The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Book | eBook | eAudio
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. After her sister’s murder three years ago, Alex has lived a very controlled life in order not to cause attention. However, when she begins working at the local animal shelter, she befriends Peekay (the Preacher’s kid), a girl in the midst of a breakup who’s looking in search of a new identity. Rounding out our trio of narrators is Jack, the hometown golden boy. Star athlete, on his way to being valedictorian, and boy toy of the head cheerleader, Jack takes notice of Alex, but harbors a secret that could ruin their fragile relationship. This page-turning thriller will keep you on your toes!
I love how well-rounded a lot of these characters are! From Peekay’s church-going parents who are the coolest parents in the book (one character goes so far as to say this verbatim!) to the beautiful head cheerleader whose tragic self-awareness will bring you to tears, these characters come to life on the page.
I can’t give too much away on this without spoiling some things in the book, but seriously! Who doesn’t love an Irish Wolfhound!
Animal Cruelty (limited)
Underage Drinking and Drug Use
This was a powerful read to start the list with! I was familiar with McGinnis’ writing from her YA dystopian series, so this was a little out of left field for me, but so worth it. This read really brings home how normalized rape culture is today, especially after watching Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. Definitely a read for older teens! I loved the honesty and realizations made in this novel. And the well-rounded characters were fantastic! I’m really glad I picked this one as my first title off the High School list!
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The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee
Panic by Lauren Oliver