ARC Review: What Kind of Girl by Alyssa B Sheinmel

A Touch of Gold: Sullivan, Annie: Books

Title: What Kind of Girl
Author: Alyssa B Sheinmel
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: February 4th, 2020
Page Length: 384
Genre: Contemporary
Age Range: Young Adult
Rating: 3.5⭐

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Goodreads Synopsis:

“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.

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


Thanks to Edelweiss and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

It had been so long since I had read the synopsis of What Kind of Girl that I had completely forgotten what it was about other than it was about a high school girl who was physically abused by her boyfriend. I thought this was an interesting concept and one I hadn’t read much about. I was surprised to find out it was multiple POVs – each with a stereotype: popular girl, the girlfriend, the burnout etc. There’s actually a twist to all of that – one that I hadn’t known or expected from it. Now, can I say for certain that it wasn’t just me being clueless and it would be obvious to everyone else, but I thought it was good little twist. Sheinmel’s writing kept me interested and the chapters were short enough that I kept going back for more. It was an interesting take on domestic violence in a high school setting and how it effects the victim and others. The book is full of flawed characters which made them feel even more real. I enjoyed it up until about a third of the way through – the tone was different and the book was no longer talking in past tense. It’s not even that it was a bad decision, but it was a little jarring. Overall this was a good book, I enjoying my time reading it, but it doesn’t feel like one I’ll be rereading soon.

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