‘What Kind of Girl’ – Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Scheduled for publication in February 2020, this is a book to shout about and encourage people to read.

The action of the book takes place over just one week, and it is a pivotal week in the lives of the characters we encounter. It’s the kind of week that changes lives.

Initially I was unsure about the way this book started. Each chapter was titled something different – the girlfriend, the dropout etc – and I was under the impression there were a number of characters. The reality was quite different, but these different voices melded together well and learning how they all connected actually made the message more powerful.

The story is quite simple. Maya goes to school one Monday morning with a black eye. She tells her Principal that her boyfriend, school golden boy Mike, did it. For the remainder of that week she negotiates school as people talk about her admission and what it might mean.

Along the way she and her best friend, Junie, do a fair amount of soul-searching. We learn a little more of their backgrounds and the various issues they are trying to navigate. We learn about some of the pressures they – and many like them – will face. Both girls are portrayed honestly, and with sympathy. Readers may have nothing in common with them, or they may nod knowingly…however, they won’t be able to ignore them or the topics this book explores.

Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this prior to publication. I really look forward to seeing how this fares.