The Female of the Species

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The Female of the Species audiobook

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Review #1

The Female of the Species audiobook free

If you’ve ever wondered what Dexter would be like if it starred a female teenager instead, read this book.

Alex’s sister, Anna, was raped and dismembered. The police had a suspect but he was let go due to a lack of sufficient evidence. Then one day, he turned up dead; he’d been tied to a chair and tortured, with another empty chair sitting across from him. As if someone had sat there and watched him die.

Peekay/Claire is the preacher’s daughter, hence the nickname “PK” or “preacher’s kid.” She’s tired of being the good girl, though, and all the strings that come along with that.

Jack is your typical popular white jock-type – only he’s not. He wants desperately to succeed, so he doesn’t end up as yet another dead-end in their small town. And he’s just aware enough of his privilege and entitlement that he feels the tiniest bit of guilt

All three of these kids end up converging, and the focal point is Alex: a girl who isn’t like other girls. Her sister’s death left her feeling hollow inside, filled her veins with barbed wire, and she’s filling that void with anger. Anger at rape jokes, at rape, at sexual assault, at double-standards, at sexism, at objectification, at male entitlement. Anger at rape culture, which says that all of these things are, if not okay, then inevitable and therefore expected. So she does what you would expect of a budding psychopath –

She does something about it.

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is not an easy read, for many reasons. Rape, language, violence, gore, animal abuse, drugs. If this book hasn’t been banned at least once, I’d be surprised. But as with most banned books, the content in here serves a purpose. It is a grim reminder that we haven’t achieved true equality yet, and that all too often, we still slut-shame and still blame the victim.

The things that Alex does are wrong, but on same base and depraved level, there is something almost satisfying about her actions, too: when we watch TV dramas and read books, we want the bad guys to be punished. And in those stories, when the judicial and law enforcement channels fail us, people take matters into their own hands. I feel like this is a microcosm, a character study, and a cautionary tale all in one: in this small town, McGinnis shows the various forms sexism and rape culture can take; she shows how humanity exists on a spectrum, and how good people do bad things, and bad people do good things, and what a lot of it comes down to is intent and frequency; and she also shows the importance of enforcing the laws and taking ownership so people don’t mete out vigilante justice.

I liked this book. It was upsetting and shocking, but it also had some really important messages. Give it a read, if you’re up to it. Girl-Dexter is pretty fascinating to watch.

4 out of 5 stars


Review #2

The Female of the Species audiobook streamming online

pooled ink Reviews:

This book was so good and yet in some ways using the word “good” to describe it feels almost inappropriate. But it had me hungry to know the story resolved to be told, afraid of the realities imbedded in each page, and sobbing through those final accounts as it all came to a close. I’m not a crier, but I had legit snot running down my face from crying as I squinted through my tears to read those final few chapters and it wasn’t even entirely for the specific events that explode at the end although that certainly triggered it. More so I cried because this is a piece of my reality and it was hard to have it staring back at me where I couldn’t turn away or hide or feign ignorance or stand behind the flimsy belief that people get what they deserve. Because more often than not, they don’t.

But on a lighter more bookish note…it’s well-written, realistic characters, fantastic plot weaving, and it’s just really effing good so you should definitely add it to your list. (You can read more of my thoughts/my full review on my Pooled Ink blog on WordPress)

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES will gently remove your rose-colored glasses right before grinding them coldly beneath its heel. It isnt a blood-thirsty war cry so much as a dark yet heart-wrenching plea to look, to see, to understand, to change, and by the final page you will want to raise your fist and scream through the tears staining your cheeks for this book may use fictional names but the story is very real and likely in some way yours. A book that ought to be on every shelf with its binding worn and broken from having been read and shared so often because to shelf it pristine would be a betrayal to Alex and the sharp reality she refuses to ignore.


Review #3

Audiobook The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

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.

Read that quote again. And after reading it again you don’t get tears in your eyes, not from pain but from anger, then you need to read it again.

I went into this book completely blind after having it recommended to me by a Goodreads friend. I didn’t know what it was about, I didn’t read any reviews and I think that decision added to the power of this book.

This story sneaks up on you. What I initially thought was going to be another typical YA thriller became anything but.

The author doesn’t present the complexities of this story in an overt manner. She stealthily plants ideas into your psyche that slowly start to change your perception until, without notice or permission, you’re presented with a horrifying reality that makes you question everything you’ve ever been taught and have taught to the girls and young women in your life.

This book is required reading for teen girls and the people responsible for their well-being. Parents, teachers, family and friends.

This story is the #metoo movement told in a way that is relatable to girls. It’s empowering and eye-opening and teaches girls that what they’ve been conditioned to see as normal and as boys being boys is NOT OKAY.

I think the most profound lesson in this story is that girls have a voice and it’s important to use it, to stand up when you see or experience something that makes you uncomfortable. Using your voice just once can ultimately save someone’s life, can change a turn of events and, in time, can change the world

“You see it in all animalsthe female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Damn straight.


Review #4

Audio The Female of the Species narrated by Amanda Dolan Dan Bittner Justis Bolding


TW: animal cruelty, sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, murder, discussions of indecent images of children, violence.

Wow. This is a powerful book. I feel like this is such a powerful and important read for all young people; it is dark and gripping and honest and has such honest conversations about rape, and sexual assault, and slut-shaming. Mindy McGinnis doesn’t let anyone get away with negative comments about girls and what they chose to do with their bodies; even when these comments are made by other girls they get shut swiftly down by one of our main characters Alex, who tragically lost her sister after she was raped and murdered.

This book is told from the perspective of three different individuals; Alex, who is known as the girl whose sister died, but has a sinister secret hidden. Jack, your typical popular guy but who notices Alex and wants to know her more. and Peekay (or Claire) the preachers kid who wants to cut the apron strings. They all come together throughout this book and you get an honest depiction of teenagers and the issues they face. I say honest depiction, i’m not sure how many teenagers go around [committing cold-blooded murder (hide spoiler)], but other than that i’d say it’s pretty realistic.

I wrote my university dissertation on rape culture and it horrified me then just how many jokes were made about rape and how it just wasn’t taken seriously by so many people and how many excuses are made for it. McGinnis does a brilliant job of portraying so many aspects of rape culture throughout this book, specifically slut-shaming and victim blaming.

I picked this book up planning to read a couple of pages and ended up reading the whole book. I just couldn’t put it down and it packs a real punch. The bit that stands out to me is the Police Officer giving a speech to the students and highlights just how often rape occurs for males and females, and when the males titter, highlights that most rapes are not stranger-rapes, but acquaintance rapes. People you know, who you might care about. These are the honest and unflinching conversations that are needed about these topics.

Alex was a delightful character and I loved watching her slowly come out of her shell. Peekay was also fabulous, and I loved watching her realise her growth and her slow acceptance that Branley is not the enemy. Jack was okay, but I just didn’t love him as much as the others.

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.

I initially rated this five stars because it was a really powerful and important read but then I was reflecting on it and realised I had to give it four stars because I just did not like the ending and it really didn’t work for me.

The ending honestly felt a little bit rushed to me and like the author wasn’t quite sure how to wrap up the dramatic events of Alex killing two people and revealing this to Jake. It also seemed a bit like the author was determined to make Branley the antagonist of this story, despite the rapists and child molesters that are rampant in this story. I would have hoped that this was dealt with a bit better and that Branley wasn’t made out to be such a nutter.

That said, this is a book that is going to stay with me for some time and one that I highly recommend you read.


Review #5

Free audio The Female of the Species – in the audio player below

You see it in all animals – the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

This book is a huge comment on rape culture, slut shaming, females in general and their status in society and the hypocrisy that has been ingrained in us all in some way – and all without feeling forceful or over-the-top… Loved it. Flew through it. Everyone should read it; I’ve seen a lot of females read it, but I just want to give this to everyone that I know, including all of the boys and men.

I live in a world where not being molested as a child is considered luck.

I really do love this book – I could quote it forever – and I really want to give it five stars, BUT I had to mark it down a star because of Jack. I got what the character was meant to be and why he was there, but I just didn’t like him, didn’t get him and didn’t believe him.

Physical attractiveness has nothing to do with it. You were alone, isolated, and weak. The three of them had been watching girls all night, waiting for someone to separate from a group. It happened to be you, but it couldve been anyone else. Opportunity is what matters, nothing else.

I want to end this by pleading with any teachers, principals, head teachers, etc. PLEASE take the excellent example of the assembly that is depicted in this book and implement it. It is seriously ridiculous to me that we still tip-toe around these issues.

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.


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