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The Female of the Species

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  8,088 Ratings  ·  2,173 Reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Tamara Caulfield
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karen a little bit, yeah. two of the characters work at an animal shelter, and there are some descriptions of what has happened to some of them, including…morea little bit, yeah. two of the characters work at an animal shelter, and there are some descriptions of what has happened to some of them, including one scene in which the animals do not make it to the shelter that's pretty bleak. also, one slaughterhouse scene that's fairly unpleasant, although realistic.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emily May
This is how I kill someone.
And I don’t feel bad about it.

BRUTAL. That's how I would describe this book. It sits there all unassuming with its cute yellow cover and pictures of animals, but underneath it has some serious fangs. Rather like the female of the species, I suppose.

Quick warning: this book may not be suitable to those sensitive to rape and/or animal cruelty. Make no mistake, it's a nasty book. At times it's absolutely disgustingly awful. But it's a very sharp and effective look at se
Leigh Bardugo
Aug 13, 2016 Leigh Bardugo rated it it was amazing
A very difficult read and some of its early chapters left me reeling. I confess I went into this book expecting a feminist, Dexter-esque, wish-fulfillment experience, and I was here for it. Instead, I got a painful, complicated, ultimately redeeming story about the insidiousness of rape culture and what it takes to dismantle it.

Watching flawed characters grapple with learned sexism and internalized misogyny is not always a comfortable thing, and though I was surprised by some of the choices McG
Wendy Darling
"You see it in all animals - the female of the species is more deadly than the male."

4.5 stars Holy shit, this is good. It sounds like it's going to be a revenge thriller, and it is--but it's also a searing takedown of rape culture and a merciless examination of the way violence begets violence. Riveting prose, three clear POVs, and a relentless story that doesn't try to provide answers, but forces you to think about the things we excuse legally and socially. In a year in which we've stood by an
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best young adult fiction category 2016!


where to fucking begin?

this is going to be a hugely polarizing book. if you're easily made squeamish by naughty language, depictions of teenagers drinking, doing drugs, having sex, or by violence (animal, people, sexual) or are otherwise a highly sensitive person, this book will probably play too rough for you. but considering how very often some of the events covered in this book make the news, the world pr
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Just read it. I'm not sure what else to say. There are so many great quotes from

"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 disdains and punctuated with an eye roll"


"I live in a world where not being molested as a child is considered luck."

A tough but important read.

Hailey (HaileyInBookland)
So weird but so good
Cait (Paper Fury)
DO YOU SEE THAT PUDDLE OF PUNCTURED FEELS IN THE CORNER?? THAT'S ME. It's okay. I didn't want HAPPINESS ANYWAY. Omg. To all of you who said: Hey Cait! That's an excellent book! I hope you like it! WELL LET ME SMACK YOU IN THE FACE. HOW DARE YOU NOT WARN ME. OMG.

Also, if you are reading this review and haven't read the book: Hey! This is an excellent book! I hope you like it!

(AKA I hope you suffer like I am suffering right now omgggggg.)

Basically the is one of the best contemporaries I've read in
Everyone thinks if you fix a male dog it will lower his aggression, but most of the biters are female. It’s basic instinct to protect their womb. You see it in all animals - the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

The Female of the Species is a bit harder to review because of how important a book it is. It’s a story exploring rape culture, the effects of sexual assault, over-sexualization of teenagers, gender issues, sexual objectification, and slut-shaming. Set in Ohio with al
Larry H
Dec 28, 2016 Larry H rated it it was amazing
I have Lauren and Erin to thank for this one!

"This is how I kill someone. I learn his habits, I know his schedule. It is not difficult. His life consists of quick stops to the dollar store for the bare minimum of things required to keep this ragged cycle going, his hat pulled down over his eyes so as not to be recognized. But he is. It's a small town."

Alex Craft's life was turned upside down three years earlier when her older sister Anna was murdered. The killer was exonerated, but it was clear
Epic Reads
One of the best and most important YA books you'll ever read. So so so so dark, but holy crap it is so powerful. It will stay with you LONG after you finish.
Trina (Between Chapters)
This book is an examination of rape culture. What if you knew your sister or your friend had been sexually assaulted? What if there's not enough evidence for the police to do anything? Would you think about taking matters into your own hands to get revenge? That's what this book is. It's the wish fulfillment of avenging sex crimes.

There are 3 points of view in this book:

There's Alex, the girl who takes revenge. Who sees someone get roofied and throws the first punch. She's the anti-hero, the mor
May 04, 2017 *TANYA* rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2017
Great book!!! I loved Alex's character, she was one bad mama jama!! I was also digging the hint of "Dexter" vibe it had as well.

-(Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord)
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
May 05, 2017 Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ rated it really liked it
"I am a wolf that my sister kept in a cage, until her hand was removed."

Going into this, I expected something similar to Hard Candy, with a really heavy focus on revenge. Reading the synopsis, I then thought perhaps I'd be subjected to a typical high school coming-of-age tale.

After reading, I discovered that this novel is actually a well illustrated criticism of society's dismissive attitude toward women's issues, rape & rape culture in particular.

I wasn't prepared for such an encompassing
Alyssa • The Bookish Nerd
May 29, 2017 Alyssa • The Bookish Nerd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: 2017-reads, 5-stars
5 Stars

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 stars
Lead Male Character: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 stars
Lead Female Character: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 stars
Plotline: ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary, mystery, thriller
Will I recommend this book to others?: ABSOLUTELY
Will I reread this book?: OF COURSE
Overall story summed up in one word: BRILLIANT

Minor Spoilers Everywhere

You see it in all animals - the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

⚫ To begin, this book was absolutely brilliant. And there's no denying th

Actual rating: 3.5 stars (agh, this is the moment when half stars are needed as breathing GR, you are killing me).

There are laws in place that stop us from doing things. This is what we tell ourselves. In truth we stop ourselves; the law is a guideline for how to punish someone who is caught.

Violent and brutal are the right words to describe this book. But so are naked truth and inner tenderness. I have complicated relationships with contemporary genre, meaning that I stopped reading it, becaus

Nov 13, 2016 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, best-ya
WOW!!! Don't let the title fool you. The Female of the Species is dark, brutal, & deadly. Mindy McGinnis weaves a tale of teenage angst, vigilante justice, & the pervasiveness of rape culture. I read this book with a knot the size of a fist in my stomach. I have a feeling I'll be thinking about the book for a long time. I recommend this book to all my fellow females & anyone who knows a female.
Kristina Horner
This book was fantastic. I've loved just about every Mindy McGinnis book I read, but this was the first contemporary of hers I've read. It was dark and gritty. It was melancholy. It was hopeful. It did not shy away from the ugliness of rape. It explored the internal wounds this ugliness leaves on a person. It explored what true hatred can drive, even if that thing is equally as ugly.
I hope everyone who reads this book learns something -and I hope those who need to learn read it.
Feb 15, 2017 Caroline rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
4.5 stars, I think

I have a lot of thoughts about this book. Definitely think people should check it out because it is well-written and so damn important. Video review here :)
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Feb 10, 2016 Korrina (OwlCrate) rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book was so intense and dark, yet I couldn't put it down. I love what the author was trying to do with this story - what she was trying to say. I don't want to say too much, because I think it's better to go into this book blind, but I know people will be talking about this novel for a long time to come. My favourite thing Mindy McGinnis has written so far; I wish it was receiving more hype because it's definitely deserved.
You see it in all animals—the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

5 stars.

tw: sexual assault, graphic violence, animal abuse

Wow. Just…wow. I went into this book without much knowledge of what it was about, and came out the other end feeling devastated and unsettled but also understood.

This is a harsh book about realistic people. It shows the ugly underbelly of our darkest thoughts. It shows the ugliness within us, the darkest thoughts that everyone has but nobody admits to.

Tran Thanh Tu
Dec 05, 2016 Tran Thanh Tu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read, ebooks
4,1/5 stars

OH. MY. GOD. *Janice's voice*

This book, I really don't know what to say or how to feel now! What a difficult, complicated read! I was completely blown away by the whole book, as this is a new kind of aspect in life I have never seen before, and now it's the author who has opened up my eyes.

I recommend this book, but not to everyone to be honest, as there are some SUPER mature parts which I'm not warned beforehand, and I was shocked at first, but hey! Come what may right?
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“This is how I kill someone. And I don’t feel bad about it.”

This was a YA contemporary story about murder and rape.

Alex was quite an interesting character, and she really knew what she wanted and how to get it. It was eye-opening the way she seemed to be unbothered by the thought of killing someone, and the lengths she went to to plan how she would do it.

The storyline in
"You see it in all animals—the female of the specie is more deadly than the male."

I don't know how to talk about this book, but I will force myself to, because this is a book that incites some discussion.

Alex's sister is dead. She was taken by a man who raped her and killed her after he got bored. Everyone knows he did it, but the prosecutor couldn't find enough evidence to convict him, since he buried parts of her body in a park and the animals got to her before the police did, so he walked a
Jordan (thejordanjournals)
Wow. This novel is a very important and relevant examination of rape culture. It poses and answers questions such as: what would you do if your sister was a victim of sexual assault? What would you do if there wasn't enough evidence to convict her rapist? What if you wanted to seek revenge? It is wish fulfillment for so many men and women who think these questions and are unable to seek justice.

We read from three different perspectives in this novel. There is Alex. The girl seeking vigilante ju
May 17, 2016 emily rated it really liked it
holy shit


i'm going to need a little time after that ENDING

also i have absolutely no idea what star rating to give this
Nov 04, 2016 Giovanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edit: please please, give this book a chance. In a day like this, a book about rape culture needs to be read. (No need to tell who I'm talking about.)

I feel like I should give this book 5 stars. I won't, because some things could have been developed better, but I feel like that because it's easier to make people read books when you've given them 5 stars, and I want people to actually stop, take a look at the rating and think about reading The Female of the Species. That sounds presumptous of me,
Jun 16, 2016 Abby rated it it was amazing

I'm not entirely sure I have the words for this one, but I'll go ahead and try. This book is dark and violent and awesome... and I think I'll be processing what the holy heck I just read for a while to come. If you read this book, prepare to clear out some head space for the story to come and live in.

In the small, insular Ohio town where she grows up, Alex Craft is the girl with the dead sister. Not much more. She doesn't interact with her classmates, and they make no move to include her. That's
Jodi Meadows
Apr 03, 2016 Jodi Meadows rated it it was amazing

Just wow.

I don't think I'd have picked up this book if it weren't for Mindy's name on the cover, because I'm not much of a contemporary reader, but I'm so glad I got to read this. (Even if I didn't get an ARC, I'd have bought it because of Mindy.)

This book is intense. Stark. And so beautifully written. Partway through I whispered to myself, "This girl might be a monster and I love her."

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is violent, filled with swear words and sexual content, but I wish I could giv
Aug 07, 2016 Monica rated it really liked it
This story read almost like if you took Dexter and mixed it with a Sarah Dessen novel. You have first love, coming-of-age, budding friendships, and vigilante murder (not a spoiler, the first line is literally "This is how I kill someone"). But it's bigger than that too. In this novel, McGinnis takes the idea of rape culture and brings it to terrifying life. By the end you realize how the jokes, judgements, and excuses we make all play a role in creating a society that makes violence against wome ...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
4.5 stars
After a hugely successful dystopian trilogy and her standalone exploration of insanity in a historical setting, Mindy McGinnis delves into a new territory with The Female of the Species, which is perhaps best described a hyper-realistic contemporary examination of teenage life, human resilience and revenge. It’s a bold, daring book that shoves hard realities right into our faces, making no effort to soften the blows or make us feel better along the way. Those who are a bit more sensitiv
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Mindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film my Stephanie Meyer's Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST was released in 2014. Her Gothic historical thriller, A MADNESS SO DISCREET won the
More about Mindy McGinnis...

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“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.” 173 likes
“You see it in all animals - the female of the species is more deadly than the male.'

'Except humans.”
More quotes…