What Kind of Girl

Alyssa Sheinmel. Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4926-6727-8
To others at North Bay Academy, California native Maya seems to have everything a girl could want: good grades, popularity, and a handsome track-star boyfriend. That’s until spring of junior year, when Maya arrives at school with a bruised eye, and reports to the principal that her boyfriend, Mike, has been hitting her. Subsequent rumors result in split opinions about Maya: some believe that Mike should be expelled, while others think he might not have been her abuser (“What kind of girl stays after her boyfriend hits her?”). While Maya tries to sort out her conflicting emotions about why she remained with him, her best friend, Juniper, is cutting herself to quell her escalating anxiety and OCD. Alternating first-person voices (“the bulimic,” “the cool girl,” “the girlfriend,” “the popular girl”) express hidden fears about self-image, particularly narratives by Maya and Juniper. In a novel that frankly addresses timely teen issues, Sheinmel (A Danger to Herself and Others) explores female challenges with image and self-identity, as well as the psyche’s responses and defenses when things go horribly awry. Aimed at a mature audience, this hard-hitting novel about social norms and mental health expresses the importance of honesty and self-advocacy. Ages 14–up. Agent: Mollie Glick, Creative Artists Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 12/19/2019
Release date: 02/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-7282-2204-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-6620-5435-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-6620-5602-4
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