Sheinmel's chapters provide labels - "the popular girl", "the bulimic", "the activist" - but in the style of The Breakfast Club, both reader and characters realise that people are far messier than just one detail, just one story. This is an immensely satisfying book from a skilled author.
Alyssa Sheinmel played with narrative and reader expectations in her excellent 2019 novel A Danger To Herself and Others, so it's no surprise that What Kind of Girl puts similar tricks in play. An ingenious way of suggesting that all of us contain multitudes of contradictory opinions, especially in cases of he-said, she-said. Sheinmel brilliantly dramatises the pupils' attempts to create a system of morality for themselves, rather than simply accepting the one handed down by authority.
Both timely and timeless, WHAT KIND OF GIRL is a powerful exploration of abuse in its many forms, as well as the strength it takes to rise up and speak your truth. Alyssa Sheinmel has crafted a compelling, moving, and empowering story of hope and courage - one that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page
A poignant, thought-provoking novel that will resonate deeply