We are so happy to be a part of the tour for Mindy’s upcoming The Female of the Species! But before we share our thoughts here’s the 411 on the book!The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: A Madness So Discreet, Given to the Sea
Published by HarperCollins on September 20th 2016
Genres: Law & Crime, Social Themes, Thrillers & Suspense, Violence, Young Adult Fiction
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.
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis is a standalone YA thriller that I had to have as soon as I knew about it. First, I loved Not a Drop to Drink by McGinnis and second, the summary immediately had my attention. After reading I will say, this book may not be for everyone as it addresses some touchy subjects but I actually find these types of stories interesting as I like to see how the characters respond. McGinnis definitely took me down a path I wasn’t expecting for some of these characters and I thought she did a wonderful job with this story.
Alex Craft has kept herself separate from everyone since her sister was murdered and the killer walked free. She doesn’t trust herself around others because she knows there is something different about her. When the story picks up, it is her senior year and she is leading the race for valedictorian. The person next on the list is Jack Fisher and Alex grabs his attention in a meeting and he can’t stop thinking about her. The other key character to this story is Peekay, the preacher’s kid. She ends up connected to Alex because her Senior Year Experience is to volunteer at the animal shelter where Alex spends quite a bit of time. As these three characters begin to build relationships with each other, they face plenty of challenges as well as learn more about who they are and who they can trust.
Alex was such an interesting character. When her sister was found murdered, Alex knew who did it and decided to take things into her own hands. This was the catalyst to her recognizing she needed to keep herself separate from others but when she begins to build a friendship with Peekay and a relationship with Jack, the star athlete and popular guy, she also begins to mingle with the other students in her class and this just opens the door for things to happen that may not have had she kept herself away.
Jack drove me crazy. Alex and Jack’s relationship is not readily accepted by everyone…especially Branley, the girl Jack used to hook up with. It was obvious that he was very interested in Alex but he also didn’t really stop Branley from thinking she ever had a chance with him again. Now perhaps teenage boys are that stupid but there were times I just couldn’t believe he was serious about Alex when he would be getting texts with provocative pictures from Branley and didn’t do anything about it to get her to stop. It also just made me sad that Branley thought her looks were all she had to offer anyone. When things finally hit a head between Jack and Alex, he just kind of stepped back and didn’t really do anything until Peekay pushed him to acknowledge he still had feelings for Alex and again, I wonder if things would have ended up the way they did if he had just continued to sit back and do nothing.
I loved that Peekay and Alex became friends. They both needed each other and connected at exactly the right time. Peekay has recently been dumped by Adam…who by the way is a douchebag. Are high school boys really like him and Jack? If so, I’m glad I was never faced with those two as choices. Anyway, Peekay pulls Alex out of her cocoon and Alex watches out for Peekay in her own way. Alex isn’t afraid to say what is on her mind and confront those that have wronged her or the people she cares about and in some cases, this is what gets her in trouble. Peekay is the one who pulls Alex along with her and gets her to open up and eventually their friendship is as normal as any other teenage friendship.
As I mentioned there are some sensitive topics in this book. Rape, image and how people see themselves, murder, etc…yes, really et cetera. McGinnis covered off on a number of issues and did it in a way that felt real. She also somehow made me feel like Alex, while definitely wrong, was a good person and I think that is why I enjoyed this book so much. I knew going in that McGinnis was going to tell a great story, I just had no idea that I would have so many feelings about everything and because I don’t want to give anything away, I can’t really say that much about the details in this review. You should just go and read this book and then we can chat all about it. If you are in the mood for a book that will get you thinking and yank on your feelings, definitely check this one out. I can’t wait to see what McGinnis writes next!
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!
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