By Mindy McGinnis
Published on September 20, 2016
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
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.
The Female of the Species...
I don't have a lot of words for this one. If you are thinking about reading The Female of the Species, and are expecting a sweet end to a sweet contemporary, then rethink things before you start. This is not a sweet contemporary with a sweet ending. This is a dark story, ruthless and hard. painful. But it is a painful story, beautifully told....
Alex Craft has been alone since her sister was killed. She has lived a friendless existence with a distant and cold mother and a father that is nowhere to be found. Alex believes that it is better this way, though. For other people. Until the day she meets Peekay, the preachers kid, at the animal shelter they volunteer at. From this day, a beautifully strange friendship forms that brings warmth and happiness to Alex's life. And then she meets Jack Fisher in the guidance office at school. They are both in the running for Valedictorian, and their initial meeting doesn't go well. But when they meet again, something clicks into place and feelings that neither of them have ever felt are brought to the surface.
Peekay and Jack are changing Alex a little, day by day. They are bringing light and laughter to her life. She is learning what having a friend, having someone to count on feels like. Slowly, she is coming out of her shell and starting to really live life. But the Alex that lives in the shadows is still there, and soon that Alex will be brought back to the surface. Will she lose the love that she has finally found?
There is so much darkness in this book, but it is counterbalanced with a beautiful lightness that made it bearable. Alex, even when you learn the truth about her, is someone that you cannot help but root for. You can't help but HOPE like crazy for her. Her story is not an easy one to read. Peekay and Jack are the perfect characters for the rest of the story. They weren't secondary, they were front and center. Neither one was without fault, but they were the perfect compliments to Alex. And remember the name Branley....
I won't say anything about the story, the plot, nothing about what happens during this book. I can't. Like I said at the beginning, I don't have a lot of words for it. It is not easy to read, that much I can say. I usually read a book in two days, MAYBE three, but this one took a month. The story ends rather abruptly, and I am still wrestling with it. I don't know if I wanted it to go on for a few more pages or if it ended perfectly. But I do know that, even after a week and half, this is a book that I cannot stop thinking about and I can't let go. And I am really glad that I kept reading it, even when I thought I might give up.