Mindy McGinnis is one of the most talented faces in YA lit right now. Her dystopian duology, Not a Drop to Drink, hit all the right chords for me; a strong protagonist, interesting basis, and a distinct willingness to break the mold. She followed this up with A Madness So Discreet, a historical fiction novel (proving she truly is a jack of all trades) I’ve heard amazing things thus far about. So why not just expand to write the coolest sounding contemporary ever? Honestly I think at this point McGinnis can do no wrong. And that skillset will serve her well, as it’s going to take a lot of talent to pull The Female of the Species for me. There’s just so many complex storylines I’ll outline in a bit, and a lot of very raw emotion to be unveiled. I have extremely high expectations, and I’m often not the easiest critic to please. So since I know you’re all on the edge of your seat, let me tell you a bit about the plot. In a nutshell it follows Alex, an incoming senior unable to walk beyond the shadow of her sister’s unsolved murder. She can’t escape from the violence it’s cast on her life, and instead relegates herself to being all but forgotten. That is until hot shot, golden boy, all around dreamboat, Jack Fisher gets involved. And I know what you’re thinking; gag. The last thing YA needs is another hunk saving a misunderstood ‘tough’ girl. But that’s not how I see things going here, and there’s a legit reason for Jack’s inclusion. See, he played an indirect role in Anna’s death, and can’t forget the repercussions. So in his good day for the deed, he decides to understand Alex (hopefully in a much less creepy manner than that sounds…). Anyways, fellow senior Peekay also wants to better know Alex, as she feels a bond through their mutual disconnect to the community. The two girls start talking at the animal shelyer they volunteer with, and all the feels start running high. That is until…dun, dun, dun, Alex’s dark nature breaks out at a party. That’s not a lot of background, and I can see things going in several different directions following the party. One likely avenue is similar to that of another novel I recently read, Please Don’t Tell. This storyline could see Alex and company in a game of cta and mouse, being blackmailed by an unknown suspect. Or it could be a million other things. Seriously, the options are endless. And that is only one of the many reasons I’m just so excited for this books release. I also adore the cover (yellow? Yes please!), the title (is it based on the Joyce Oakes novel?), and this review from one of my favorite authors. That’s right Leigh Bardugo has immensely positive things to say, calling it a ‘difficult read…some of its early chapters left me reeling’. She also mentions that the story is much deeper than just a feminist Dexter character, tackling misogyny and rape culture deftly. I could just go on and on rationalizing my intense feels, but I’ll cut to the details so you guys can get it in your preorder cart! It releases September 20, by Katherine Tegen Books and is 352 pages of intense enjoyment (fingers crossed). I’m actually a little surprised it hasn’t received more hype at this point, but let me get the ball rolling! I’d love to know in the comments if this book was just added to your TBR, or what you’re waiting on this Wednesday.
-Keep Calm and Read On