I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Mindy McGinnis’s newest book, Given to the Sea. Last year, The Female of the Species ended up being one of my favorite contemporary reads of the year so, naturally, Given to the Sea has been one of my most anticipated 2017 releases. This time around, Mindy is delving in the world of fantasy and she’s tackling another important social issue- a female’s obligation to reproduce. Here’s a synopsis of the story (Let me know if you also get Moana songs stuck in your head when you read the plot summary!):
Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.
Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.
Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.
Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.
The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.
It was so much fun putting together this book look! I love beach inspired fashion and now that Spring weather is finally on its way here, finding these pieces was a real treat! The long blue dress reminds me of Khosa’s gorgeous gown on the cover and then I pulled accessories that tie into the colors of the sea as well as the gold typography. If you’re interested in buying anything in the look, you can click on the Polyvore link above for details!
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 3, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 24, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 26, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
April 3 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Guest Post
April 4 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Reasons to Read Mindy’s Books
April 5 – Mundie Moms – Review & Favorite Quotes
April 6 – SuperSpaceChick – 5 Reasons to Read Given to the Sea
April 7 – Fiction Fare – Author Q&A
April 10 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style File
April 11 – Good Choice Reading – Author Q&A
April 12 – Oh the Book Feels – Given to the Sea Pinterst Board
April 13 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review
April 14 – Dark Faerie Tales – Author Q&A
April 17 – The Young Folks – Author Q&A
April 18 – Once Upon a Twilight – Review
April 19 – The Hardcover Lover – Given to the Sea Mood Board
April 20 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
April 21 – YA Wednesdays – Author Guest Post
Personal Thoughts: I’ve told this story on my BookTube channel but I had been offered an ARC of The Female of the Species at BEA in 2016 and after seeing the awful cover, I put it down without a second glance. Little did I know that The Female of the Species is pitched as a YA female version of Dexter, one of my favorite television shows ever (minus the horrible decline in the plot after season 4 and the worst series ending of all time) and it wasn’t until I got home to NY and started seeing rave reviews from trusted friends that I realized my huge mistake in letting this ARC go. So you can bet that upon it’s release date, I headed over to my local B&N and picked up at copy! I loved this book hundreds of thousands of times more than I was ever expecting to (even with the Dexter comparison) and I love that Mindy McGinnis wrote this important story for a YA audience.
Plot Summary: Alex Craft’s older sister Anna is murdered three years prior to the events of The Female of the Species but the killer in her small town goes unpunished, by legal means anyway. Alex, deeply affected by her sister’s murder takes justice into her own hands and avenges her sister’s death but is also not caught by local law enforcement. Alex always stays away from her classmates until her senior year when she forges a friendship at work with Peekay, the Preacher’s Kid and her high school’s golden boy, Jack Fisher, shows a romantic interest in her. The three end up at a party together where lots of alcohol and sexual abuse begin occurring and it trigger’s Alex’s dark side that she’s always kept hidden until now.
Critique: WOW. The Female of the Species is such an important story. Mindy McGinnis covers rape-culture, drugs, underage drinking, feminism and so very much more. The fact that this book was written for a YA audience speaks volumes about Mindy McGinnis and the lessons she’s trying to teach young women. I was completely blown away by how these darker issues were handled and what a realistic portrayal Mindy was able to conjure up for this small town. Each character was completely dynamic, believable and multi-layered. The Female of the Species is narrated by each of the three aforementioned characters (Alex, Peekay and Jack) and each person brings an interesting perspective to the table. Even the secondary characters like Branley were just written so perfectly. Despite all of the darkness, there are some heartwarming moments involving the animals Alex and Peekay care for at their job, and the attitude Peekay’s parents have toward what they experienced as teenagers. Despite being a Preacher, Peekay’s dad doesn’t turn a blind eye or forbade Peekay from partaking in any social events. He and her mom both give her one of the memorable parent-daughter talks I’ve ever read. Seriously, my heart was melting. If you can handle a very gritty and real contemporary story that delves into important social issues, The Female of the Species is 100% worth the read but there are major triggers for anyone sensitive to abuse.
Do I Recommend?: Yes! This is by no means an easy read in the sense that it deals with some HEAVY topics but I have no doubt you’ll fall in love with Alex’s morally grey character and her drive for justice in a society that’s otherwise apathetic to the things women experience.