The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
If you’re looking for a spooky book to read this Halloween, may I suggest The Female of the Species? Author Mindy McGinnis is also responsible for one of my favorite 2017-18 Gateway nominees called A Madness So Discreet; the girl knows how to write an edge-of-your-seat thriller. The Female of the Species is super dark and uncomfortable to read at times, but so worth suffering through the nightmares it will give you. I am thrilled that Mindy will be visiting my school in December to speak to our students!
Alex Craft’s older sister Anna was raped, murdered and dismembered by a local pedophile, and when the the police didn’t have enough evidence to convict him, Alex, a freshman at the time, took matters into her own hands. She carefully and meticulously planned her revenge, and now a senior, Alex has yet to be connected to his death. Alex is a loner, aware that she inherited her father’s viciousness and “feels too much.”
P.K. or “Preacher’s Kid” is in a post-break-up funk. Her longtime boyfriend ditched her for the opportunity to date the hottest girl in school, and P.K. regrets sharing so much of herself with him. She’s a shell when she meets Alex at the local animal shelter where both girls are serving volunteer hours. Though polar opposites, P.K. and Alex develop a bond over the animals they care for.
Jack Fisher is the guy everyone wants to be. Athletic, good-looking, funny and smooth, Jack can have any girl he wants. Jack is inexplicably drawn to Alex, however, different from anyone he’s ever dated. While Jack and Alex’s attraction is mutual and strong, Jack begins to question the depth of Alex’s dark side after she disfigures a man at a party for attempting to take advantage of P.K.
There is plenty of offensive language, violence and discussion of sex in this book, so take note if this will offend you. As I mentioned, this is the second of Mindy McGinnis’ books that I’ve read, and she’s quickly becoming a favorite author. If you don’t mind creepy, this book is a stand out.
This Blog Goes to the Dogs
I mentioned in my first post that I want this blog to serve as a way to lift up people, so there will be no dismembering, body burning or other such grotesque #plotdrivenlife experiences. Wouldn’t that make a fantastic headline? STRANGER THAN FICTION: SCHOOL LIBRARIAN KILLS FOR BETTER BLOG RATINGS. Nope. I do have a super outrageous activity I would be willing to perform for a #plotdrivenlife experience, but it doesn’t involve hurting anyone. Stay tuned! In the meantime, I will keep to doing good in the world, thank-you.
After reading about Alex and P.K.’s love and care for animals at their local animal shelter in Female of the Species, I didn’t hesitate to carry out a #plotdrivenlife experience that benefited two shelters near and dear to my heart. As you may know from my post about my Goodbye Days experience for my recently deceased dog Ben, both Ben and my fifteen year-old Beagle-Chihuahua, Rudy, came from a no-kill animal shelter called Furry Kids Refuge near Lee’s Summit, MO. This shelter is run by a tireless woman named Carla Wing whose love for animals knows no bounds. Carla is like Alex in that they are drawn to the innate good in the spirits of the animals they serve.
As I was reading a recent issue of the Furry Kids’ newsletter, I noticed an article about an app called Walk for a Dog. A free download, Walk for a Dog allows you to donate to a chosen shelter simply by walking your dog. In the app, you set an animal shelter you’d like to support, identify a pet you walk (or choose an animal in need) and track the time and distance of any walks you take. I applaud this concept since it allows app users to donate to a shelter while taking part in a healthy activity for both human and pet. This is something everyone could do so easily even once a week. I am choosing to support Furry Kids’ Refuge through the app, and I’ll continue to use the app every time I walk Rudy.
The other shelter I chose to support is Five Acres Animal Shelter in St. Charles, MO. I used to volunteer as a dog-walker at this shelter, and several months ago, I noticed they were hosting a virtual 5K race– complete with a medal– as a fundraiser. My friends Lauren and Jackie and I jumped at the chance to challenge ourselves for the good of potential pets! We gathered together on a rainy, cold Sunday at our local Club Fitness and went to work, each running our 3.1 miles at her own pace. It wasn’t pretty, but we lived to tell about it.
In the name of Alex Craft, I challenge you to help a rescue animal this month. Consider downloading and using the Walk for a Dog app, shopping at Amazon Smile (which benefits a charity of your choice), donating requested items to a shelter, visiting a cat cafe or even picking out your new pet from a shelter vs. a pet store. It’s good Karma.
Here’s a Halloween treat for you: I’ll post again next week!
Thanks for reading,