Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the Species

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.

Oh gosh. This book... 

It was absolutely breathtakingly amazing. I have been putting it off because it's quite dark and I wasn't entirely sure whether it was my bag, especially as Mindy McGinnis hasn't really impressed me much before. I picked it up after reading a brilliant review and it just blew me away.

This book isn't a book that has been written solely to entertain - it's a book that makes you think, that makes you doubt the way you think about killers and vengeance and motives. It was so well written. Alex was such an unbelievably well written character - she was layered, a tough nut with a soft nougat centre, but rather than just being the tough girl in most YA books she takes a completely different form. I loved that.

Jack and Peekay were also brilliant as supporting characters, their reactions are realistic and they are extremely integral to the way the story develops, and their relationships with alex are really important in giving this cold girl some humanity. Also important was the job at the vetinarians that Alex takes. McGinnis really thought through how to develop this plot and this character and whats more, she executed it extremely well as well.

I kept myself guessing all the way through about how this book was going to end. None of the endings I clould make up felt 'right', but the way Mindy McGinnis finished the book just worked perfectly for me. It was just... touching and perfect.

Overall, The Female of the Species was a wonderful, perfectly written book which absolutely blew me away and made me step back and think about a lot of things. Think Dexter, for the YA audience.

Overall Rating: A

Book released September 20th 2016 by Katherine Tegen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

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