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The Female of the Species

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  17,137 Ratings  ·  4,029 Reviews
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 tru
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
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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 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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Be prepared

I just wasn't going to read this book. I just wasn't. I bought it because I thought it was going to be something I liked. Then I saw some warnings about things in the book and I thought, if I pick up this book I'm going to throw it across the room. I almost did a few times.


I didn't

and I loved it

All of the animal abusers and rapists of any sort should burn. It's just that simple.

and I really don't care if no one feels the same as I do. I just don't care any more.

I loved Alex Craf
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.

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
The book world needs unreliable characters.

Because it’s not true that you can trust anyone you meet. These characters teach you to stay vigilant and make sure you know the person you’re with inside out before you give them access to your precious heart.

Plus they’re very entertaining.

Alex Craft is not your typical teenage girl. She may seem like she is at first glance, but then you hear her talk and you notice her eerie stillness and suddenly you’re not sure anymore who’s the person in front of
C.G. Drews
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
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My emotions are all over the place.😢
Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
So weird but so good
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Physical attractiveness has nothing to do with it. You were alone, isolated, weak. It happened to you, but it could've been anyone. Opportunity is what matters, nothing else.”

I wanted to read the Female of the Species ever since I first saw it on Goodreads, which must've been more than a year ago. As it should happen, I was to read Mindy's newest release This Darkness Mine before I could finally dive into TFOTS. This Darkness Mine; however, prepared me to have no expectations, apart from one: t
Whitney Atkinson


Alex was so interesting to read about. Her inner monologue. Her tormented life. I dug it so hard. I loved that this took place in 3 different perspectives because they all added something different to the story that by the end of the book tied together so well. This book is power. I loved it.

If anything, I'm wary about the realisticness of the events surrounding the rapes in this book. Especially in a book about really lewd high schoolers that don't seem to be afraid to harass wom
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Raeleen Lemay
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2017
When I started reading this book this morning I wasn't expecting to finish it the same day... It was supremely weird, but also interesting, and I couldn't put it down!
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
Lily ☁️
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lily ☁️ by: indah
You can find my full review here!

You know those books—the ones you finish, and afterwards you come out of the experience feeling like you are a different person, and you can’t quite remember who exactly you were before? “Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul,” Joanne Harris once said.

The Female of the Species is that book.

The kind of book that leaves you lying in bed at night, staring at the ceiling blankly, while contemplating your ex
Okay. Before we get into this, I just want to say that the lens through which I’ll be judging this book feels unfair even to me (and that’s saying something because I rain hell on young adult contemporaries like they’re calling themselves the 21st century Ulysses), but the book brought it on itself!

I went through the entirety of this thing thinking it was just ya average contemporary. I finished it being like, Um, okay, that was, uh...kinda weird, but I wasn’t ANGRY or anything. (Pretty rare fo
Larry H
Dec 28, 2016 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
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 brutally brilliant stars🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Wow! This book was brutal, dark, raw, and reel.....

Violence begets violence... Alex has always had a little something... a little spark of anger in her.... and her sister kept it in check.;. until her sister was raped and murdered....

Then she sought vengeance..... she also felt as though she would never be normal...... when she befriended Claire and fell in love with Jack.... she felt as though perhaps she had a chance... a chance to live a normal life.....

l a i n e y
Anger makes you tired, but guilt keeps you from falling asleep.

An enormously ferocious book.
More importantly, a fabulously feminist one.

I mean what do I want in a book?

► I want intriguing characters with interesting lives dealing with complicated issues, there were more than one of those in this.

► I want good writing that’s not slipped into pretentious zone, this one has that in spade.

► I want emotions, I got emotionsss.

► I want chemistry: tensions and big fireworks not just dim sparks I hav
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

*featuring the female of my duo, Marcy Louisa and all her fluff*

This was the February Read for The Cheerful Wednesdays, and might I say that this was a heavy book.

This book is full of all kinds of triggers. There is talk of murder, rape, child pornography, animal cruelty, substance abuse and just about anything you can think of. Some of these are actual topics that should be talked about more in order for people to understand them, and for this I thank the author for not shying away from the to
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
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I wish I could tell you all about this book and how it’s intense and heartbreaking, but I’m still in a daze and my heart isn’t quite ready to process it all.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-ya, favorites
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.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Y'all... I am utterly speechless.

This book was so incredibly profound I cannot form words. This story messed with my head man... it messed with me like crazy and it was dark as hell and I cannot even comprehend what... WHAT?!

I hate to keep doing this, but since I'm knee deep in the Booktube-A-Thon right now I can't take the time to write a proper review. I will for sure be doing this once I'm done reeling from this entire thing. Holy shit... please just read this freaking book. I'll try to conv
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
May 05, 2017 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
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Nothing I write here will ever do this book justice. Just read it.
Kayla Dawn
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mindy McGinnis is very talented.

It's so fascinating how she's able to actually write differently for every point of view. You do not have to check who's pov you're currently reading because you'll know just by how they are thinking, speaking and acting.
Most books I read that have more than one pov were not able to do that, especially not as GOOD as this one is doing it!
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)
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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

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

'Except humans.”
More quotes…