The Female of the Species
A contemporary YA novel that examines rape culture through alternating perspectives.
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. Not anyone.
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.
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Published: September 20th 2016
Rape, Animal Cruelty/Death, Drug Use
“You see it in all animals – the female of the species is more deadly than the male.’
This was another situation where EpicReads dropped the first four chapters when it came out and I became obsessed… I read those chapters way too many times aloud— it’s actually embarrassing.
Alex is haunted by her sister’s murder. Alex knows there’s something wrong with her. When she kills her sister’s murderer and gets away with it, a box unlocks that she may not be able to close.
“You shouldn’t be that way about her,” Alex says, “I hear what people say and I bet half of it isn’t even true. And even if it is–fine. She’s no different from you and me; she wants to have sex. So let her.”
This is a book that tackles rape culture, friendship, falling in love for the first time, slut shaming, sex positivity with a heavy side of teenage girl murder
think Dexter. And the way this book handles this was so raw and unflinchingly real. Told from three different perspectives, we’re given these angles that make the situations more understandable and fleshed out.
Because this book is really character focused, we’re going to make them the focal point. Now, we have our cliched mean girl, our church girl and jock guy; I can’t relate. Not because I’m home schooled, but because when I went to public school, it was nothing like that. However, I see why it was added. The different views on the topics handled and such.
“Why me, then?” I ask. “Why not Branley? She way hotter and was just as drunk as I was.”
Alex shakes her head as she sits back down. “Physical attractiveness has nothing to do with it. You were alone, isolated, and weak.[…] It happened to be you, but it could’ve been anyone. Opportunity is what matters, nothing else. […] I’m telling you, [Peekay]. It doesn’t matter. What you were wearing. What you look like. Watch the nature channel. Predators go for the easy prey.”
Alex as our main character was someone I rooted for. Not because I root for Morally grey kind of murderous characters
which I do but that’s not the point but because her goal and motivation is there.
She’s a vigilante who also has to deal with being a teenager, a grieving sister, an outcast, different. Her friendship with Peekay was refreshing. Having that someone who sees past your walls, the closeness of two girls in this small town it added depth to them both.
“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 punctuated with an eye roll.”
Now, Jack, our third POV… As a character, he was the weakest link (especially towards the end… he became useless), my biggest complaint and I don’t think this book needed a romance. The animal cruelty scene made me dislike him even more.
I get the need for a male POV, but he felt like a device to prove that Alex wasn’t a heartless murder and was still a teen… or something. First love and all of that jazz. I don’t know, a book like this didn’t need a romance, though. The female friendship would have been more than enough. However, this book is indeed important. It’s dark, its handles important topics and I highly recommend it.