The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis // Book Review by Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams

Book Review // The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnisAlex 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.


The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date: September 5th, 2016

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 existence and everything else you ever thought you knew.

“Oh, another book that talks about rape”, some people will inevitably think, and scoff, rolling their eyes, their thoughts probably ending somewhere along the lines of “haven’t we had enough of those already?” — the answer is no.


But even so, The Female of the Species would not simply be “just another book that talks about rape”; it does examine rape culture, yes, but it also explores themes such as friendship, and loyalty, it talks about morals, courage, and love, and it shines a light on feminism, and so many other issues that especially young-adult contemporaries should shine a light on, but unfortunately rarely do.

And it does so flawlessly, and boldly.

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.


Do not let yourself be fooled by the tame, almost cute cover—because “cute” is the least likely adjective I would use to describe it; this book is dark, and gritty, and has quite a bit of angst.

But it is also honest, hopeful, and filled with love, and compassion.

I have read my fair share of books dealing with rape, a few of which I already deemed immensely well-written, but this one … I feel like it carved out a hole in my chest, and left behind an emptiness that I still don’t know how to fill, and I don’t know if I will ever stop hurting from it.


You’re interested in this book?
You can buy the Hardback or Paperback at Book Depository.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?
Do you have a favorite Mindy McGinnis book?
What are your personal experiences with society’s views on rape culture?

xx, Lily


55 thoughts on “Book Review // The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis”

  1. This is a fantastic review! I have wanted to read this book ever since it was announced that it was even a thing. I hate seeing rape occur in books; however, since it happens in real life, it happens in a fictional world. I love how McGinnis takes some of the hard points of life and puts it in her stories. I cannot wait to read this book! Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh thank you, Nicole!! ❤

      I feel the same way; I always need to mentally prepare myself, before delving into books with this subject matter, because it's something that's incredibly hard for me to read about.

      I hope you love this book, when you read it & I hope you have an amazing day! x


  2. I haven’t heard of this book, and now you’ve piqued my interest. Was there any graphic descriptions of the rape? Just to know what I can expect as I usually skip those parts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are graphic descriptions of sexual assault, and attempted rape, and other quite dark and gruesome scenes, so you’ll definitely have to skip a few parts.

      I’m so glad to hear that my review made you consider reading this book, Rachel! I hope you find it as meaningful as I did. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If you’re looking for me, I’m crying because damn what was this review I just read, LILY AHHH YOU WRITE INCREDIBLY touching reviews in just a few words and wow wow wow okay I’m not okay.
    Okay I’m back, I’m all good. Not really, but you make this book sound really, really good. I haven’t read it, I’ve heard a little bit about it, but I have to say I wasn’t sure about reading it, since it sounds like such a dark book. I might have to be in the mood for that, but I might consider reading it someday 🙂 Wonderful review!! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh thank you so, so much, I’m currently in shock and in awe, this is such a wonderful message!! And coming from someone whose reviews and posts I always love reading, especially. Thank you so much, Marie!! 😭💖

      I definitely recommend waiting for the right mood (and mindset) to read this book, because it’s very heavy and quite harrowing, too. I hope you find it as insightful as I did, when you do!

      Thank you, Marie!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh you’re so welcome, honestly I just loved reading this so, so much. ❤ ❤ ❤
        I'll keep this book in mind for sure, for whenever I'm in the mood for it 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, that was one darn powerful review! I know that books like that hurt like crazy, but it’s also the best when they evoke such strong feelings in you. I am pretty sure it’s a book I’d have to be in the right mood for, but you have definitely put it on my radar!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Kat! That is such a great compliment, and I’m so flattered to hear it coming from you! 💗

      I’m so glad to have accomplished that, and I agree that it’s a book you should be prepared and in the right mood for to read – I really hope you find it amazing, when you do!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aww, lovely review! I must admit that I also fall into the group of people who write off books that “talk about rape again” (I know, I’m ashamed), but books like this that usher in a message of optimism is definitely worth the read. Again, terrific review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! ☺️

      Aw, well that’s how I feel about books that handle the subject matter of cancer at times, to be honest, because it seems as if it’s being used merely as a plot device, almost? But I’m so glad to find well-written books on rape culture, and feminism, and I hope more people decide to read them. 🙂

      Aahh thanks & thank you so much for your comment! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  6. After reading and loving A Madness so Discreet, I knew I would read anything she wrote, so when this book came out, it immediately went to my TBR. The book made me think about authors like Courtney Summers, who also tackles these themes in her books. Alex’s story was dark, but I felt empowered reading it nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, she’s not as mainstream as other authors but since All the Rage was published she gained some popularity, and even now with the upcoming book she’s got. I think she’s excellent for tackling difficult topics!

        You MUST read A Madness so Discreet! Same badass heroine vibe, different time period.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ohhh this book is really powerful and SO well written and told. And heartbreaking. That ending…❤️💔 I read this a few years back but I still think about it afjdksald.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been meaning to read this! Thanks for reminding me. And, personally, there can never be too many books about rape culture, it needs to be told and shut down and what better way to do that than shove it in the right stories that should be told?:)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Although I’ve recently been in the mood to read light and fluffy contemporary books, I can’t deny that I want to read this so bad. I’ve seen this several times on my local bookstore and I keep putting it down, thinking I’ll buy it next time. I’m so excited to finally pick it up and hopefully really enjoy it as much as you have. I love books that leaves such a great impact to readers! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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