The Female of the Species

The Female of the Species

Book - 2016
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062320896
0062320890
Characteristics: 341 pages ; 22 cm

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HKK_Teen_Staff Apr 10, 2020

Not for the faint of heart! This revenge story follows Alex, a teen with questionable methods who you’ll find yourself rooting for.

This book, will stick with you. The subject matter is important but jarring and will offer several points of view when it comes to rape culture.

s
spiritedaway
Mar 31, 2020

I honestly think that if Jack wasn't in this book I would have rated this four or five stars, easily. I really liked the friendship between Alex and Claire and thought the writing was really good, but as this is such a character-driven story, when you dislike 1/3 of who the story is about it really brings down everything else.

c
CASSIE ERIN KELLEY
Feb 22, 2020

This book was a surprisingly honest look at the dark side of human nature. There was a lot of cursing, which is accurate from what I remember of being a teen (forbidden fruit is desirable and all that). ‘The Female of the Species’ takes a serious look at attempted rape and the effects it can have on the victims.

Alex Craft is not the typical teenage girl, and who can blame her after her sister’s brutal murder? But when she starts to work at the animal shelter with Claire, she begins to come out of the cocoon she has weaved around herself. Then she meets Jack, and she begins to have feelings for a boy, the same type of creature that raped and murdered her sister.

As Claire and Jack pull her into the ‘normal’ masses, Alex begins to worry about the darkness inside of her. She has done a terrible thing, and she does not regret it. As senior year goes on, Alex’s true self begins to peek through, and though she is protecting her friends with the darkness, she is afraid that it will come out again. Can Jack and Claire handle the truth about Alex Craft, or will they be unable to cope with her true nature?

This book is dark and not for the faint of heart. There are several attempted rapes, and Alex defends her friends with a lot of violence. The ending is hard to swallow, but it’s appropriate. I recommend this for older teens and up, and there is A LOT of foul language. But I enjoyed this book and the way it showed the horrible truth of the consequences of rape.

j
jonathan1972
Aug 23, 2019

This book was not a happy or cheerful story. It was about really heavy and serious topics. The ending was really surprising and unexpected. I enjoyed reading the story.

IndyPL_AnnaL Jun 17, 2019

This was a very suspenseful book that follows the character Alex, who lost her sister to rape and murder. Alex gets her revenge and lives a lonely life until she meets Peekay and Jack, two friends she makes in spite of pushing everyone away. I loved this book because it brings up some harsh realities about rape culture in our society. Great book for discussion about rape, abuse and revenge.

d
dhspanda
Jun 05, 2019

This reads like a thriller flick, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. It’s an insanely good piece of fiction and tackles rape culture from different perspectives. Highly recommend to anyone who can take graphic scenes and stark, raw emotion. This is also one of my new favorite books for sure.

r
rebecacelest
May 18, 2019

Wonderfully bone-chilling and thought-provoking, The Female of the Species offers a gritty examination of rape culture. This is not a feel-good story. This is not an uplifting story. This is not even really a hopeful story.

It is powerful, gruesome, bold. The author saw the opportunity to strike at the issues surrounding rape culture--slut shaming, control, victim blaming--and, oh, she STRIKES.

g
goddessbeth
Jan 18, 2019

This book wrecked me.

It takes a brutally honest look at rape culture. From the overt violence against women (and the ways society passively allows/encourages it) to the more subtle ones (like all the drawings of dicks graffitied everywhere- which was true during my pre-internet high school days and is certainly true today), rape culture is a background noise overlaying the plot. And while it's easy to say "that shouldn't happen", McGinnis uses her male supporting characters (primarily Jack) to show how it happens so easily, and the importance of everyone being vigilant about it (standing up to that violence, reporting it, and generally not allowing it to happen). She also uses the narrative to explore complicated female relationships, and how each of us handles that pervasive threat against us.

The MC is a killer, but she's coldly pragmatic and practical. Her life has an emotional detachment (and her relationship to her family is...complicated), because she's honest with herself about what she is. No wild vengeance, and no redemption arc- Alex is observant, and has a moral code, and also has no emotional connections. I don't think I've ever read an MC like her, and I was enthralled in her story from the first page.

Beyond making you think, this book makes you feel. Alex's voice is so alien, with Peekay's chapters carrying more of the emotional warmth and vulnerability. Somewhere between the two is Jack's voice. And as the three change, and change each other, there are instances of cruelty (toward animals as well as humans) that remind us that being detached, being stiffly pragmatic, even being a self-aware killer is less destructive than being casually cruel.

And lest you think this book is a triumphant anthem of girl power, it's far more subtle, gut-wrenching, and complex than that.

I highly recommend this for everyone. You need this journey, no matter how aware you are, no matter who you are. It will hurt, but it will be worth it.

s
samcmar
Aug 23, 2018

This is a fantastic thriller that is dark, uncomfortable, and bone-chilling. This book explores rape and rape culture, and this story pulls no punches regarding the topic and the protagonists desire for revenge. Plus, being in the mind of a killer is always a weird feeling, but I love the multi-perspectives in this book and how it all connects to the larger plot. SO GOOD!

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miraellie
Apr 01, 2020

miraellie thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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dhspanda
Jun 05, 2019

dhspanda thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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aformerhiro
May 28, 2017

aformerhiro thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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rebecacelest
May 18, 2019

Violence: Human and animal gore is described with picturesque detail.

r
rebecacelest
May 18, 2019

Sexual Content: Sexual assault is described and discussed. Consensual sex is also described and discussed.

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