Book 6: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

I am going to start with this: This book is a necessary observation on the horrid culture surrounding rape and sexual assault. If those things make you uneasy or are too vulgar, GET OVER IT! Rape Culture needs to be erased from the face of this planet.

This book was a great read with #ItsNotRapeIf starting up. I highly suggest anyone that is utterly offended by this hashtag to read this book immediately.

At first, I was hesitant of this book. It seemed like a teenage girl version of Dexter, which don’t get me wrong that would be amazing, but it is definitely not what I think YA Feminist Literature should be. This book might linger on that a little bit, but the overall message of this book is poetically clear: rape is NEVER okay.

The characters in this book are well developed. Alex (AKA Dexter) is a girl shrouded in darkness. Through unexpected friendships, she struggles to step out into the light. Peekay is the naive girl that is trying to get rid of the Preacher’s Kid (PK.. Peekay) brand but realizes that deviance might come with a price. Jack is the perfect boy: good grades, good looks, and good athletic ability, but he wants more from life than just working his way into the panties of every girl in school. When Alex enters the worlds of Peekay and Jack, everything shifts and turns upside down. Does that always have to be a bad thing though?

With a heavy subject, this book does a great job of interlacing humor and romance. It is truly a coming of age book that deals with a topic that ALL teens and ALL parents and ALL teachers/librarians should know and talk about.

For readers, I have already expressed my opinion. I do not care if you don’t like to read heavy books or rape makes you feel uneasy. Thinking like that is the reason rape culture hasn’t been demolished in the first place. READ IT NOW (or at least read something that has a similar topic).

For librarians, this book is a little white washed, and I can’t say that I enjoy that. I will say that it saves itself by being honest about a tough subject. I think it is a must buy for any primary collection. I would go as far to say that this book needs to be in almost every branch in your system.

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