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A Sequoyah book worth reading

Original book cover of

Original book cover of "The Female of the Species"

Elaina Kennedy, Memorial Staff Writer

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On  Sept. 2016, Mindy McGinnis published her book “The Female of the Species” through Harper Collins Publications. Since then, the book has made Seventeen’s 10 Best YA Books of 2016, Bustle’s Best Young Adult Books of 2016, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Top 10 Best YA Fiction of 2017, 2017 Tayshas List Selection and the 2018 Sequoyah master list.

In her book, Alex Craft was known as the loner with the dead sister. When Craft starts volunteering at the local animal shelter, she quickly forms a friendship with a classmate named Claire also known as Peekay, which is something Craft hasn’t experienced since her sister was violently murdered.

The suspense of the book is one of the good aspects and continues to build when McGinnis indicates that Craft has committed a crime that has gone unpunished, which implies that Craft loses control of her inner violence and commits a crime. The crime is unknown until later in the book. After the crime is revealed, readers can put the remaining pieces together.

Throughout the poem, The Female of the Species by Rudyard Kipling, that this book is based on, Kipling demonstrates the idea that females are powerful by using the Himalayan bear, the cobra and the Native American woman as an example. McGinnis uses the poem to illustrate the fact that Craft is a strong character.

A few specific moments that I liked more than others was when Craft breaks out of her comfort zone and befriends Peekay and Jack Fisher. She does this despite not trusting herself around other people.

Overall, this book has a strong female main character, and Craft was written to be a complex character with an unusual dark side that keeps the reader interested.   

This book is worth reading because instead of making her main character a hero, McGinnis develops the main character as an antihero. McGinnis allows Craft to be a central figure that many readers can relate to, struggling just like any other teenage girl.

Another thing that makes this book difficult to put down is the author’s discussion of real world difficult topics like sexual assault, homicide and animal cruelty.  Overall, I would definitely recommend this book.

Contact Elaina Kennedy at [email protected]

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