Summary: Alex Craft knows she cannot be trusted. When her sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer wasn’t convicted, Alex took her own action against them. Hiding her dark side away from others, Alex knows not to get too close to others and she only has senior year to go. Plans change when she starts to form a friendship with Peekay, the preacher’s kid who also volunteers at the animal shelter, and Jack Fisher, who may feel guilty from the night Anna was discovered, starts to notice Alex more and more. As senior year unravels, Alex, Peekay, and Jack are bought together by dark circumstances that may affect their future altogether.
My Rating: 4.75/5 Stars
The Female of the Species has been on my TBR since 2016, and I was finally able to get a copy at my college-town’s library. Many of the reviewers I follow on Goodreads have loved Mindy McGinnis’s work, especially The Female of the Species, so I couldn’t wait to dive in and see what the hype was all about. I wasn’t disappointed.
The Female of the Species is told from the perspectives of high school seniors Alex, Jack, and Peekay. I’m often tentative going into multi-POV novels, but it really worked for this book, as our characters are each so different and deal with their own issues. It’s important to note that none of our three POVs are great, moral individuals. Alex has a dark side where she finds that violence speaks louder than words. Jack may be the all-star athlete and student, but he isn’t an all-star when it comes to relationships, often just looking for hookups. Peekay knows she’ll always be seen as the preacher’s kid and has a reputation to protect; yet this doesn’t stop her from grabbing a beer bottle at every chance possible.
The Female of the Species was the dark YA book that I needed. I don’t think I’ll ever “age-out” of young-adult books, however, I am starting to get tired of the typical high school troupes that come along with many YA books. While The Female of the Species does take place in a small-town high school, the story itself is very mature. We’re given a dark background from the get-go, with Anna’s death and the unsolved murders in town. Yet, I will say that I wasn’t a huge fan of the amount of sex and drinking in the book. Yes, I wasn’t a partier in high school and am still not in college, but it felt very unrealistic in a high school setting. The only reason I docked my rating by ¼ a star was because the ending felt very convenient to me. However, I commend Mindy McGinnis for the way she handled heavy subjects, like relationships, death, rape and sexual assault. I think she’s set the stage for darker stories in the YA community.
Have you read The Female of the Species? Share in the comments!