"the female of the species is more deadly than the male." - Rudyard Kipling
Whatever you may think of the title of this blog post, this is not going to be a feminist piece, but rather a look at the novel, THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES, by Mindy McGinnis.
This is the first book I've read from this author, but it will not be my last. I typically don't read books that aren't romances first, and I knew going into this one that I may not love it just because it wasn't first and foremost a romance.
But I couldn't have been more wrong.
While this book, at its core, is more of a look at the basis of human nature, romance/love is a central theme. Though, not the typical, boy meets girl, way. Here's the back cover blurb:
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn't feel bad about it. Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best--the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can't be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna's body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher's kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter.
As their senior year unfolds, Alex's darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.
I didn't want to like Alex. The problem was, that aside from her ability to murder someone without pause or guilt, I connected with her on nearly ever other level. (Awkward. Shy. Never really feels like a part of the group. Misfit.) And of course, I really began to care about her.
So much so, that by the time this book wrapped up, I was utterly destroyed. Wrecked. And if I hadn't been sitting in a salon chair getting my hair trimmed, I would have been balling my eyes out. As it was, I had to tell my hairdresser that I couldn't speak. My voice had been robbed because my heart had been broken.
I don't want to give too much away because so much of the beauty I found in this book was because I went in knowing nothing about it. I will say that there were really beautiful moments about the bonds of friendship and love, as well as candid observations about what it means to be a person. A teenager. A male. A female. Most all of them I could relate to.
There were images created in this book that turned my stomach. They made me want to look away--to close the book and pretend I hadn't just been awakened to something I wish I never had. But inside those moments, there was an honesty that made them purposeful and glossing over them wouldn't have done the story justice. They needed to be said. And realized.
I highly recommend this one. It is a quick read that will punch you in the gut. Hard. And without apology. A must read, in my opinion.
Here's a buy link in case you want to purchase. Only $1.99 at the time that I copied the link!
The Female of the Species, by Mindy McGinnis.
After you read it, come weigh in. I'd love to hear what you thought!