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What Kind of Girl
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What Kind of Girl
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"Both timely and timeless, a powerful exploration of abuse in its many forms, as well as the strength it takes to rise up and speak your truth."—AMBER SMITH, New York Times bestselling author of The...
"Both timely and timeless, a powerful exploration of abuse in its many forms, as well as the strength it takes to rise up and speak your truth."—AMBER SMITH, New York Times bestselling author of The...
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  • "Both timely and timeless, a powerful exploration of abuse in its many forms, as well as the strength it takes to rise up and speak your truth."—AMBER SMITH, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be

    From New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Sheinmel comes an unflinching exploration of the labels society puts on girls and women—and the strength it takes to rise above it all to claim your worth and declare your truth.

    The girls at North Bay Academy are taking sides.

    It all started when Mike Parker's girlfriend showed up with a bruise on her face. Or, more specifically, when she walked into the principal's office and said Mike hit her. But her classmates have questions. Why did she go to the principal and not the police? Why did she stay with Mike if he was hurting her? Obviously, if it's true, Mike should face the consequences. But is it true?

    Some girls want to rally for Mike's expulsion—and some want to rally around Mike. As rumors about what really happened spread, the students at North Bay Academy will question what it means to be guilty or innocent, right or wrong.

    This book is a great choice to start conversations about:
  • dating violence
  • contemporary social problems
  • young adult mental health
  • Praise for What Kind of Girl:
    "A poignant, thought-provoking novel that will resonate deeply."—Kirkus
    "A rallying cry."—Booklist
    "I immediately saw myself in this book, which so thoroughly explains the thought process when coming to terms with victimhood and survivorship. I felt understood."—Chessy Prout, author of I Have the Right To
    "Important, raw, timely, and ultimately hopeful...demands readers discuss the trauma of teen dating violence and how girls are so often taught—even expected—to internalize their victimization."—Shannon M. Parker, author of The Girl Who Fell and The Rattled Bones

    Also by Alyssa Sheinmel:
    A Danger to Herself and Others
    The Castle School (for Troubled Girls)

About the Author-

  • Alyssa Sheinmel is the bestselling author of several novels for young adults including A Danger to Herself and Others and Faceless. Alyssa currently lives and writes in New York. Follow Alyssa on Instagram and Twitter @AlyssaSheinmel or visit her online at alyssasheinmel.com.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Mike Parker's girlfriend of six months goes to the principal with a secret-Mike hit her, causing California's North Bay Academy to take sides on who they believe. Everyone loves golden boy Mike, a junior and track star, but the incident spurs students to plan a rally against domestic violence. Maya didn't tell anyone when the abuse started three months ago, not even her best friend Junie, a lesbian who is in therapy for self-harm. Maya has also kept another painful secret-the fact that she is making herself throw up. While the school administration debates how to handle Maya's accusation against Mike, Maya and Junie attempt to deal with their respective illnesses on their own, but quickly realize that they are stronger together. Though the story takes place over only one week, the pacing is slow near the end, which may cause loss of interest. VERDICT Fans of Jennifer Mathieu's Moxie and Kathleen Glasgow's Girl in Pieces will enjoy this multiple points-of-view novel for the highly relevant subject matter, including domestic violence, self-harm, eating disorders, and mental illness. Recommended for purchase for its diverse characters and timely topics.-Laura Jones, Argos Community Schools, IN

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2019
    Two friends who've been growing apart are drawn back together when one of them comes forward to report that her boyfriend has been hurting her. In short sections, each divided into three parts, taking place over a timeline that spans just a week, a Northern California high school is rocked by the revelation that Mike, a well-respected, high-achieving student, has given his girlfriend, Maya, a black eye. Extending naturally from this central plot is the nuanced and compelling struggle of Maya's best friend, Junie, from whom she's become distanced due to Mike's isolating behavior. Junie is dealing with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder and copes by cutting. The narrative structure of this effective novel is a clever one, though some may feel that the number of threads that are spun out at the beginning are a bit unwieldy. However, patient readers will be richly rewarded by both the depth of these characters and the compassionate portrayal of the issues they face--which also include bulimia and drug use--and by the way their stories are eventually woven together. Some details are chilling, as when Maya's classmates suggest that they believe she was hit but think she may be confused about who did it. Realistic diversity is present--Mike and Maya are both white, and she is Jewish; Junie is Mexican American and Ashkenazi Jewish; Junie's girlfriend, Tess, is black. A poignant, thought-provoking novel that will resonate deeply. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 23, 2019
    To others at North Bay Academy, California native Maya seems to have everything a girl could want: good grades, popularity, and a handsome track-star boyfriend. That’s until spring of junior year, when Maya arrives at school with a bruised eye, and reports to the principal that her boyfriend, Mike, has been hitting her. Subsequent rumors result in split opinions about Maya: some believe that Mike should be expelled, while others think he might not have been her abuser (“What kind of girl stays after her boyfriend hits her?”). While Maya tries to sort out her conflicting emotions about why she remained with him, her best friend, Juniper, is cutting herself to quell her escalating anxiety and OCD. Alternating first-person voices (“the bulimic,” “the cool girl,” “the girlfriend,” “the popular girl”) express hidden fears about self-image, particularly narratives by Maya and Juniper. In a novel that frankly addresses timely teen issues, Sheinmel (A Danger to Herself and Others) explores female challenges with image and self-identity, as well as the psyche’s responses and defenses when things go horribly awry. Aimed at a mature audience, this hard-hitting novel about social norms and mental health expresses the importance of honesty and self-advocacy. Ages 14–up. Agent: Mollie Glick, Creative Artists Agency.

  • Booklist

    December 1, 2019
    Grades 9-12 Mike Parker is North Bay Academy's golden boy: a track star, a prize athlete, the guy everyone crushes on. So when his girlfriend shows up at school one day with a black eye and tells the principal that Mike hit her, chaos erupts. Some people still believe Mike's a good guy. Some want him expelled. Some girls at school wonder why anyone would stay with someone who hurt them. Some think she's lying. Some know she's not. Like Amy Reed's The Nowhere Girls (2017), this examination of the violence that's inflicted?often casually?and self-inflicted against women is given potency through its narrative structure. For the first several sections of the book, its chorus of female narrators go unnamed, referred to only by the labels that their classmates might use: "The Activist," "The Burn-Out," "The Popular Girl," "The Anxious Girl." While domestic violence is the central issue, girls in the book grapple with self-harm as well?one struggles with bulimia, another cuts?and with their changing relationships with one another. A rallying cry.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, and Something Like Gravity "Both timely and timeless, WHAT KIND OF GIRL is a powerful exploration of abuse in its many forms, as well as the strength it takes to rise up and speak your truth. Alyssa Sheinmel has crafted a compelling, moving, and empowering story of hope and courage-one that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page."
  • Kirkus Reviews "A poignant, thought-provoking novel that will resonate deeply."

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