The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

April 15, 2018

(WARNING: this book contains heavy topics such as rape culture and extreme violence)

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. As her senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting herself and her new friends on a collision course that will change their lives forever. 

I knew from the beginning that The Female of the Species included some heavy topics but I was not prepared for this. The book reveals some every day situations where boys joke about rape and sex, and the idea that “boys will be boys” excuse their aggressive behavior. It also addresses some more severe versions of that “joke” as high school girls get groped and attacked and finally, an MC who won’t stand for it anymore. We have very versatile characters in play and the POV changes between Alex and the others – from Jack the popular athlete star who can’t get Alex out of his head to Peekay the preacher’s kid who struggles between her faith and wanting to be young and desired. It’s interesting to see their development throughout the story and you end up caring about all of them.

It’s a very heavy book but one I truly respect. The writing is amazing, clear and realistic, and the message is extremely strong. Honestly, I had to leave it on my desk for about a week before reading the second half because it was such a heavy read but it was all worth it. Amazing book. Get ready to clench your stomach and ball your eyes out.

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