The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
About- Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.
Anna’s thoughts- This book is insanely intense. McGinnis goes into such detail about rape and sexual assault that it can be uncomfortable to read…and that’s a good thing. On the other hand, Alex forms relationships through the story that are real and normal. I was actually surprised by the love story within this book and how prevalent it was to the whole story. I appreciated how McGinnis would just drop the murders on the reader and walk away- like BOOM!, but now I’m changing the topic before you even have time to comprehend what happened. This book is definitely not for everyone although it is an eye-opener about rape culture and how rampant sexual assault is in our society.
A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
About- Mia Winchell has synesthesia, the mingling of perceptions whereby a person can see sounds, smell colors, and taste shapes. Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the loss of something important to her. Forced to reveal her condition, she must look to herself to develop an understanding and appreciation of her gift in this coming-of-age novel.
Anna’s Thoughts- I flew through this book! I had never heard of synesthesia before a colleague told me about this story. It is so intriguing. I love factors that make us all unique and Mia definitely is different…in a very cool way! The way Wendy Mass describes what Mia sees and feels is perfect; I could almost see the colors myself. The relationships between Mia and her best friend, siblings, parents, and boy friends are very realistic. The combination of family, friendship, growing up, and this gift that makes Mia so exceptional come together to create a truly memorable story.
Bad Machinery 6: The Case of the Unwelcome Visitor by John Allison
About- School is out for summer, and for the Tackleford mystery team, that means lazy days, balmy evenings, and… creeping existential dread that threatens the whole city. With half the team gallivanting off to exotic locales (like Aunty Kath’s in Margate), can Linton, Jack, and Lottie solve this season’s most dire case?
The Case of the Unwelcome Visitor, the sixth book in John Allison’s award-winning Bad Machinery series, pits our young heroes against the terrors of the unfamiliar and unknown. Lottie’s mum and sister have both fallen in love (thanks to the internet), Linton is determined to save his father from the soul-sucking responsibility of a promotion, and why is Jack working at the local paper with team nemesis (and hot-shot reporter) Erin Winters? Isn’t print meant to be dead?
Could the link between these tangled threads be The Night Creeper, who prowls Tackleford’s streets and leaves people in the hospital with a blank stare and a terrible smile on their face?
Anna’s Thoughts– This was a fun and fast read. Lottie’s character is too cute and Jack’s lines are funny! It actually took me a few pages to get into and I even thought about putting the book down but I’m glad I stuck it out. The villain is super creepy but the gang manages to crack the case and get rid of him with a little supernatural help.