Thursday, January 19, 2017

Book Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

ISBN: 9780062320896
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Series: None
Released: September 20, 2016
Length: 341 pp

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.


So, this being my first review in over a year, you'll forgive me if I'm a little rusty. That being said, I haven't actually read all that many books in the last year and a half either, so it's not that I didn't review the ones I did read. For many reasons, I just haven't been able to really been able to get into much of anything. Aside from a handful of other books, The Female of the Species (TFotS) was the only one to pull me out of the funk and actually hook me.

This is my first Mindy McGinnis book (but certainly not my last!) and I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful, lyrical writing. It was a quick and easy read but it is one of the few lately that has really made me think and ask myself the important questions.

TFofS takes a deep look into rape culture, tears it open for all to see. While some scenes left me cringing and almost wanting to put the book back down, I know I needed to read this book. My reaction was much of the country's reaction. Rape and sexual abuse happens and we don't want to see it. Mindy McGinnis makes sure we do.

It's such an important book, especially for young women who have been victims of harassment, assault, rape, etc., or know someone who has. McGinnis has given victims, and those who loved them, a voice with this novel, albeit on a small scale, and I will be forcing this book on any and everyone I can find to enlighten their lives further.

Aside from the gorgeous writing and the ever important message of the story as a whole, I enjoyed the plot, and really enjoyed "Peekay" and Alex as characters. Jack always made me a little nervous, but I appreciated his likeness to (what I assume to be) a real teenage boy. I'll admit I occasionally had a hard time connecting with Alex because she was so different from the quintessential teenage protagonist, and I couldn't come up with an image for her in my head - probably because I can't think of anyone I know in my real life quite like Alex either. But I liked her and when I read it again (oh, because I will) I'm going to spend some time investigating this unique character further because she is not one-dimensional or single-layered. She is so much deeper than that.

I already feel the need to re-read this book like right now, to go through it again now that I know the ending, which mind you, broke me a little, but I'm over it and have -- nope, nevermind. Definitely thought I was over it until I started to type it out and my heart gave a throb.

RATING: ★★★★ 1/2 

TFotS was gritty, and honest, and at times hard to read, but it was the first book in a while to capture my attention. The style of the writing has an almost lyrical quality that forces you to really sink into the story and experience what these characters are thinking and feeling. Clearly, as you can tell by my Goodreads updates, it took me on quite the emotional rollercoaster. I recommend it to literally everyone. Even if the writing style isn't for you or you really just can't connect with the characters, the story and message are just too important to pass on.

Have any of you read this already? I'm itching to talk about it with someone who has! Leave me a comment or e-mail me so we can cry together


Friday, January 6, 2017

I'm Baaaaack!

I think.

Lately, I've been jonesing for some blogging. I miss it. I haven't posted since July of 2015 or something like that, and though my life hasn't really allowed for it as of late, I miss it. I miss the writing, I miss connecting with other bloggers and book lovers.

A lot has happened since I last posted. Actually, a few months after my last post, I found out I was pregnant. Fast forward to June of 2016 and wouldn't you know it - I was giving birth. Fast forward to now and my 7-month-old is making my life downright crazy! So as far as time goes, you can see I didn't have much of it to offer. With my kid about to start crawling and exploring the world any day now, I don't foresee much more time opening up as I'll be chasing him around the house all the time, but still... I miss it.

So... yeah. I think I'm back. It'll be limited for now as I get back into the swing of things, but I need to write and I need to do it now!

So expect some new reviews from me soon, but maybe some other stuff also. I mean, I'm a mom now, you know. Who knows what I might come up with!

What's been going on in your lives over the last year and a half? Read anything good? Write anything good? Have any good babies lately? Let's catch up!

Happy Reading,