Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the SpeciesTitle: The Female of the Species
Author:  Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date:  September 20th, 2016
Pages: 352
Genre: YA Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: Audio
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 have seen very few reviews for this book. I am not sure if it's because not many have read the book that I follow or if it's just because this is one of those books. The books that are hard to review. I loved this book but I do have a love/hate relationship with this book. It was a great read. Full of emotions, touch issues, a bit of mystery and suspense. I don't even know how to categorize the genre on this one. It is, however, a really hard one to review. I loved it, yes, but it was a hard book to get through and love at times, but well worth it. It is a book to be well appreciated for the topics, the direction, and the writing. 

This is a story about a girl, a boy, another girl, and unthinkable crimes and violence. Alex is a girl who lost a sister, a father, and pretty much her mother. She has killed and she believes she would do it again. Jack is a good boy, well he tries to be good. He has a good life in and outside of school. A good family home. He has it under control until he falls for Alex. Peekay is a bit of a wild child that still has somewhat of a good moral compass. She loses her boyfriend to a bad girl and in the process of healing befriends Alex. All three are tied together now. Powerful bonds lead to a powerful downward spiral. This is the story of their lives in a small town where bad things happen.  

So this was one of the hardest books I have read in a very long time. I still don't know how exactly I feel about it. I just know I so enjoyed it. I was glued to every page. I didn't want it to end and I did want it to end. At one point I was afraid to get to the end. I didn't feel I was prepared for it. 

This book address so many issues among teens that get overlooked. The difference in the way boys and girls are treated differently. It explores the after effects of sexual assault and violence. Among those issues, all different types of relationships are reflected on. Friendship, love, just sex, family and even strangers. So many issues and topics that should be thought over and spoken about.. but are often shied away from. 

I did like that these topics were explored in this book; however they were explored in a very dark way. Darker than any other book I have read. There is so much dysfunction in this book it was really hard for me to gauge my own moral compass. I could see the reasoning behind decisions made but I knew that it really was the moral way of doing things. This is where my dilemma developed. I didn't know how I was supposed to feel, who I was supposed to feel for. 

Behind all the ugliness there was great writing, great character devolvement, and a real good story. Not a feel good story, but a good story and it was so enjoyable... If you don't mind crossing over to the dark side just for a bit. 

There was romance which was okay. I wasn't really invested in it because it was Alex... She was a bit hard to get a feel for. She was almost robotic at times. This was a character flaw that was created for a reason and it fit well into the story... but it made for a tough romance. Towards the end of the book, I did enjoy it more and felt more. Once Alex went through some growth spurts in her emotional health, I was able to enjoy her relationship with Jack.   

My favorite character by far was Peekay. I just adored her and felt for her so much it hurt. In the beginning of the book, I was afraid I wouldn't like her. Once her story started, I fell hard for this girl. Her relationship with her parents, with her friends, and especially Alex, was pretty awesome and pulled hard at my heart strings. 

The ending was hard but the journey to get there was good. After I read the last page, I just froze up with tears in my eyes, doing my best to catch my breath. I had to collect my thoughts before I could carry on with my life. This book affected me greatly and I am so glad I chose to read this book. This author.... for sure on my must read everything by her... which I have and love. 

 A treasured read filled with so much love and hate wrapped up inside a very awesome cover. 

Mindy McGinnisMindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film my Stephanie Meyer's Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST was released in 2014. Her Gothic historical thriller, A MADNESS SO DISCREET won the Edgar Award in 2015. Her newest release, THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is available now!

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