The Female of the Species
Release date: September 20th 2016
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.