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What Kind of Girl von Alyssa Sheinmel
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What Kind of Girl (2020. Auflage)

von Alyssa Sheinmel (Autor)

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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 cops? 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. An unflinching exploration of the many forms of abuse society inflicts upon women, and the strength it takes to rise above it all to claim your worth.… (mehr)
Mitglied:sjfellows
Titel:What Kind of Girl
Autoren:Alyssa Sheinmel (Autor)
Info:Atom (2020), 272 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:*****
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What Kind of Girl von Alyssa Sheinmel

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Why did it take me so long to reach the last straw?

This is an absolutely beautiful, gut-punching book. 4.5/5 rounded up. The only reason it's not a full five stars is because there were a few bits that I felt went on for too long, but overall I thought it was wonderfully well done.

I need you to say that you'll love me whether I change the world or not.

It's rare for me to find a book that writes anxiety well. Few enough do, but this one definitely makes the list. I'm utterly impressed with Sheinmel's writing and understanding of anxiety. Fair play.

I lie awake, going over every single word I said that day (and lucky for me, I have a really good memory so I can usually remember exactly what was said), wondering whom I might have offended, what I might have done wrong, what terrible thing will come back to haunt me ...

The story itself focuses on Maya and Junie, two girls struggling with a variety of problems. Maya's boyfriend has been abusing her for months, but the final straw comes when he slaps her so hard across the face that it leaves a bruise, and Maya goes into her principal's office and tells her what's been happening. The problem is, everyone loves Mike. Instantly, some people believe her; inevitably, many don't.

Junie on the other hand, is struggling with OCD and cutting, and desperately frets over her relationship with her girlfriend Tess. The story unfolds over just one week and how Maya's confession changes everything for both girls and at their school.

My favourite characters were Maya and Hiram, the so-called 'loser stoner' who is also the only one to stand up to Mike. Hiram was just lovely. The point that's emphasised over and over again by Maya is that he asks, he waits, he listens. Hiram is also the only person to notice how Mike's treating Maya before the confession comes.

Hiram listens to me. Junie listens.
They do more than listen - they ask.


This is one of those books that gets it, I think. The struggles victims go through when it comes to bringing their stories forward. The doubt and vitriol they face. Even Maya's own best friend doubts her at points. Maya herself doubts, doubts, doubts. But the book address these emotions with raw honesty and compassion.

Totally, totally recommend. ( )
  rjcrunden | Feb 2, 2021 |
I hesitate to say I enjoyed this book, because it was an uncomfortable experience. My heart hurt for Maya and Junie both. There’s definitely a lot of triggers in this book: abuse, eating disorders, drug use, OCD, anxiety, etc. I’m conflicted on how I feel about that?

The impact of Maya’s struggle almost seemed lessened because as a reader I’m also trying to cope with Junie’s struggle as well. And it’s not that one is more important than the other, because both are absolutely relevant the high school experience, but they are the sorts of topics that need plenty of light shone on them, and here they sort of had to share the spotlight.

All in all, a necessary book, but not my favorite on the topic. ( )
  zombiibean | Nov 20, 2020 |
Trigger warning: Abuse, self-harm, bulimia
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.


I think this book did a very good job of showcasing how domestic violence can occur with teens. The last time I recall having a big discussion about this was when that Lifeftime movie starring Fred Savage and Candace Cameron called "No One Would Tell" that followed a young couple in love, but the boy in questions starts abusing the girlfriend. That movie showed how many people knew what was going on and how more people should speak up when they suspect someone they love is being abused. That said, the book's switching POVs among several teen girls was distracting and caused me to not engage as much as I should have while reading. Everything is eventually revealed, but I felt myself slightly annoyed because this book really didn't need a gimmick.

"What Kind of Girl" shows the different people who are linked together after one of the most popular boys at North Bay Academy, Mike Parker, is accused by his girlfriend of him hitting her. The book follows different teen girls in this one with them only being identified as "the girlfriend," "the popular girl," "the bulimic," and "the pothead." Eventually the author reveals who is who in this one.

I didn't get a very good sense of the male in this story, Mike Parker. He's obviously abusive, but the book chooses (rightfully so) to focus on the teen girls in this story and the widening sides at the school with those who don't believe Mike hit his girlfriend and those that do. The girlfriend chapters were the best in my mind. That said, I just got tired of jumping around after a while. When the book reveals who is who though it was much easier to read in my opinion. It just felt very gimmicky and I don't think the book needed that, that's the main reason I gave this book three stars. The book also starts to read as repetitive after a while. When Sheinmel reveals who the girls are in the book things become clearer, but I think that could have been dealt with better earlier. I can see this turning off some readers after a while with them not wanting to wade through all of this.

The setting of this book is North Bay Academy. Through the multiple POVs you get the sense the school is diverse, but also has a lot of wealthy classmates mixed in with many people, the principal included, shocked that Mike could hit anyone. And of course there are a lot of people questioning why "the girlfriend" put up with it then. I thought this book tackled a lot of strong subject matter well, and others a little rushed. I think it was good though that we have a young adult book talking about abuse between younger people. I think the last young adult book that did that I read was Sarah Dessen's "Dreamland."

The ending was okay, the book really didn't grab me much except when I was trying to work out the connection between all of the girls in this one. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
What Kind of Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel is a cleverly written young adult novel with a socially relevant storyline.

After months of dating, Mike Parker's girlfriend walks into school Monday, heads straight to the principal's office and reports him for hitting her. Principal Scott is disconcerted by the revelation and uncertain what her next move will be. Mike is the school's Golden Boy, beloved by his teachers, classmates and teammates. Even though she reported him, his girlfriend grapples with her remaining feelings for him, doubts about what constitutes abuse and most importantly, why she stayed with him for so long after he first hit her. Having allowed Mike to isolate her from her best friend, she has no one to turn to except the school slacker, Hiram Bingham.

Her best friend is currently living in her own bubble of troubles as she grapples with mental health issues and her relationship with her girlfriend Tess. Although they have been best friends for years, they drifted apart when the relationship with Mike began. Shaken by the news, she listens to her parents' advice and rallies the school into a protest march. Although they are now spending time together, are they ready to reveal their secrets and bridge the gap that looms between them?

Divided into three parts, the first segment unfolds from The Popular Girl, The Girlfriend, The Burn-Out and The Bulimic's points of view. All but one person remains unnamed and it is quite interesting trying to piece together how they fit into the story. Just as the identity is revealed, the narrative switches to The Anxious Girl, The Activist, The Cool Girl and The Best Friend. This narrative is filled with anxiety as she tries to live up to a pact with parents, keep her relationship with Tess on track and support her friend. The third part reunites the friends as they attempt to deal with their respective issues and the final three days leading up the school's decision about Mike's fate. This part of the storyline is compelling as they begin to understand the importance of being honest with themselves and others about the issues they are struggling with.

With an innovative narration style, What Kind of Girl is a timely young adult novel. The main characters are well-developed with distinctive personalities and relatable, true to life problems. The domestic abuse aspect of the storyline is well-developed and presented in a realistic manner. With both young women making progress on addressing their issues, Alyssa B. Sheinmel brings the novel to a surprisingly upbeat conclusion. A frank discourse on domestic abuse, bulimia, anxiety, OCD and self-harm that I recommend to older teen and adult readers. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
He hit her. Again. But this time, she cannot hide it under her clothes, her eye is visible to everybody in school and therefore Maya goes forward to their principal and tells her what Mike Parker, everybody’s darling and sports superstar, has done. Even though it is quite obvious and Maya has no reason to lie, questions like “maybe she provoked him?” and “maybe it was just an accident?” blame her for being the victim. The school is divided and so are the friends. Yet, not only Maya goes through a hard time, her formerly best friend Juniper does so, too, apart from feeling ashamed for not having been the friend Maya would have needed, her break-up with Tess combined with her psychological struggles already keep her mind busy. But this is something that needs action and that’s what Juniper’s parents educated her for: standing up for those who are in need.

I was immediately hooked by Alyssa Sheinmel’s novel, she brilliantly captivates Maya’s thoughts which oscillate between not wanting to be the victim but speaking out for her rights and being strong on the one hand, and feeling insecure about what happened, questioning herself, her own contribution to bringing her boyfriend so far as to hit her again and again on the other. She is young and even though she knows exactly what is right and what is wrong, emotions are not that easy and rarely only black and white.

Providing different perspectives also adds to underline the complexity of a topic which seems so easy to make an opinion about. At first, however, I was a bit confused by the headlines of the chapters which introduce the respective character talking, I first assumed that wide range of girls would be presented until I realised that it is just the two of them perceiving themselves in different roles depending on their mood.

Unfortunately, after a great start, the novel lost focus a bit for my liking. Of course, it is only natural that all teenagers have their own struggles, that none of them really lives a carefree life where all is perfect. Yet, it was a bit too much here: Maya and the violence, Juniper cutting herself and suffering from OCD, drugs abuse – adding too many big topics quite naturally lead to a very shallow and superficial treatment of all of them. Not only did the author miss the chance to provide some insight in the psychological background of each, she treats them like some small bruise that can easily be overcome by just being friends again with your BFF. Simply focussing on Maya and Juniper also did not seize the extent of such an accusation and what it really does to a small community like a school.

Nevertheless, a great read that I enjoyed and which provides some food for thought. ( )
  miss.mesmerized | Jan 26, 2020 |
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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 cops? 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. An unflinching exploration of the many forms of abuse society inflicts upon women, and the strength it takes to rise above it all to claim your worth.

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