The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Genre: YA contemporary, mystery, thriller
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
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 actually did not see what the conflict was when I was in the first half of the book. I only found out in the end that the conflict was already in front of my face, in the black ink printed in those pages. It was actually alarming how I did not think of the problem being the main issue until something drastic happened in the end. I’m assuming the conflict was the purpose of the author writing this novel. Rape, racial jokes and discrimination, gender inequality, disrespect for the LGBTQ are not a laughing matter. But in the story, a lot of high school students, generally the youth, are doing delinquent acts. Replaying the whole book in my head after reading, I can kind of admit that it was a good move to spread awareness to the readers; for the author to make the issues seem like nothing until it becomes an alarming issue when unintended consequences began to shape a bigger problem.
In the case of this book, there was a part where high school students were taught by a cop that rape, drugs, and other delinquencies are not a joke. The reaction of students: mocking and dismissing the topic because there was just one case of death in the past. Then just what the synopsis states there was a party one night where the issue occurs. After, no one reports the incident which leads to the biggest matter… the ending. If you’ve read this book, then I hope you agree with me that it felt like the author just dropped a bomb out of nowhere on us.
Moving on – though the story was great and established a really good awareness of rape, violence, racial discrimination – it felt like the story was lacking something, I still don’t know what it is.
We read through three different POV’s; Alex Craft who has the mindset that violence and revenge upon those who did wrong to others, Jack Fisher whose goal is to be closer to Alex Craft and to get out of his hometown, and Peekay who unintendedly becomes friends with Alex. What I like about the book is that there are major character developments and it’s through how these three characters influence each other in a positive way.
Major spoiler so look away.
I wish that Alex didn’t die so unexpectedly in the end of the book but I guess that’s her fate; to bring justice but not in violent ways, to let others aware that it’s not a laughing matter to just joke about rape, who’s a slut, etc. Fortunately, she does succeed through the ending. For instance, Sara and Peekay erase all the obscene vandalisms in the locker and restrooms. And if I may recall, Park commented disapprovingly to one’s joke rude and inappropriate joke.
Okay, now you can look.
If the purpose of the author was to remind and make her audience aware of these unfortunate issues, then she succeeded for me. I could very much relate to the story since the story focuses more on the actions of the youth and I am a junior in high school. I guess the appropriate audience would be those in high school and above since there is a strong content of inappropriate language and actions. I enjoyed the reading the book and it wasn’t boring yet not too dramatic at the same time.
Grade: but more of 4.5 stars.
So tell me what you guys thought of this book. Was it a yay or a nay for you? Anyways I’m really glad that I finished my second read of 2017 and so I am way ahead of my Goodreads challenge. ‘Till my next post!