*featuring the female of my duo, Marcy Louisa and all her fluff*
This was the February Read for The Cheerful Wednesdays, and might I say that this was a heavy book.
This book is full of all kinds of triggers. There is talk of murder, rape, child pornography, animal cruelty, substance abuse and just about anything you can think of. Some of these are actual topics that should be talked about more in order for people to understand them, and for this I thank the author for not shying away from the tougher topics.
“You see it in all animals – the female of the species is more deadly than the male. Except humans.”
Alex is dealing with a lot. Her sister was brutally killed and raped and left in the woods for someone to find days later after nature took her course on her. Ever since then, she has not been the same. She doesn’t actually know if she changed because of what happened or she is the way she is because her sister was the only thing holding her to the ground; but what she does know is a simple rule: people who hurt other people deserve to die, and ladies and gentlemen, she is true to her word.
See, Alex is 100% a murderer but in a Dexter-type of way. She only takes out the absolute trash of the world. She has a heart and she feels things too, but she lives off of her animal instinct. You kill those who hurt others in order to protect people. Unlike Dexter, she doesn’t actually have to kill, she just is driven when the opportunity arises.
So what happens when Alex volunteers at an animal shelter and meets the pastor’s kid, Peekay? She learns what it is like to have a friend.
Peekay is tired of always being associated with being the pastor’s kid. She doesn’t have a problem with the religion and she loves her parents with all her heart, but she wants to be known for something else for a change. With a recent break up, Peekay finds hope in her new friend and the challenges that come up along the way.
Alex and Peekay are friendship goals. They support each other, they pick each other up, and there is no “frienemies” involved. They just love and support each other, which is something a lot of our culture has lacked. Women pin each other against each other and are jealous of what they can’t have. I think Alex was a refreshing break for Peekay because Alex never expected anything and was always just there to help her. They both found themselves again in their friendship which is what friendship is actually about.
“But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdain and punctuated with an eye roll.”
Now I am not going to lie, I got really, really weird vibes from Jack. I’m not sure if it was just because the author actually got into the mind of a man and went with it, or because he is actually creepy… but I will let you figure that one out yourself. His character does have some growth in it, but honestly I just didn’t find him appealing. He was kind of… gross to me. Which leads me to believe that crawling into the mind of a man will literally kill all romantic notions.
One thing that really made me uncomfortable was the brutality with the animals in this book. Jack works with the butcher and is the one that takes the life of the cows, Alex and Peekay pick up dead baby animals that were thrown out of a moving vehicle… I could have lived without all those visuals and I am sorry I just put those in your head when you were 100% not asking for it. Even the emotional sadness with animals in this book almost made me just put the book down.
Little background on me: I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 08 years old. Some days, I am vegan. You can bet your bottom dollar I eat like my namesake: a bird. I have two rescued cats and I love all animals to the absolute fullest. I even take the time to get on Amazon Smile to make sure it donates to my appointed rescue. You can say I am a little bit of a nut job, but I am a full believer of taking care of the creatures I was put on this earth to take care of (and that also includes the earth itself… also a big recycler).
Now don’t get me wrong, I will touch and make meat and I am not going to even give your food a second glance if you are eating a cheeseburger in front of me. But I never want to read about someone actually in the process of making the food that the majority of the world eats ever again. It was too heartbreaking for this tender-heart bird.
Which brings up another dilemma of mine: why did the talk of animals being killed hurt more than the idea of some of the other topics in this book? Am I that filtered? When I have talked to some of the other people who have read this book, they all felt the same way I did. Why is it that the talk of someone killing an animal is more repulsive than the talk of someone killing another human? I can watch Criminal Minds all day, but I will never watch Old Yeller again. I love war movies, but you will see me plug my ears and close my eyes when it is apparent that a horse is about to die.
I’m just bringing all of that up because I don’t want people to think that I am pointing fingers. This is also a topic that I need to learn more about and talk openly with. This book is a good start to ease someone into this kind of topic and also a great one to read with a few people. I read this with my book club The Cheerful Wednesdays, and I can tell you that none of us expected this book to go as deep as it did.
Overall, this book was just a really, really heavy read. I didn’t resonate with the ending too well, and I am not sure if it was because I didn’t like it or because I knew it was the only way for this story to conclude. Even if you took out the romance in this book, the friendship between Alex and Peekay is worth the read. Even if you took out both the romance and the friendship, the topics touched on are worth reading and learning about.