The Female of the Species by Mindy McginnisThe Female of the Species by Mindy Mcginnis

The Female of the Species

byMindy Mcginnis

Hardcover | September 20, 2016

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2017 Tayshas List Selection * YALSA Top 10 Best YA Fiction of 2017 * School Libray Journal Best of 2016 * Junior Library Guild Selection * The Globe and Mail Best Books of 2016 * Bustle’s Best Young Adult Books of 2016 * Mashable’s 8 Best YA Books of 2016 * Seventeen's 10 Best YA Books of 2016 * CCBC Choices 2017

Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a relentless and riveting contemporary YA novel that examines rape culture through alternating perspectives. 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.

Title:The Female of the SpeciesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.13 inPublished:September 20, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062320890

ISBN - 13:9780062320896

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Relentlessly Realistic Powerful and unflinching. McGinnis spares no detail and strips away the censor. Heartbreaking and thought provoking, easily one of the best books of the year.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quick Read I don't think this book was as compelling as the other reviews say. I liked the characters, and thought they were very realistic of the types of characters you would see in a high school environment. The one thing that I found disappointing was that I didn't identify with any of these characters, nor did I find any of them to be of any type of roll model. It was a very quick read, and not complicated.
Date published: 2017-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Fave Read of 2016 I bought this book on a whim for my birthday. I pre-ordered it since I loved the synopsis of the book. When I received it in the mail I was worried I wouldn't like it. I was so surprised how much I enjoyed it! It sucked me in from the first few pages. I read it in a day. Now I recommend this book to everyone and it is one of my all time faves!
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this so much Mindy McGinnis continues to amaze me. I've read all of her other books but this one was, by far, my favourite. The characters were perfect and the plot itself was amazing. I couldn't put it down
Date published: 2017-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful Such a powerful and impactful book! A Very important
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A sometimes difficult read, but really worth it I can't really say anything without spoiling a bit so be warned. This is a sad book, punctuated with moments of comedy and happiness, that leaves me feeling a mixture of warmth and disappointment. I think it's an important read, if you can handle somewhat graphic descriptions of animal cruelty and murder, and frank discussions of rape and rape culture, though all of that is why I think it's important to read this book. Despite all she has done and does throughout the novel, I really loved Alex, and I rooted for her. Peekay was also great, and their friendship really contributed to a lot of the happiness I felt while reading. I read it pretty quickly, and it ended in a way that made sense but also in a way that I was dreading.
Date published: 2017-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Important Really well written revenge novel. Tackles rape culture in a way that doesn't glorify it and has a shocking ending. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Revenge Novel This is a great revenge novel and there's no holding back! The female of the species is the most dangerous and I think a lot of people could agree with that. There's nothing more dangerous than someone that's seemingly sweet. The way that the book is set up, the way one situation can change a person forever is almost too easy to relate to. I think any girl in high school should pick up this book because there's definitely a lesson to be learned here.
Date published: 2017-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW This is the first book Ive read in awhile where the characters felt real. I became to attached to them and the ending physically upset me. It was so well written. High recommend #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb, thought provoking I read this because I heard so many positive reviews about it and loved it! Really loved this one. The real life characters, the beautiful writing and the important topics discussed were pleasant to read. It's not just YA, it's relatable and the plot will captivate you as well as the highly interesting and complex characters. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Speechless This book is absolutely deceiving. I went into this expecting to be entertained by a cutesy quirky book. But it was so, so much more. The messages in this book are incredibly important. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is due to my own feelings, I was simply overwhelmed and wished the ending had gone a different way. But that's part of the message and I respect this author so much.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful and Haunting This book. Oh gosh this book. This one stuck with me for days and days after I finished it. Even now it occasionally pops into my thoughts. It is so well-written and so relevant. The three POV protagonists are charmingly flawed, distinct and engaging, with unique voices. Every person you meet in this book feels like a living breathing human and you care for them hugely by the end of the book. The message is strongly feminist with a huge lean on accountability for one's actions and how to be a better ally and friend. This one should be required reading in high school class rooms. I loved every second.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book was so well written and so powerful. I was speechless afterward.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow. Wow. Wow. This book is a revelation. Such a great story, such complex characters and such great writing. I loved every single part of it, even the ones who broke my heart. A+!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review Number of pages: 352 Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1 Rating (out of five stars): 3 This book sure is compelling. I don’t think I’ve read a realistic fiction book since November, because despite my best efforts, I cannot stand them. There are all these fabulous, diverse, and interesting realistic fiction books I want to read, but never will because I know I will hate them. Realistic fiction books feel so dull and plot less to me, so bear that in mind while reading this and any of my other reviews of realistic fiction books. I also finished it weeks ago, so that may have an effect on my review. When I finished The Female of the Species, all I could think about was how compelling it was. Sadly, I didn’t sit there hugging it to my chest, I simply put it in a box (I don’t have enough shelf space) and went about my day. Maybe I was too focused on my upcoming (now completed) exams, but that doesn’t seem right as I finished a book two days before my final exam and absolutely loved it. I didn’t consider the feminist message I was supposed to be praising this book for, I didn’t care about what happened to one of the main characters at the end, I just shrugged and put the book away. Also, if you have read this and are familiar with Elizabethan values, did you get great chain of being vibes from this book? That may have just spoiled the ending, but the events of the story fit really well into the Elizabethan values concerning murder and the afterlife. I was also reading Hamlet for English class at the time, so it may just be that, but I’m genuinely curious. This book is strange. Granted, I live in a village where rape and murder cases are rare, but I think if the adults around me acted like the adults in this book, they would have been fired long ago, especially the police officer. I’ve had police officers come to my schools and tell us to not put our location and school on Facebook, abstain from sex, and not do drugs (complete with scaring images), but never have I had a police officer point to five students and say that one of them will be raped. There’s also something off about the main characters. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but something about them just seamed wrong. Despite the flaws, I think if you are into realistic fiction, don’t mind a little gore, and want to read a book about feminism and rape culture, this strange little book might be for you. I think it covers rape culture and female friendships nicely. Overall, while The Female of the Species harbors a nice message concerning rape culture and feminism, it simply wasn’t for me, earning it 3 out of 5 stars.
Date published: 2017-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful and completely intoxicating This book gave me all of the feels! I am completely in love with Alex. She is truthful, smart, and sees things differently. She see things the way they are and isn't afraid to say what needs to be said and call people out on their bullshit. I loved everything about her, and I love Jack for loving everything about her, even when he learned the completely horrible things about her. I cried at the end, and wish it didn't have to be that way, but really, it was inevitable. This book was everything I hadn't realized I needed; am I so completely grateful, while also completely devastated.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic WOW. I don't even know where to start, as I think it's impossible to describe how reading this made me feel. From the first chapter I was completely enthralled in this brutal, honest novel about rape culture. This book is realistic, complex, violent, and EXTREMELY powerful... even though I read this book in four hours, I know it will stick with me for a long time. The ending is perfect in that it isn't predictable or happy, and doesn't leave readers with an obvious "lesson". Instead it completely crushes you and forces you to truly, deeply reflect on the painful reading experience you just ventured on; I can't think of a better way for such a dark, disturbing novel to end
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark & Vicious Alex Craft is a high school girl living in a small town. After her beloved older sister Anna is murdered and her killer goes free, Alex's life changes drastically. When I first heard about The Female of the Species I was led to believe it was about a female serial killer, but this is in no way accurate. I was looking forward to reading it, but I was initially put off by the multiple POV, which I'm not fond of normally, as well as some unpleasantness involving animals. Alex is not someone you want to mess with. She is multifaceted, strong, emotional and fiercely loyal to those she calls friend. There are so many layers to her and the multiple POV helps to convey a more well rounded image of her. Like the Dexter character (by Jeff Lindsay), there is mention of a dark passenger, but that is where the comparison ends. If Alex is a killer, she is more of an avenging angel than a sociopath. Each character in the book is lovingly created and developed by McGinnis. There is no black and white, no one is truly good or bad. What would appear to be character inconsistencies are seamlessly revealed as another part of their nature. How much do someone's actions define the person they are? There is a difficulty in witnessing the characters’ struggle to overcome the negative aspects of their personalities. Make no mistake, this is not a light read, it is dark and vicious. I'm so glad I kept with this book, because it was one of the more interesting and character driven YA titles I've read this year. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtaking This is a powerful novel. With complex and interesting characters that stay with you forever. I enjoyed each point of view, feeling like I knew them all better after every chapter. The author's writing makes each scene so wonderful, so relatable -- so real. And whenever something happens you can't help but feel for Alex, for Jack, for Peekay and everyone else. The contents of this book are raw and pure -- calling attention to the everyday things that we see and hear and the actions that we do or don't take in response to them. This book is not just about morality, justice and rape culture, it is also about love, friendships, and family. I think this just might be my favourite book of 2016 and I encourage everyone to read it. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good story. Picked up this book for fun but the story is quite powerful. Parts of it are a bit cliche but overall it's original and the plot flows nicely. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful. Everyone should read this. Intensely dark. Had me from the first page. A quote from Oscar Wilde kind of makes me think of this book. "There is no moral or immoral books but there are bad or well-written books."The main topic involved in this book is indeed a sensitive one. But this writer and the way she wrote about it in this book was tragically and brutally honest. Every part of this story seemed necessary and not just to elicit an emotional effect in the reader but to help everyone understand the significance of this issue. And the brutal truths that come of it. Even the part where Alex and Claire worked at the animal shelter. Although it was very hard for me to read those parts as my heart is just ripped apart when I hear about poor animals that are put into those situations and no one rescues them. But I find even that was necessary for the story and its purpose. I really liked Alex and Claire's friendship. How it started and came to fruition. The heavily dynamic characters and the storyline which escalates and escalates is very crucial to the strong and powerful message portrayed in this book. Rape is never okay. And it is unacceptable how easy it is for people to get away with it. There are no excuses for it. Men and women both shouldn't have to feel unsafe in the world because of this. I am glad the writer wrote this book. It is a lesson to us all and I think everyone should read it.
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Painful and complicated story about murder and rape culture. I finished this book in 4hrs reading non-stop, and finished with a tear stained face. The final chapters in this book left me in tears and a heart full of anger, sadness and a bit of hope.
Date published: 2016-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One of my most anticipated books of the year Well. I’m not quite sure where to start reviewing this book. It was definitely one of my most anticipated books of the year, and I was really excited to read it. I really loved this book. It’s a difficult book to read at times, but so good. I loved the three different perspectives we got. I don’t always find stories with multiple POVs that do it well, but I thought it really worked here. Mostly. I liked Alex and Peekay, and getting to be in their heads. I was less interested in Jack’s character. I was actually more interested in Branley than Jack, and getting her POV. This book goes to some dark places. It’s violent and a little disturbing at times (warning if you don’t want to read about animal cruelty – there is some of that in this book), but the characters really got under my skin and stuck with me long after I put the book down. Mindy McGinnis tackles a lot of subjects in here, and I found myself thinking a lot about feminism, violence, animal cruelty, slut shaming, rape and rape culture, but it didn’t feel too heavy handed or ‘issue’y, for the most part. I definitely recommend this book, but I know that it’s dark and violent and may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Date published: 2016-10-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark, twisted, and perfect 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. I’ve really enjoyed the other Mindy McGinnis books that I’ve read so far. They’re addicting to read, have some surprising twists, and have a darkness to them that’s so different from the darkness in her previous books. I dove right into this one and wasn’t disappointed. The book was told in three POVs, Alex, Jack, and Peekay. Jack was the king of the school type character who was slowly becoming aware of how big of a douche he’d been and was starting to take an interest in outsider Alex. Peekay, or Claire, was the preacher’s kid who was expected to be a good girl but could always be found at a girl. Alex was a loner who took her own revenge against her sister’s murderer. Together these three found each other and became a group of friends each of them needed. Alex was the central character of the three of them. She was very different from other characters I’ve read before. She struggled with herself, her anger, her impulses, and she had a very grey view of morality. In a Criminal Minds episode, she would be the unsub that the viewer might find themselves hoping the team doesn’t catch. It was great to see her begin a friendship with Peekay and a relationship with Jack. The book made a lot of points about topics like slut-shaming, victim blaming, girls vs boys, humanity. It could get a little violent, there was a lot of cursing and sexual activity but it was always used in a way to make a point. Maybe not immediately but when the plot eventually got there, it was like ‘oh that makes sense/didn’t think of it that way’ type of feeling. Definitely one of my favourite Mindy McGinnis books so far. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Revenge, vengeance, and rape culture This was a really hard book to rate. Was it well-written? Absolutely. Was it engrossing and page-turning? Without a doubt. I personally would rate it 4.5 stars. Would I recommend it to anyone under the age of 18? Most likely not. Here is why. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis centres around the lives of multiple high school seniors living in a small town. The story is told in the POV of the three main characters – Alex, Peekay, and Jack. Alex, we quickly learn, isn’t like other teenagers. Alex has a very defined sense of right and wrong and will take action when people do bad things and the consequences don’t come soon enough or at all. The book starts with the discovery of Alex’s sister’s body. She was raped and murdered. There wasn’t enough evidence to convict the guilty party although everyone knew who did it. Alex takes matters into her own hands against the killer and then continues to do so throughout the book, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong according to society and the law. She is a solitary person and removes herself from others by choice, because she believes it’s better for everyone that way. Peekay (real name Claire) is introduced as a much more relatable character - she is the preacher’s daughter and has recently broken up with her long-time boyfriend. She is heartbroken (especially over the girl who has replaced her). She starts volunteering at the animal shelter, where she meets Alex and becomes friends with her. Jack is another student at the school. He is popular and dates often. He dreams of leaving the small town and getting away from his life. He starts noticing that Alex is different from other girls and wants to date her. Now, without spoiling anything, this book deals with a lot of current hot-button issues: the main ones being rape culture and the difference between revenge and vengeance. The book also deals openly with other trigger subjects such as violence, pedophilia, and drug addiction. It’s a crazy ride and you need to be prepared for anything – especially in the last 10% of the story.
Date published: 2016-07-18

Editorial Reviews

A Must-Read YA Book of Fall 2016