The Female of the Species – Review

I recently read this book for my book club and I knew when I finished that I couldn’t not talk about this book. 

The Female of the Species – Mindy McGinnis

Publication date: 09/20/2016

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

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

Before I begin this book deals with rape, assault, murder, and examines rape culture as a whole for anyone who it may be a trigger for.

That being said, I think this book is so important for people to read.  I went into The Female of the Species thinking it was going to be an eerie Dexter-ish high school thriller and I came out of it with a reeling reaction, tears in my eyes, and a love for this story.

Told in three povs, TFotS opens with the line “This is how I kill someone.” The MC, Alex, takes justice into her own hands and kills her sisters rapist and murderer after he got away with her murder.

Alex is ferocious. The title of the book is so apt and meaningful.  “You see it in all animals-the female of the species is more deadly than the male.” Since her sister’s murder, Alex will not stand for sexual assault or rape.  She will be the first to react and her reactions are the most fierce of all.

Exploring the three characters reactions to rape, assault, and rape culture in general was a hard, uncomfortable journey. But it was a very necessary one.  McGinnis examines rape culture and the reactions of people afterwards.  None of her characters were black and white. They were complex and genuine.  Her exploration of inherent misogyny was beautifully done, and thought provoking.

The Female of the Species is one of those books I’ll find myself thinking about for months to come.  It’s a poignant story about how far someone, no, a woman, will go to protect those in need. I absolutely loved this book and I need everyone I know (and don’t know) to read it.


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