Book Review – The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

by Maryse on June 18, 2017 · 5 comments

in My Book Reviews

The Female of the Species
Yeeeeeaahhhhh… my book twin, AKA the other half of the “Marmy twins” recommended this one to me, and BIG TIME, so I knew I was in for some serious ooooomph, and boy did I get it. This. Book. Was. AWESOME!!! Not my “usual” (yes it is a love story, and there’s all sorts of romance and jealousy angst, but it’s so much more) and EXACTLY what I LOVE.

It’s hard reading at times. There is so much real life in here. The ugly kind (and always the kind that we’ve ALL been around, all been amidst, all been a part of in some way shape or form). What an eye-opener this story was. From volunteering in an animal shelter (and tending to abandoned and neglected animals they grow to love and nurture), to creepy guys hanging around underaged teens at parties (you know the ones), to full-on predators that get away with murder. Almost.

“She’s defending her sister,” she said.

“And there’s nothing wrong with that.” And there wasn’t. And there isn’t. And I’ll keep doing it.

I’ll keep doing it even though she’s not here to defend.

Because there are others like him still.

And yet with all of that hard, in-your-face reality, there’s so much humor and wit, and so many endearing moments, that you’re never left in that dark energy for long. I promise!

Tasha: I loved The Female of the Species, I hope you like it too Amy!

Amy: MARYSE!! I haven’t gushed much about it (don’t want to be accused of peddling a death book *side-eyes bev* :P ) but… YOU’RE GOING TO WANT TO READ THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES!!!!!! The writing is fantastic and oh my, the feels. Holy moly, I felt. FELT. So freaking much. It was 4.5 stars for me. Maybe closer to 5. The three POVs actually added to the emotional intensity instead of taking away, at least to me they did. *sigh* Wasn’t I just saying recently I wanted this kind of book??

Maryse: …what book am I reading now? :D !!!! It’s “The Female of the Species” *grins excitedly at Amy!!!*

Amy: Female of the Species?? *squeals excitedly and claps hands* …that one is heavy and gut clenching enough to be called a Marmy;)

Maryse: Okay UPDATE!!!!!! I AM LOVING “The Female of the Species”. It is so witty, and so well written, with such eloquent descriptions and just AWESOME. It’s about a group of seniors that become friends in their last year, and one of them (one of the girls) is a vigilante sociopathic type… kind of like Dexter. BUT NOBODY KNOWS… She always keeps her cool, but can whip some butt, when she needs to. But the writing is absolutely incredible. They are SO REAL.

Maryse: bev if you haven’t read this yet, this one is TOTALLY for you. And it’s for everyone,of course, I can’t imagine anyone not loving it, but I know bev has a specific reading style (and story type) and I KNOW she’d love this. Amy chose this for me, but maybe bev got Amy to read it. I’ll have to backtrack through the comments on this one…

bev: No, I haven’t read it. It was on my radar because of all the great buzz but I read a huge spoiler. ….In the spoilers defense I did click on the spoiler tag. :)

Amy: I am SO THRILLED you are loving it, Maryse!!! *happy dance* Where are you at in it? I was blown away by how, for me, the writing was so brilliant that I was able to FEEL the emotions of all three of the POVs. Especially once a certain incident happened. Let’s just say…smoke. Holy moly, my heart ached for two of them because I could totally see things from both of their perspectives.  I loved Alex because she was such a mess…a bada$$ but not with an I’m-a-bada$$ attitude, and she just didn’t know what to do with the darkness inside her. My heart just ached for her. And Peekay and Jack…oh, my heart. I felt all of their emotions as well.

YES YES AND YESSSSSS!!!!!!! Everything you just said Amy!!!!

Okay now everyone that hasn’t read this book yet, GO IN BLIND RIGHT NOW!!! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT, but if you need to know more, I explore my experience of it, below. I just loved it so much, and had all sorts of stuff I wanted to talk about and highlight below. So while I don’t spoil anything, I still believe this book is best read without knowing any more. So stop here and start reading the actual story!! :D

For those that want to know more (or HAVE read it)… let’s continue, shall we?

This was amazing. A heroine (and at times, *some* might say villain) profound in her thinking, and so mature in her years, that didn’t think she could feel, didn’t believe she deserved anything. Having been so numb from the deep trauma in her life, and dealt with,

Dad left.

Anna is gone.

I have never been here.

…and DEALS with it, in an incredibly unconventional, even horrible way.

…he sits there wondering where his life went wrong until it sets again.

I know exactly where. I’ll explain that to him.

He’s lonely. So when I stop for the first time ever, I almost feel bad when his face lights up. Almost. Because immediately following that pure smile of a human being who craves the company of another human being, his eyes flick down to my tank top, where my breasts heave up and down as I catch my breath. And we’re not two human beings anymore.

We’re a male and a female.

Alone in the woods.

Events (even those she’s caused, because she baits when she needs to)…

…part of him knows he shouldn’t do this. The part that crumbles up crackers and feeds them to birds knows that he shouldn’t bring me out of the sun into the darkness of his house. But another part wants to.

And it’s much stronger.

…so detrimental to her own young psyche, and yet, maybe it’s just who she is? Maybe she can’t help herself. And yet maybe this will ruin her entire life.

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

Yet even with all of that, despite her self-imposed distance to “regular teenage life” and her unusual mannerisms, she unwittingly makes friends in her last year of high school (LOL! Boy do they experience at least, a touch of her wrath right from the start),

“Please do not crush my balls, madam.”

“Don’t touch me without my permission and I won’t.”

“Okay, cool.”

…and she begins feeling again. Feeling EVERYTHING. And her whole life changes. Hers, and that of everyone in her entourage.

In fact, one that she vehemently protects, now want to to protect HER against her inexperience of other teenage dangers. Those of the heart.

“…and I swear if he hurts you, it’ll be my turn to kick some ass.” I shake a fist in her face to make my point.

“Your thumb goes on the outside,” she says.

Tee hee!!!!! :P GAH!!!! This book!!!!!!!

This whole book is about the amazing emotional growth that was borne of circumstance, the life journey already at a pinnacle, for some so young, and just about to start in the real world. Her decisions, and even those “normal” reactions of typical teenage angst can bear consequence. Life, love, and ramifications are bumped up a notch, become heightened, even dire, when there’s a villain/vigilante in the group.

Seeing evidence of my small rebellions, spots where my wrath was allowed to vent and has impacted the world around me, no longer safely encapsulated inside. My life is made of these tiny maps, my paths always steady as I move inside a constricted area, the only one I should ever be allowed to know.

My violence is everywhere here.

And I like it.

Yet, is she a villain, or a hero? I guess it all depends on how you take this one in. I’ll let you reach your own conclusion.

“You’re supposed to move out among people, widen your horizons.”

“And you’re not?”

“No,” she says, shaking her head emphatically. “It’s better if I don’t.”

“It’s not better,” I argue. “What are you going to do? Get a job at the gas station? Waste your life flipping burgers?”

“Not better for me,” she says quietly. “It’s better for others.”

4.5 stars <— EASILY!!!!!! One of the best written, most intricately explored stories, most believable characters, I’ve ever read.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy June 18, 2017 at 8:32 PM

YES!!! I’m so thrilled you loved it!!

It was such an unexpected gem, and I hope more people give it a chance. Even those who have clicked on spoiler tags. *smirks at bev*

And I hope they never change the cover. I love covers which are eye-catching and belie the weight of what awaits the reader. ;)

bev June 18, 2017 at 8:49 PM

Maybe some day. I really should stay away from spoilers.
The first review I read about it said that though the h is “cold blooded” she loved “her with a tenderness that makes my heart break.”

Amy June 18, 2017 at 9:04 PM

GAH bev…that is so fitting for how I felt about Alex.

Summer June 18, 2017 at 9:52 PM

Is it loan able? I noticed its $9.99 that would take my whole months budget

Anna Whitmer June 19, 2017 at 11:28 AM

I read this one a few months back. Went in blind except for a few friends strongly encouraging me to read it, and absolutely loved it. I felt like it addressed some important topics in interesting ways in addition to being a great read. I also recommend the audiobook version which is really well narrated by multiple narrators for those of you who enjoy listening to your books.

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