What Kind of Girl

What Kind of Girl

by Alyssa Sheinmel


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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

What kind of girl stays after her boyfriend hits her?

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 so long if Mike 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.

From New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Sheinmel comes an unflinching and resonant tale that examines how society treats women and girls and inspires the power to claim your worth.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492667278
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 132,145
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

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.

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What Kind of Girl 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
BrittsBookClub 6 days ago
**Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcefire Books for providing me with this complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review** In What Kind of Girl, written by Alyssa B. Sheinmel, Maya reveals to the school principal that her boyfriend, Mike, hits her after enduring months of abuse. Soon, the entire school knows, including Maya’s best friend, Junie, who is dealing with problems of her own. Junie organizes a school rally to get Mike expelled, which begins to get out of hand when the whole school starts to pick which side of the story they believe. I have to say this wasn’t my favorite book I read. While I think that the topics of domestic violence and mental health are extremely important, I didn’t love the way it was executed. For each section, the author would use different titles for the same narrator (ie. The Popular Girl, The Girlfriend, etc.). This was a bit confusing, especially in the beginning because I didn’t realize all of these chapters were supposed to be the same person. I also found the book to be just a little boring. I thought there was too much back and forth between the narrators’ own thoughts and that got a bit tedious for me. I would, however, like to commend Alyssa B. Sheinmel on creating a book that discusses and portrays both domestic violence and mental illness. These are topics that need more recognition in our world and I love that this book touches on both. The author does a great job at getting inside the victims’ minds and showing all the different emotions and doubts they are having. She also showed how easy it can be to victim-blame and look for an easier answer to the problems we’re faced with. If you like young adult books that touch on tough subjects, I recommend this one for you.
Anonymous 7 days ago
This was a mixed bag for me. Whilst I did appreciate what it was trying to do and the presentation style, it wasn't for me. I found the chapter headings confusing and was still unsure after a period when they switched to names whether the anxious one and the stoner were the same person as in many cases the narrative voice sounded pretty much identical for all the girls. The topics discussed inside are important but this wasn't the book that explored them the best in my opinion.
vphillips88 10 days ago
What Kind of Girl was exactly the question asked not only by students, but the victim herself. High school junior Maya was abused by her popular track star boyfriend Mike on several occasions. After a vicious slap that left her with a very visual black eye, Maya decided to report the abuse to the principal. Students then began to take sides- questioning the behavior of both parties involved. Maya’s best friend, Junie, tried to be there for her, but she had her own set of problems that needed to be dealt with on a daily basis. High school years can be a very trying time for most teenagers, but even more so when self image and self worth are questioned. This YA novel highlighted some problems teenagers faced such as abuse, bulimia, cutting, and drugs. The author portrayed her characters in a realistic manner and the internal conflicts were well written. It was a very emotional and heartfelt read. I think teenagers will find this novel relatable and thought provoking. Highly recommended.
Missy Wal 14 days ago
North Bay Academy, popular track star Mike Parker's girlfriend has accused him of hitting her. But, she's gone to the principal instead of calling the police? Is she telling the truth? Some of the students want to hold a rally to expel Mike, while others aren't so quick to believe his girlfriend. This book tackles relationship violence, cutting, victim blaming, bulimia, bullying and a whole lot more. Alyssa did a wonderful job and I think it tells people that it's ok for you to stand up for yourself. Lots of hard subjects, but it was a very good read. Thank you to Publisher and NetGalley for the eARC
twhitehead 17 days ago
A book on real world high school topics such as bulimia, cutting, date abuse, divorce, etc. Maya and Junie are best friends but they are keeping secrets from each other. When Maya finally reveals to the principal what has happened to her, word gets around and the school is torn as to whom to believe. There is a rally scheduled to protest date abuse to change how cases are handled at school. The beginning was a little confusing as chapters were labeled as titles so trying to figure out that but then changed to names so less thinking involved as to who was talking during that chapter. Lots of hard subjects to cover but overall, a good read. Will be recommending to our school library. Thanks to Ms. Sheinmel, Sourcefire Books, and NetGalley for an advance read copy of the book.
LU 18 days ago
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. Trigger warnings about self harm, bulimia, physical and physicological abuse, drug use What kind of girl is a book about survivors, fighting, love, friendship and abuse. Told by multiple POVs, or I should write, different side of the same two person, the story is narrated by Maya and Junie, her best friend, during the time of one week. It's Monday when Maya goes to the principal office with a black eye, denouncing the golden boy of their high school, her boyfriend Mike. It's her last straw. After three months of abuse, she says it's enough. He has to stop. After that the school divide in two parts. Who believe in Maya, rallying against her abuser and demanding the school board to expel him and who can't side with her, asking why she waited to speak? Why did she stay with him? Bit by bit the reader finds about the controlling nature of the track star, how Maya was scared of him, how she suffers from bulimia, how she couldn't confide in her mother or best friend, how she sought the help of the school burn out, Hiram, finding solace and understanding in him. Maya realizes her relationship with Mike, seeing it clearly, understanding all the times he pulled, pushed and pinched her, how he wanted to controll her. At the same time the reader gets to know Juniper, Junie, Maya's best friend, who struggles with anxiety and who finds release in cutting herself, who, without realizing fully, suffers from her parent's expectations, above all her father, a human rights attorney, who pushed her to fight, to rally, without seeing her sufferings. In just one week both of their lives are upset, pushing them to make decisions, to stand for themselves, to seek one other, to support each other. It was interesting reading the two POVs and seeing all their facets. Maya is the girlfriend, the popular girl, the bulimic, the burn out, while June is the anxious girl, the cool girl, the activist, both of them struggling against pressure and expectations, both of them sick and confused. I appreciate how the author wrote about Maya's difficulty to talk, to accept her being a survivor, her being abused, her guilty about Mike's future and scholarship, her confused feelings, her feeling guilty because she couldn't talk, because controlled and scared. Her accepting this wasn't her fault. I appreciate Junie's side, too, reading about her anxiety, her need to cut, her need to please her parents, to be controlled, to be cool, her fear that loved ones could think her a basket case, above all her parents, Maya and Tess. I liked reading about Tess, how Junie decided to be open to her, be sincere about who she is and the open ending. I really loved the open ending. It wasn't disappointing. I felt that, one way or another, I would have felt hurt or disappointed, but leaving it like that was really smart. I liked this story, the writing style, it's a quick read, even though the book is almost 400 pages, because the reader needs to know more, needs to know what happened, what happens, how the main characters will react to this or that and so on. Compelling, interesting and captivating.
Persephonereads 18 days ago
3.75 out of 5 stars Thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Fire I thought that the first part of this novel took a really interesting and unique approach. It is told through different POVs with no names so you may be following The Girlfriend, The Popular Girl, The Burn Out and so on. That really pulled me into the story. "What Kind of Girl" tackles some very hard topics and does a pretty good job with most of them. This is kind of a hard book to review without giving too much away so I will try my best to just discuss the main story which is really the lynch pin of the book anyway. One Spring morning a teen girl goes to the principal to report that her boyfriend has been abusing her. She is embarrassed and confused. She doesn't know what to do but she remembered as a kid that you were supposed to tell someone if you were being hurt. Eventually we do actually find out who is is and I think it actually came at the proper time in the book for me. The only reason I didn't give this a higher score was that I did feel that in the end things were settled a little too cleanly. That doesn't mean that this is not a great book to read though and I would totally recommend this book.
Nickie-T 19 days ago
Mike Parker's girlfriend has accused him of hitting her. The problem? No one believes the "golden boy" capable. It's not that they think his girlfriend is a liar, but he obviously loves her, everyone can see that. Plus, what kind of girl allows her boyfriend to hit her? Told in a writing and formatting that twists itself around the question and label of "what kind of girl". This is a story that delves into the stereotype and labels that are placed on people. While the name of Mike Parker's girlfriend is not stated for the first third, and is written in varied perspectives through labels, this book is not about Mike Parker. It is about his girlfriend, who has started a chain reaction through her school with this accusation. I think Sheinmel has a powerful voice in What Kind of Girl. She does not hold back from topics, who some would find to be off limits. I think speaking about abuse, bulimia, mental illness, etc is so important for our teens. If we talk about these topics they will no longer be taboo, and we can all feel freer about talking about them too. This book is about labels, and how they are forced on people, which can lead to others perceptions to be twisted by them, and even how we see ourselves. "And yes, that's part of who I am. It always will be. But it's not all I am." Mike's girlfriend and her fellow classmates struggle to see past these labels, and they struggle to release themselves from these labels as well. The tough topics in this story are handled well, and I feel this is a book that teens should read. What Kind of Girl was provided to me as an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes used are subject to change.
Amanda_BetweentheShelves 24 days ago
When Mike Parker's girlfriend shows up to school with a black eye, she gets everyone talking. Mike Parker is the star of the track team at school, all set to go to college on a running scholarship. He's a good guy, so how could he ever do something to hurt the girl that he loved? Some of the student body believes her, some of the student body doesn't. After all, why did she wait so long to report him, if he was hurting her? What really went on behind closed doors? As more of the story starts to come to light, everyone in the school takes sides. Some want to rally for Mike's expulsion; others want to protect him. All the girls involved have different investments in the story. But how will it all end?  Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an early copy of this book to review! I was lucky enough to review A Danger to Herself and Others back when it came out, and I was super excited to review this book. And it didn't disappoint! It's a timely topic, done in a way that I haven't seen before. This book is slightly difficult to summarize due to the way it's written. There are two main narrators, but you don't learn their names until halfway into the book. In the beginning, they're defined by titles, like "the activist," "the worrier," "the popular girl," etc. At first, it's a bit difficult to follow, but once you learn the voice of each of the characters, it's actually quite a clever way to tell this story. Since a lot of women are reduced to these titles when these kinds of stories are told in the news, it's great commentary on these issues. Sheinmel's book speaks to the complexity surrounding these issues as well. How women in abuse situations are viewed and how we deal with them in a high school setting, especially. This subject isn't always breached in YA books, and I'm glad that she did. It needs to be talked about as well. There are also good discussions about putting too much pressure on teens, mental health, and best ways to deal with these things. There's so much to like about this book; I'll definitely be recommending it when it comes out in February. 4.5/5 stars
JenacideByBibliophile 24 days ago
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, via Netgalley for an honest review. *sigh* This one is heavy. “No self-respecting girl would stay with a guy who hit her.” What Kind of Girl is more than just a domestic violence story. It’s about two best friends who are both going through extremely trying times in their lives, but don’t reach out to each other for support. It’s about the expectations put on a person by their parents and peers, the assumptions that are made from onlookers, how trauma can drive a person towards self-harm, and the importance of mental health. “I need you to come with me. I need you to say you’re too worried about me to let me go. I need you to stay that you’ll love me whether I change the world or not.” This book is told by Maya and Junie, two teenagers who are best friends but find themselves suffering alone. Maya is struggling with the repercussions of telling her principle that her boyfriend Mike had been hitting her, as the entire school divides itself and chooses sides. For Maya, the situation is just as confusing to her as it is to others. On the outside, her relationship with Mike seemed perfect, and most days, even she thought so. Mike is the responsible and stellar student, the track star. He is popular and nice to everyone around him, which makes it so hard for students to believe that he was abusing his girlfriend. Throughout the story Maya professes her love for Mike, how sweetly he treated her and how he didn’t want him to get in trouble for fear of him being expelled and losing his scholarship. “It’s hard to believe he would ever do what he’s accused of doing. And if he did, maybe he didn’t mean it. Maybe it was an accident. Or maybe it was justified, somehow.” Maya always saw herself as a girl who would stick up for herself and immediately tell someone if she was being abused, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen like that. A lot of times victims stay in their relationships because they think that it could have been an accident, that their partner didn’t mean to hurt them, that they just got angry and lost control for a second. But other times it goes deeper. Manipulation plays a huge role. The abuser will not always be the screaming and violent character that is usually portrayed. Some abusers take the opposite approach. Soothing voices, promises of love and respect, ignoring the fact that they have hurt their partner, and learning how to control with their words. “Now, when I think about it, the bracelet reminds me of a handcuff.” Unfortunately, this isn’t the only thing in Maya’s life that is causing her harm. She is bulimic and uses purging as a way to stay in control. Though she is a beautiful girl inside and out, she see’s herself as needing to be thinner or better. Her thoughts on when to eat, when she can throw up, how much food she has consumed takes over her thoughts and places her in an even more isolating place than she already was. To see how her bulimia and abuse were intertwined broke my heart, and all I wanted to do was give her a hug and tell her she wasn’t alone. “His fingers wrap around my upper arm. Sometimes he held me there instead of holding hands, and I’d see extra flesh in between his fingers. I don’t remember if I noticed that before or after I started throwing up.” To see my full review, visit my website: Jenacidebybibliophile.com
Anonymous 24 days ago
When an act of violence rocks a small California high school, the students are left to try to piece together what actually happened, and who among them they can trust. Maya has shown up to school with a black eye. A black eye she says her boyfriend Mike, North Bay Academy’s golden boy, gave her. Mike has his own version of events, one that perpetuates the violence as an accident. But who is telling the truth? As the students divide themselves into Team Maya and Team Mike, both Maya and her best friend Junie work to fight against those who say that Maya must have brought this abuse upon herself, as well as their own inner battles. YA author Alyssa Sheinmel returns to the writing scene with What Kind of a Girl, a novel which explores the abuses we inflict upon each other, as well as those we exact upon ourselves. Topics covered in this honest and inclusive novel include partner abuse, bulimia, cutting, and LGBTQIA relationships. Sheinmel’s intended audience, teenage girls, will relate to Maya, and how high school feels like a fishbowl, with your peers watching your every move and forming unwanted opinions about the choices you struggle with and make. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Caroldaz 25 days ago
Difficult story but written so beautifully and with sensitivity. Mia suffers with bulimia and her boyfriend has been physically abusing her for months. Her best friend Junie, suffers with anxiety and cuts herself. One morning Mia goes to the high school principal’s office and tells that her boyfriend has been hitting her. But her boyfriend, Mike, is a golden boy, loved by everyone. So, will Mia be believed, and, if not, would it matter. The story is told from the POV of Mia and Junie. Beautifully done. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Kristi_thebookfaery 26 days ago
What Kind of Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel 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 Fire for allowing me to read and review this title.
diversified-reader 26 days ago
What Kind of Girl was exactly the question asked not only by students, but by the victim herself. High school junior Maya was abused by her popular track star boyfriend Mike on several occasions. After a vicious slap that left her with a very visual black eye, Maya decided to report the abuse to the principal. Students then began to take sides- questioning the behavior of both parties involved. Maya’s best friend, Junie, tried to be there for her, but she had her own set of problems that needed to be dealt with on a daily basis. High school years can be a very trying time for most teenagers, but even more so when self image and self worth are questioned. This YA novel highlighted some problems teenagers faced such as abuse, bulimia, cutting, and drugs. The author portrayed her characters in a realistic manner and the internal conflicts were well written. It was a very emotional and heartfelt read. I think teenagers will find this novel relatable and thought provoking. Highly recommended.
Yolanda Margolin 27 days ago
**Will be posted on my blog http://pastmidnight.home.blog on January 22, 2020 closer to publication date,** Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC. First and foremost, this book has triggers all throughout the story. It delves into the thoughts and actions of two teenagers, one who is a girl who reports that her boyfriend abused her. The other girl is her friend, who is a cutter, dealing with life’s pressures in unhealthy ways. But the way it’s written in the beginning can get a little confusing. There is more than one perspective being told but no name, just a label: The Girlfriend, The Popular Girl, The Bulimic, The Burn Out. The more you read on you understand this is the girlfriend, Mike Parker’s accuser. We get into her thoughts a lot about what happens when she tells her secret. People question her, blame her and in turn she also questions herself and blames herself. It’s no wonder why people who are abused don’t report it when it occurs. We also see her thoughts about how she felt about Mike, how he made her feel, how she had to question if what they had was love? Can it be love still, if he hit her? We are there in her thought process and it’s frustrating but eye-opening, and we eventually learn her name is Maya. Then in part two we get a different perspective from Maya’s best friend, Juniper, but she too has issues. She’s a cutter. She’s dealing with anxiety, OCD and panic attacks. We get into her head as well and it’s stressful in there. I really like how the story evolved. I’ve often wondered why people stay with abusers, even though I’ve seen it happen to my own friends and family members. And Maya’s character gives us a chance to see how someone can waver, blame herself, see people question her and then she in turns question herself. I mean Mike is the star athlete at school with everything going for him. People wanted to take his side and given the chance they totally did. But we see Maya is also dealing with other things like her parents’ divorce and bulimia. Then we see questions come from Juniper as well. They are best friends but even Juniper judged Maya on the situation. Juniper has issues of her own trying to balance her parents expectations, trying to figure out if she’s good enough for her girlfriend Tess, and cutting helps release the pressure from her daily life. She plans a protest to get Mike expelled but things don’t go as planned and it pushes her over the edge. There was a little relief for me when the best friends finally told each other their secrets. They needed each other and didn’t know what they were going through individually. In the end these two girls choose another label for themselves, the kind of girl who stands up for their truth. It is a story that brings up relevant issues about dating abuse, self harm and mental illness. Overall it’s an engaging and emotional read about some hard subjects.
marongm8 27 days ago
This book was received as an ARC from SOURCEBOOKS Fire in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This book was very eye opening just as The Hate You Give and Girl in Pieces talking about domestic violence and how some couples can not resolve their issues. This book in particular had a lot of eye opening scenes and questions such as why did she talk to her high school principal and not go to the police? Why are all her friends taking sides and not being there to support her? What does Mike have over her that strikes fear in her? This was a page turner with some realization and important life lessons that our readers will sure learn from. Fans of The Hate U Give will also enjoy this book as well. We will consider adding this title to our YFiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
miss_mesmerized 3 months ago
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.