I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book! I was craving something different, a book that would evoke emotions and make me want to read it compulsively…and this book hit all of the marks.
The Female of the Species is a fast-paced read that is equally thrilling, disturbing, gruesome, relevant, and thought-provoking. The subject matter is topical, difficult, and uncomfortable. It should be. The author did a phenomenal job of developing the characters and telling their story in such an honest, raw, and gritty manner. I was pulled into the story right from the first page and held captive until the final page.
The book alternates between the perspectives of three characters: Alex, Jack, and Peekay. Each of these characters has an important voice, contributing to the overall depth of the story. Alex is a complicated character. She lost her sister in a brutal and heinous crime, one that went unpunished by the law. She’s had an extremely difficult time dealing with her loss. Alex is very intelligent, she keeps to herself, she doesn’t have any friends, and she has extreme anger and rage issues that she has to try to keep under control. I liked Alex. Did I agree with all of her actions? No. Do I believe in taking the law into my own hands? Absolutely not, but at the same time, I could see how she could justify her actions. She didn’t just unleash her anger on anyone, she always had her reasons. I couldn’t help but feel for her. Deep down she wanted to be normal and live like other teenagers. She wasn’t completely filled with hatred and vengeance, she did have a goodness to her – even if she didn’t recognize it herself.
Jack is the popular, intelligent jock who is used to being in the spotlight at school. He’s the guy that every guy wants to be and all the girls want to be with, but he wants to get to know the elusive Alex Craft.
Peekay is the preacher’s kid. She has tried for years to step out of the shadow of her father’s profession, but to no avail. She is reeling from her recent break-up from her long-time boyfriend who is now dating the beautiful, popular cheerleader, Branley. Peekay works with Alex at the local animal shelter and sparks a new friendship with her reluctant, stand-offish co-worker.
Alex begins to come out of her shell a bit in her final year of high school. Having friends has helped to coax her out into the world, but her true colors rear their ugly head when one of her new friend’s safety is compromised. She may be unassuming and quiet, but Alex is dangerous.
I would love to dissect every part of this book, but I don’t want to ruin it for any other readers. I urge everyone to read this book. I wanted a book that would make me feel, and that’s exactly what this book did. From my racing pulse to the aching pit in my stomach, I felt every word and emotion in this book.
The Female of the Species is a dark and heavy-themed read, but it doesn’t read as one. Amidst all of the turmoil, vengeance, and ugliness is still a story about friendship, love, and hope. It flows crisply and effortlessly, taking the reader on an experience that will stay with them long after the final word is read. And that ending…
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