The Female of the Species

Mindy McGinnis

Shelfie Score: 71%

Likeminded Reader Score: Login

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 352


2017 Tayshas List Selection * YALSA Top 10 Best YA Fiction of 2017 * School Libray Journal Best of 2016 * Junior Library Guild Selection * The Globe and Mail Best Books of 2016 * Bustle’s Best Young Adult Books of 2016 * Mashable’s 8 Best YA Books of 2016 * Seventeen's 10 Best YA Books of 2016 * CCBC Choices 2017 Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a relentless and riveting contemporary YA novel that examines rape culture through alternating perspectives. A stunning, unforgettable...

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I read this as part of the Bookaxe readalong and grill the author and thought it was an amazing book if a little hard to read at times as it gets very dark in places. It is full of relevant issues for teenagers and looks at rape culture from a really unusual perspective plot-wise. The voices of the three characters are very different from each other but each one is engaging and fully believable. I will recommend this book to everyone I know. The ending was shocking!

Mark Housley

Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis September 2016 3.49/5

Female of the Species is a book about Alex Craft, a girl entering her senior year of high school. She murdered the murderer of her sister in the ninth grade and repercussions of that act now flavor her entire life. She never had any friends, just going through the motions of life, knowing that her merciless nature put other people at risk. Things change in her senior year and this book is about the fallout of that.

The characters are well rounded even if their motivations and actions are questionable from a real-world perspective. I mean really, could a 14-year-old girl realistically cold bloodedly murder someone and get away scot free? When the book is not dealing with the main theme, their emotions and motivations are reasonable.

The book is set in Anytown, USA- someplace cold. The kids behave like regular kids, except the level of alcohol consumption is astounding. Maybe that’s just me.

The main themes are about rape culture, small town values, friendship and young love. The issues about rape are handled well, except for some wish fulfillment by the author. Alex says something along the lines of allowing a girl to want sex is an ok thing and that is a good look at slut-shaming. The ending was kind of a cop out, but oh well, you can’t have everything.

This is a good book with a lot of modern issues handled with care. The whole concept of the book, that a young girl could murder someone, get away and never tell anyone is a bit much to swallow, but once you get past that, the story is good and told well.

K Rodillo

Excellent writing style, the author is very eloquent with her use of words. The characters thoughts and feelings are so raw and a lot of times dark and disturbing... and insightful. This book has touched me in a personal level as I could relate to Alex in some way. Alex feels too much, she takes the social injustice that she witnesses as an affront to herself. This book also made me question my morals on violent acts against another person.

Rating: 5/5


Bookaxe Characteristics for The Female of the Species

Character and Plot:

Characters in depth

Fast-paced plot

Language and Style:

Straight to the point

Language and style central

New Information:

Pure entertainment

Introduces you to new ideas


Explores the darker side of life
Light-hearted and optimistic


No swearing or violence etc
Frequent swearing and violence etc

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