The Female of the Species -Challenging ‘boys will be boys’

Posted July 24, 2017 by Pamela Nicole in Discussions, Reviews / 2 Comments

The Female of the Species -Challenging ‘boys will be boys’The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Published by HarperCollins on September 20th 2016
Genres: Thrillers & Suspense, Social Themes, Violence, Law & Crime
Pages: 352


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.


This book was a revelation.

It’s hard because I wouldn’t give it five stars, because Alex’s character just didn’t completely grip me. Don’t get me wrong, she’s totally badass and my hero, but there was just this gap between us that kept me from being 100% immersed.

But this book is important. In the same way, Courtney Summer’s All the Rage, or Some Girls Are are. It presents an ugly reality and challenges it directly and relentlessly.

I felt truly empowered. Like the book was saying It doesn’t have to be like that. Push back. 

I don’t think the author really wants us to go around killing people, but I gathered she does want us to do something. 


Challenging ‘Boys will be boys’

There’s this particular part, which I won’t quote because it’s long, and I’m not sure that’s allowed, that really captured the entire point of this book. It challenges directly the way the world regards men’s behavior towards women. They’re just having fun, they’re just immature boys, it’s a joke…

That shit went straight to my heart because I was like YES THAT’S OUR WORLD RIGHT THERE. And it was frightening.


As for the rest of the book

I liked the POVs

I’m not sure it would’ve been the same if we had only had Alex’s POV. Yes, she makes an interesting mind to be in, but contrasting it with being in Jack’s, and Peekay’s was even better. Because all of them represented a different reality. That’s the beauty of multiple POVs after all, but in this particular case it was extremely important that we had these particular POVs.


The writing was dark but realistic

Just as it should for this kind of book. Actually, I think Mindy Mcginnis has a knack for this, since I also saw this when reading A Madness so Discreet. It doesn’t waste time with words, but the book makes sure that the words that are there count. Each sentence packs a punch, so you’re always on edge.


What about the ending?

Please don’t ask me that. I still don’t know how I feel about it. I would have loved for it to be different, but as always, I can see why it had to be like that. It still was an amazing ending, so don’t worry about it.


Trigger warnings

  • Violence
  • Attempted rape
  • Verbal abuse

Hi, I’m Pamela, your curly-haired bookdragon friend, here to talk about books, writing, introversion, and everything creativity! I also teach creative writing through workshops and online courses to spanish-speaking writers.

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2 responses to “The Female of the Species -Challenging ‘boys will be boys’

    • I had been meaning to read it for a long time, getting excited by reviews, so I’m SOOO glad it didn’t disappoint. And :3 :3 Thank you so much Alice! I hopped by your blog and saw that you’ve got new co-bloggers! That’s awesome! I hope you all have a great time working together!