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The Female of the Species

The Female of the Species

Book - 2016
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Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesnt 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 cant be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.
But Jack Fisher sees her. Hes the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Annas body was discovered hasnt let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesnt want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.
So does Peekay, the preachers kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dads job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alexs protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.
Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alexs darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.
Publisher: New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780062320896
Branch Call Number: YA FICTION MCGIN...M
Characteristics: 341 pages ; 22 cm


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Feb 04, 2021

Alex Craft is trying to live out her life in as much isolation as possible, knowing that she not only can kill again but probably will. However, people tend to interfere with her desire to be alone. Claire, known as Peekay, which stands for preacher's kid, works with Alex at the local animal shelter and does her best to develop a friendship with Alex. Jack, who is known as a boy whore, is enamored with Alex and finally gets her to date him. They fall in love, but Alex's nature can't be silenced.

Alex reminds me of the protagonist in The Girl in 6E, who knows that she is a murderer, so she only comes out of her apartment to kill those who she deems need killing. Problems arise when she tries to insert normality into her life. Alex seems to be a teenage version of this character. As self-aware as Alex seems, she still manages to let people into her life when she knows she will hurt them. None of the characters in this story are very likable, and they all make horrible choices constantly throughout the story. Overall, no matter how well written, this is a pointless, depressing story with no detectable theme or moral integrity.

Jan 26, 2021

The Female of the Species takes an dark look at the feminine perspective on rape culture. The story follows Alex, a teenage girl who has become an unapologetic vigilante against the kind of men who don’t take no for an answer following the death of her sister three years prior, and struggles with the dark in her as she forms genuine human connections with well-meaning peers. The writing is sharp yet blunt, and a feeling of unease permeates the melancholy atmosphere of the novel. It’s harsh, and it doesn’t shy away from the uglier parts of people, no matter which side of a conflict they’re on. With a climactic conclusion that aches with bitter realism, The Female of the Species leaves a haunting impact that stays with you long after you finish the last page.
@greencrushed of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Dec 22, 2020

A very good book that exposes acceptable behaviors in society to be not so successful and that trying to forget such an act by trying to push it under the rug is the wrong answer.

HKK_Teen_Staff Apr 10, 2020

Not for the faint of heart! This revenge story follows Alex, a teen with questionable methods who you’ll find yourself rooting for.

This book, will stick with you. The subject matter is important but jarring and will offer several points of view when it comes to rape culture.

Mar 31, 2020

I honestly think that if Jack wasn't in this book I would have rated this four or five stars, easily. I really liked the friendship between Alex and Claire and thought the writing was really good, but as this is such a character-driven story, when you dislike 1/3 of who the story is about it really brings down everything else.

Feb 22, 2020

This book was a surprisingly honest look at the dark side of human nature. There was a lot of cursing, which is accurate from what I remember of being a teen (forbidden fruit is desirable and all that). ‘The Female of the Species’ takes a serious look at attempted rape and the effects it can have on the victims.

Alex Craft is not the typical teenage girl, and who can blame her after her sister’s brutal murder? But when she starts to work at the animal shelter with Claire, she begins to come out of the cocoon she has weaved around herself. Then she meets Jack, and she begins to have feelings for a boy, the same type of creature that raped and murdered her sister.

As Claire and Jack pull her into the ‘normal’ masses, Alex begins to worry about the darkness inside of her. She has done a terrible thing, and she does not regret it. As senior year goes on, Alex’s true self begins to peek through, and though she is protecting her friends with the darkness, she is afraid that it will come out again. Can Jack and Claire handle the truth about Alex Craft, or will they be unable to cope with her true nature?

This book is dark and not for the faint of heart. There are several attempted rapes, and Alex defends her friends with a lot of violence. The ending is hard to swallow, but it’s appropriate. I recommend this for older teens and up, and there is A LOT of foul language. But I enjoyed this book and the way it showed the horrible truth of the consequences of rape.

Aug 23, 2019

This book was not a happy or cheerful story. It was about really heavy and serious topics. The ending was really surprising and unexpected. I enjoyed reading the story.

IndyPL_AnnaL Jun 17, 2019

This was a very suspenseful book that follows the character Alex, who lost her sister to rape and murder. Alex gets her revenge and lives a lonely life until she meets Peekay and Jack, two friends she makes in spite of pushing everyone away. I loved this book because it brings up some harsh realities about rape culture in our society. Great book for discussion about rape, abuse and revenge.

Jun 05, 2019

This reads like a thriller flick, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. It’s an insanely good piece of fiction and tackles rape culture from different perspectives. Highly recommend to anyone who can take graphic scenes and stark, raw emotion. This is also one of my new favorite books for sure.

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Dec 22, 2020

BuffyJulie thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Apr 01, 2020

miraellie thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jun 05, 2019

dhspanda thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

May 28, 2017

aformerhiro thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add Notices
May 18, 2019

Violence: Human and animal gore is described with picturesque detail.

May 18, 2019

Sexual Content: Sexual assault is described and discussed. Consensual sex is also described and discussed.


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