Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Female of the Species Hardcover – September 20, 2016
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—After her sister was brutally murdered, Alex Craft sought revenge when her killer walked free. Alex cuts herself off from everyone in her small backwoods town, until Peekay, the shy preacher's kid, and Jack Fisher, the most popular guy in school, force their way into her life as friends, with unintended consequences for all of them. An unsettling and stark exploration of small-town life and the secrets that we all keep.
★ “Each word has been specifically chosen, each character superbly and humanly sculpted, the plot line masterfully completed. To say more would be to dilute the experience. McGinnis plays with the readers and they are at her mercy.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review))
★ “Whether a catcall, an unwelcome touch, or more, sexual aggression towards females happens daily; McGinnis explores how one teen uses violence for justice in this gripping story that should be read and discussed by teens, as well as those who work with them.” (Booklist (starred review))
★ “McGinnis gracefully avoids the pitfalls of creating a teenage vigilante, instead maintaining a sense of piercing realism. Alex is a pained girl in dangerous free fall, whose fierce independence is challenged by newfound friendships, even love, though neither may be enough to stave off the inevitable.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
★ “All three teens are haunted by the memory of Anna’s murder, and Alex’s inclination to both considering and exacting revenge with cruel efficiency leads them all inexorably to an explosive, terrible finale. An unflinching look at rape culture and its repercussions.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
★ “An astoundingly dark but beautifully written tragedy, brimming with sexual assault, violent murders, and accounts of animal abuse...but also tempered with glimpses of genuine human emotion and extremely touching displays of kindness that cross social barriers and species. Highly recommended for collections serving teenagers.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“It’s raw. Not ‘raw for YA.’ Real-deal raw. And violent. And unforgettable. McGinnis explores both and she goes there in a way no one really has before in YA. This is Kill Bill in high school, but with more nuance, bolder choices and a true female perspective.” (The Globe and Mail)
“Your heart may still be pounding after you’ve finished this book. It is uncannily well timed to our current political situation...McGinnis, who dedicates her book to ‘the victims,’ examines this dichotomy of hope and violence, love and hate, with dexterity and grace.” (The New York Times Book Review)
“The ending of this dark novel leaves much to be unpacked, and it would certainly spark heated discussion in a book club or classroom.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
McGinnis’s novel about a teenage girl who avenges her sister’s rape and murder and becomes a self-created human weapon is a gut punch that will leave you reassessing everything you thought you knew about the lives of young women.” (NY Mag)
A Must-Read YA Book of Fall 2016 (Brightly.com)
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
There are three povs in this novel and each one has a distinct voice, but the real star of the show is Alex. After her sister’s vicious murder, she’s on a quest for vengeance and wants to obliterate any sexual predator in her wake. Sounds like a pretty sweet idea, right? Who wouldn’t want to make sexual predators pay? Alex reminded me a bit of Dexter if you’ve seen the TV show. Dexter had what he called a dark passenger that compelled him to kill. Does Alex have a dark passenger? Is her compulsion to kill solely a result of her sister’s murder? Or is it something that’s always been inside of her? This was an interesting theme throughout.
Alex is isolated and a loner until she befriends Peekay and Jack. Once she starts to develop feelings for her friends things get complicated. Really complicated. What happens when her new friendships make her rethink her need for vengeance? How will this all culminate?
The author does a phenomenal job of capturing high school characters and their fears and hopes and jealousies along with their capacity for love and forgiveness. This story made me remember all those confusing emotions that come with teenagers years.
All in all this is one terrific, twisted tale, and I am thrilled to have read it. I look forward to reading Ms. McGinnis’ backlog. Go 1-click this book if you want to get immersed in an epic page turner!
Before I go on, I want to mention that this book contains a lot of commentary on rape and rape culture, as well as scenes with vividly written animal cruelty and violence. While it's made clear that these topics are beyond horrible, the scenes may cause emotional distress for those who find them triggering.
The Female of the Species is pure wreckage on the mind. It's not a book with a straightforward plot. Character A does this to get this, but something happens that they have to overcome. Instead, it is the story of Alex Craft, a girl who is strong yet broken with a moral compass firmly pressed to one side, someone with no room for the dark things in the world. Though there are 3 characters who share their points-of-view, this is not their story.
I'm honestly struggling to find the words to describe this book and I know that the longer I wait the worse that will get so bear with me here.
Alex. Alex freaking Craft. This girl, y'all, let me tell you. I loved her with all of her little quirks. She had so much happen to her, from an absent father to a mother who barely tolerated her, and then her sister, the crux of it all. Her sister who was used and murdered and left in the woods. And this girl? She decided to do something about it that no one else would.
Of the three characters (Alex, Peekay, and Jack), she was the one I loved most. This is your precious cinnamon bun, for those who like to describe characters as such. She takes the extremist side against rape and lashes out in the most violent of ways. But not only that, through Alex, we see what our culture has become like. How people are afraid to report such acts because they're snitching on others they know, how we're too afraid to do anything and it just lets it happen over and over again. And what does Mindy McGinnis do? She throws it in our faces because we need to see this.
This book bashes on so many stereotypes and sins of our world. You see the girl who lives behind a nickname, who isn't the perfect princess she's expected to be. You see the girl behind all the make-up, the one who appears "easy" but is more than just a pretty face. You see the boy who seems like he has everything but really has nothing. You see the boy who doesn't understand. You see the girl who tries to hold it all inside, the weird girl, the one that no one ever notices, and the one that refuses to sit by like everyone else.
Alex described herself right when she said she was a wolf. Our society has bred sheep, and it's only the wolves, the ones who are different, who fight, who survive, that make a difference.
Gods this book is just beautiful.
We hear the phrase "boys will be boys" often enough but the fact that the phrase exists, that we allow one gender to act a certain way as if it's acceptable when the reality is far from the truth is disgusting. The scene that this is mentioned in, by the way, was so utterly perfect and true that it's scary.
This whole book takes place in a small town. I grew up in a small town. I still live in that small town (for the time being). Everything that was said about small towns hit hard. Everyone knows everyone. No one speaks up against someone else because of that little fact. So many times I caught wind of rumors in high school of encounters in families, with friends, that should have been reported but no one ever did. No one wanted to rat their friends or family out.
And this book. It just takes that and smashes it into your head. This is our culture. And it's wrong.
I feel like I've gone on too long without mentioning the other two protagonists, Peekay (named so for being the Preacher's Kid aka PK) and Jack (star athlete, student, ladies man). Peekay had the kindness that Alex lacked after bottling all that anger in. She was the friend that Alex needed and she, herself, was such a strong presence in the book but also not, if that makes sense. She had her own life but in this story it's more about how that changed with Alex. Jack had it all: he was a top athlete, top of his class (competing against Alex), and he got around. But it was clear that his life lacked something, for all the good he had it really didn't mean anything in the end. I loved watching his character grow and gain a purpose beyond sleeping with every girl that threw herself at him. In a way, both Jack and Peekay changed because of Alex, and they helped change the girl who played with darkness and almost won.
Now, this is going to sound crazy, but I actually almost put this book down about a third of the way through because of the violence and graphic scenes involving animals. I don't have many triggers that strong but that's one of them, and those scenes were written in such a vivid manner that it was hard to move past them (though I'm glad I did).
That's the real strength of this book, I think. The writing lures you in, both interesting in the storytelling style and just generally captivating. Then you're led farther, past your comfort zone, past those topics that you only hear whispered about, the ones that you know exist but just block out. But you keep going and soon you can't ignore them. And that's the worst part of The Female of the Species. You're forced to face that which is ugly, which is disgusting and wrong and dark and terrible in the world.
This is not a lighthearted book. Don't expect happy endings and good times. But it is powerful and emotional and will train-wreck that perfect bubble you have in your mind about the world.
It's hard to tell someone to read something that might upset them, that might change how they think about things, that might cause more pain than good. But this is a book that I believe everyone should read. This is one that I wish I read when I was in high school, when I heard those rumors and didn't look into them because I didn't think it was my place. This is a book that will tear you from the inside out and in the end you will be stronger for it.
This is The Female of the Species and we have more power than you may think.
I loved one of the main characters, Alex. I found her refreshing because we very rarely get to examine or even see women protagonists (or...antagonists, as she might be?) be angry, let alone have uncontrollable anger issues. Women are taught to curb their rage and Alex's continued manifestation of it through violent acts and thoughts, for me, was something intriguing and wonderful to see in a novel. The trivialization of Alex's anger, an emotion that consumes her from early childhood onward, is so true to the trivialization of women's anger in general and to see that reflection in a YA novel? Incredible.
I found the story organic, the situations normal and not out of place, the characters realistic, though some elements were not necessarily entirely believable (if the town is so small that everyone knows everyone, more than likely the police could have been able to trace Alex's crime[s] back to her: whether they would have wanted to is a different story, of course). Still, these things are easy to overlook and honestly, I found the brutal honesty and teenage philosophy on life well-written, well crafted, and realistic. I couldn't put this book down: I stayed up until nearly 4am reading it because I'd made the mistake of starting reading it at night.
Still, I'm giving this book five stars, but I have to say, I am a bit resentful about the ending, and the only reason I'm not docking it to four stars is because the disappointment is more a personal preference than any issues with execution. It's a personal preference and so I know I shouldn't let it affect my review, but with a character like this being such a rarity, I tend to get very protective of them. Also the realism begins to unravel a bit towards the end and though I should have probably seen the ending coming, it was still not what I expected. It resolves very well nonetheless, and ends on very believable terms, but for me it was just too jarring and felt cheap. I'm also wary as to such a representation of women's anger ending on such abrupt terms, though of course we still have other characters, and perhaps that was the point: to show that violence is not the answer. In which case, it's actually a great ending in the moral sense, but I myself did not like it.
Nevertheless, I loved this book. Over all, I would say you should definitely read this book. My personal biases and preferences aside, it was an addicting and dark read and though it might be difficult to stomach, we need more stories with the elements presented herein, including female anger and a discussion on how gender and sexual expectation and biases affects everyone and in what ways it does.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is 'women', said with disdain and...Read more
This book is as incredible in writing as it is important in its message. I have not been able to stop thinking about it since I put it down - you know a books is...Read more
I was voluntarily provided a free review copy by the publisher.
Whether it’s the characters, the storyline, or the writing, it sticks with you and changes how you think...Read more