Monday, October 21, 2019

What Kind of Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 384 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 1492667277

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 the students have questions. Why did she go to the principal and not the polcie? Why did she stay so long if he was hurting her? Obviously, if it's true, Mike should be expelled. But is it true?

Some girls want to rally for his expulsion—and some want to rally around Mike. The only thing that the entire student body can agree on? Someone is lying. And the truth has to come out.

First sentence:

It’s hard not to want to defend him.

What Kind of Girl examines many of the problems that teenagers face today with the focal point on dating violence. The book centers on the aftermath that occurs when a teen girl, Maya, accuses her very popular and well-liked boyfriend, Mike, of physically abusing her.

The story is told in three parts, mostly narrated by Maya and her best friend, Juniper aka Junie. There are some parts that are narrated by others i.e. The Best Friend of Mike and it was especially hard to understand exactly what was going on and who was talking for the first third of the book. This was distracting and confusing for me and interrupted the forward movement of the book. I kept going back to re-read the previous chapter to try and figure out who exactly was who.

I think the author did an excellent job shining a light on dating violence and the lines that are drawn when accusations are made. The emotions that Maya goes through, self-doubt, guilt, struggling with feelings that maybe she deserved it, etc.… I think these are all things that victims often feel. Ms. Sheinmel does a great job illuminating these areas throughout the book along with the attention she brings to the matters of bulimia, drug abuse, anxiety, and self-harm.

It’s a worthy read that sheds light on What Kind of Girl stays with a boy that hits her, why she stayed, and what her friends, family and peers think about it

A big thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for allowing me to read and review this title.

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