What Kind of Girl

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Member Reviews

I read another book by this author at the beginning of this year called A Danger to Herself and Others. You can find the review for that title here. I liked her take on mental illness as it was very intriguing. Since I liked that one, I decided to request this book in hopes I would like it just as much. Unfortunately, there was just too much to try to grasp and it made the book lack in certain areas along with being quite slow at times.

One of the issues I had from the beginning was how the chapters were separated. It was hard trying to figure out if each person (the burnout, the girlfriend, the popular girl, the bulimic) were in fact the same person. This was also the case in part two of the book, except the titles were different. I didn't start to realize that the book was two point-of-views until after part two. It was only then did it make more sense and that part one was Maya, the girl in an abusive relationship with other issues, and her best friend, who also had issues of her own. Even though it made more sense, the two characters still felt like they had the same voice and there wasn't much to distinguish between the two voices.

When it came to the issues that the girls dealt with, I can't speak on every one because I have never been in any of the situations besides being bulimic. I have struggled with my weight since I was young and as I got older I struggled with Anorexia and Bulimia. The bulimia in the book is mentioned just a couple of times and then is glossed over. There is no resolution for it or at least her getting help with it. I felt that even though the book was trying to bring light to the issue it shouldn't have been included if it wasn't going to be more informative. The other topics like OCD, self-harm, abuse, and drugs, were discussed more. I thought that most were pretty informative but if the author would have talked about just a few then it could have been more effective.

Overall, I understand why this book would be important for teenagers to read but feel that it could have been executed better.
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As someone who works with teenagers, I very much appreciate any novel which tries to bring more difficult topics into the conversational realm.
"What kind of girl" delves into a lot of subjects which are really important to be having discussions about, with young adults and otherwise, but aren't always easy to do so. Domestic abuse, the divide between accused and accuser, drug use/abuse, mental health issues and so on. However, it doesn't always do it in the most nuanced of ways. 
While some of the teenage characters are believable, they aren't always truly authentic feeling and while the aforementioned issues were raised (in thoughts and conversations etc), some felt like they were glossed over to a certain degree. Maybe this was intentional due to how a teenager may be percieved to react (in terms of their actual depth of knowledge etc), but I felt it was a shame that everything couldn't have been dealt with in a way that really felt genuinely beneficial. 
It is worth a read for a YA audience as it should raise some questions for them, but I wish it informed them a bit more on the journey to coming up with what those questions were.
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I received a copy of WHAT KIND OF GIRL from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher.

FIVE STARS and here’s why:

This book really opened my eyes to the world of drug use, domestic abuse, and mental health. Not only is this a story grounded in realism, which I appreciate immensely, but it also helped me understand what it is like to be struggling with these hard issues as a teen. There are no guarantees in life; there’s only hope. The story teaches us that no one should assume anything at face value and that no one is safe from prejudice or misunderstanding or judgment. All that glitters is never just gold. Each character is well written, the dialogue realistic, and the plot kept me up all night to learn what happens next. Highly recommend this story as required reading in schools.
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This book was okay but the pacing was so slow. It was a chore to finish. I normally devour this type of book, but I just did not care enough.
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I thought there were a lot of real strengths in this novel. There’s a lot of great authenticity about how a teen might react to someone they love being hit. I think most of the time Maya’s thoughts also feel authentic, but perhaps less so than Juniper’s. 
I felt torn about the format of the novel. I like the point being made—that inside each person there are many layers of identity, sometimes conflicting—but I didn’t like the application. It distracted from what I see as the more relevant threads: the abuse, the self doubt, the mental illness. I would’ve rather seen less gimmick and more of the realistic, clean writing style.
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While I was excited to read this book and still find the topics and themes not only important, but essential to teenagers today, I didn’t find this book to be at an actual teenage level. It was a bit juvenile and just skimmed the surface of topics that need real books and real conversations.
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I loved this story! This is a tough topic and I think it's very important for readers to be provided a different insight. Dating violence is a important topic.  Mike is a likable guy that no one thinks would ever hurt his girlfriend. That's what some people think at least. Then there is the other side who think he should be expelled. This is a great read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Happy Reading!
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What Kind of Girl gives a gritty and poignant insight into the mental health of two girls as they navigate the fallout from a shocking accusation of abuse that divides their school and leaves everyone looking for an answer that is easier to stomach than the truth. One day, a girl walks into school with a bruise (growing more noticeable by the minute) and confides to the principal that her beloved school athlete boyfriend is abusive. Now, the whole school is wondering...What kind of girl finds herself in an abusive relationship? What kind of girl stays in one? What kind of girl hides the truth from her best friend? 
Junie is The Cool Girl. The one that always knows what to say and never appears too attached. Her best friend Maya is The Popular Girl. The one who is always impeccably dressed and liked by everyone. Both girls prove that labels only describe what is on the outside. Inside each is struggling with dark secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Meanwhile, family, friends and love interests unwittingly add to the pressure by expecting Maya and Junie to represent the labels that have been placed upon them.
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A rather timely novel about the struggle for young women to be believed, What Kind of Girl follows Maya as she deals with a relationship punctuated with domestic violence, as well as perspectives from multiple characters as the school and community grapple with whether or not to believe that such a serious topic could rest so close to home. The author does a great job exploring themes such as abuse, self harm, and drug use in a mature way. However, I found the "voices" of the characters to be significantly younger/more naive than what I know of modern high school aged people to sound like, which makes the characters seem dumbed down to its audience.

A special thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The subject matter was mature, but it was beautifully done by giving each character a  specific voice and viewpoint. I will be putting a hard copy of this in my classroom library for my students to enjoy.
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This book contained some mature topics, like cutting, drug use, and abuse. The theme of finding yourself through hard situations was beautiful. It was written in an interesting way.
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What Kind of Girl is written about later high-schoolers suffering serious, life altering conditions.  While this book approaches mature topics such as domestic violence and abuse, self mutilation, and high functioning mental disorders, the characters' voice seemed too immature. The simplistic language and stream of consciousness style writing did not match the severity and seriousness of the topics in the novel.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
DNF at about 100 pages in. And that was only because I skimmed through the start of Part 2. The author tried to create suspense and mystery by using descriptions like “The popular girl” or “The Bulimic” instead of character names, but it really did not keep me in suspense or intrigue me. I didn’t enjoy the writing style – often something was said just for it to be repeated in a slightly different way. I was so disappointed that this book wasn’t good enough to keep me hooked because I think it deals with an important topic.
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Meet Maya. Your typical, yet popular, high school teenage girl. Maya was dating Mike Parker, the golden boy, until Maya approached the principal of the school claiming that Mike had been physically abusing her. She has a bruise on her face indicating that she was indeed hit by somebody, but is Maya telling the truth?

Meet Junie. Best friend to Maya. After Junie hears the rumors circulating about her best friend, she wants everyone to protest against Mike to have him expelled from school. After more rumors start circulating about Maya possibly lying, Junie isn’t quite sure who to believe anymore.

I love YA fiction, especially when it comes with lots of teenage drama because I have been there and done that. However, What Kind of Girl was a bit too overdramatic for me. When I was growing up and going through all of the stages of schooling, I never remember it being so utterly dramatic. I know times have changed and whatnot, but I was a little disappointed since I couldn’t relate to this book at all. Even some of the “normal teenager behavior” that was mentioned in the book, I did most of it when I was an angry and anxious teenager, but I still couldn’t relate to it. I was also not a fan of the fact that I was committed to this book only to get to the very ending and have it end on a cliffhanger! Again, I love most YA fiction books, but this one was a little too young for me.

I did love that the author put a warning in the book at the very beginning to warn readers that this book isn’t for the faint hearted. Younger readers who are still easily influenced definitely need to be more cautious before reading What Kind of Girl. The author also put resources at the end of the book for anyone struggling with self harm and/or are being physically abused.
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What Kind of Girl by author Alyssa Sheinmel is a fast paced, head on book for teens and young adults. This book did not disappoint and I loved how real life it was. School (especially high school and college) can be a crazy hectic and shine or not time in ones life! 

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an arc copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Releases in February 2020!
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** The formatting for this ARC is a little wonky; I didn't take it into account while reviewing, but you may want to fix that! **

At the onset I had a bit of a rough time getting into this, but it all started to come together by the end of part one. As part two unfolded, I found myself reevaluating the situation and my initial impressions; part three went straight for my heart/feels and had me literally tearing up. So it's not at all an exaggeration to say that this book is An Experience in the best possible way.

The prose is very stream-of-consciousness, which won't appeal to all readers but which I found perfectly fitting. It's a messy, confusing situation, and that hits home through the narrators' struggle with what to think and how to react to everything going on. (Some of the parentheticals are a bit much, but otherwise the writing flows almost effortlessly.)

All the portrayed relationships are nuanced and relatable, but I want to point out the parent/child relationships in particular because I so rarely see them done this well. YA lit is full of abusive and absent adults, so it was especially poignant to see flawed but well-meaning parents in this novel. Adolescence is a time when you're in between depending on and wanting to be free of your parents, which makes for a tricky dynamic; and yet each of the parents is a complex, distinct character with a complex, distinct relationship with their child. 

Some of the social justice themes are pretty blunt, but it is an integral part of the narrative. Apparently sensitivity and thoughtfulness is "practically in the school catalog", and it shows: the students pride themselves on believing the victim, though they're conflicted on whether that's Mike or his girlfriend. They're not perfect. It's frustrating, and it's completely true to life.

Finally, this really isn't all that important (especially compared to the weightier topics in this book), but the NorCal representation made me so happy! California isn't all beaches and sunshine, especially in the northern part, yet I so rarely see books that acknowledge this.
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Omg! Ok first of all this book made me so angry. Angrier to the point that I wanted to smash my Kindle but not because of the author or because of the story. I was angry at Mike. I was angry at Maya's situation.  I was angry at the school and everything that happen after Maya spoke to the principal. I been there, I know how it feels but unlike Maya I never found my voice, I just let things go. This is an excellent story, and I'm proud of Maya for finding her voice.
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**Thank you Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book before it is published*** 

This book is the type of book that parents should recommend to their child. It deals with a lot of heavy stuff like bulimia, abuse, anxiety and drug abuse. It works through the feelings of guilt a victim feels when abused and the mind set that maybe they did something wring and that's why they were hit or pushed or cursed at. It deals with the process of exposing the abuser and the pricess that other people experience when being told that the 'it' couple isn't as 'goals' as you originally thought. 

I lobe how this book was written. The four perspectives......not going to day much....led the story beautifully and I'm amazed at how real this story felt. I would definetly recommend.
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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.
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The Quick Cut: A high school goes into anarchy after a girl accuses her popular track star boyfriend of abuse. 

A Real Review:
 Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 In today's hyper aware society, everything is up for social commentary and far too often the public opinion is the one that takes primary position. So when that type of social setup grapples with as sensitive a situation as abuse from a partner, how does the truth come to the surface and the victim get the care they need? This is the topic at the heart of this novel. 

 A girl goes to her Principal's office first thing in the morning and tells her that her popular track star boyfriend has been hitting her. With a newly darkened eye and a seriously uncomfortable feeling, her honesty about what happened the night before starts a trail of school meltdowns and everyone weighing in on where they stand. Who should they trust: they girl with the bruised eye or the star athlete? Is there more going on? 

 It's so hard to talk about this book without spilling too many details! The chapters are devilishly genius in the way that they're narrated by different people, but for the first two parts the names aren't given. Rather than names, labels are used and many are a little... Controversial shall we say? It's a smart writing technique in this situation even if it did confuse me at first. 

 There are many complex topics battled in this book, including bulimia, anxiety disorders, and OCD. The teens in this book go through between relationships, school pressure, and social expectations is intense. To be average isn't acceptable, they have to exceed expectations. Although it provides interesting insight and was clearly carefully written, it still deserves a warning as the content is sensitive in nature. 

 With multiple difficult topics, this book expertly navigates the struggles of abuse in relationships. 
 
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
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