Jack, my other issue with the book was the way it ended. I can understand it, but I need a bit more closure and wish it could have gone a different way.
Overall, while this isn’t an easy book to digest, I recommend it! This pulled forth so many emotions from me and really made me think.
TW: sexual assault; rape; pedophilia; attempted rape; violence: animal abuse