Book Review: The Female of the Species

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 20th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

“This is how I kill someone.”

The book is about how in the aftermath of Alex killing her sister’s rapist and murderer she isolated herself and how now she is slowly being pulled out of that isolation. The author was very good about bringing up a lot of really weighty questions.

But I’m still not really sure what I feel about this book. I liked Alex and Claire well enough, but I didn’t like Jack. I think things would have flowed a bit smoother if the book had just kept to Alex and Claire’s point of views. Their budding friendship was my favorite part of the book.

“Define success,” I say almost to myself.

“I didn’t kill anyone today,” Alex says.

I honestly think that if Jack wasn’t in this book (or if his part was smaller), I would have rated this four or five stars easily. But this is such a character-driven story that disliking 1/3 of who the story is about really brings down everything else.

However, a lot of people love this book, so this is definitely more of a me thing. Give this book a try, you might end up loving it!

“Everyone thinks if you fix a male dog it will lower his aggression, but most of the biters are female. It’s basic instinct to protect their own womb. You see it in all animals—the female of the species is more deadly than the male.”

About the book

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.

Content Warnings:

Sexual assault, rape, pedophilia, child abuse, animal abuse, sexual violence, sexism, violence, blood, animal death, murder, torture, death, death of a sibling (in the past), grief, misogyny, sexual content, gun violence, alcoholism, victim blaming, body shaming, bullying, homicidal thoughts, attempted rape, date rape, molestation, drug use, and gore.

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