This month’s FYA Book Club selection is The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis. Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)

P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!


There’s a line in the book, when Alex is remembering the time shortly after her sister died: “Then my sister was gone and I thought: I understand about boys now.” Can you recall a time, whether in your adolescence or as an adult, when your eyes were opened to sexism, toxic masculinity or gender inequality?


1. Alex Craft is, to put it lightly, a complicated protagonist. Were you able to connect with her in spite of her violent impulses and desires?

2. Alex rejects the label of “sociopath” or “psychopath,” because she feels too much rather than nothing at all, but do you think that there is something wrong with her? Or is she simply the product of trauma and the culture around her?

3. Do you think Mindy McGinnis was thoughtful and realistic in her exploration of difficult, dark themes like sexual assault and toxic masculinity? Why or why not?

4. Given her past and her experience with male predators and assholes, did you find it surprising that Alex fell for Jack? And was their romance compelling to you? Why or why not?

5. How do you feel about Branley Jacobs and her place in the story?

6. Did Alex’s story end the way you thought it would? Do you feel satisfied with the book’s conclusion, and did it seem realistic to you? Why or why not?

7. With Alex gone, do you think Jack and Branley get together–and stay together–in college and beyond? Would you be okay with their relationship or do you think they would both be settling?

This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.