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review 2019-11-12 16:18
What Kind of Girl...
What Kind of Girl - Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Trigger warning: Abuse, self-harm, bulimia 


Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. 


I think this book did a very good job of showcasing how domestic violence can occur with teens. The last time I recall having a big discussion about this was when that Lifeftime movie starring Fred Savage and Candace Cameron called "No One Would Tell" that followed a young couple in love, but the boy in questions starts abusing the girlfriend. That movie showed how many people knew what was going on and how more people should speak up when they suspect someone they love is being abused. That said, the book's switching POVs among several teen girls was distracting and caused me to not engage as much as I should have while reading. Everything is eventually revealed, but I felt myself slightly annoyed because this book really didn't need a gimmick. 


"What Kind of Girl" shows the different people who are linked together after one of the most popular boys at North Bay Academy, Mike Parker, is accused by his girlfriend of him hitting her. The book follows different teen girls in this one with them only being identified as "the girlfriend," "the popular girl," "the bulimic," and "the pothead." Eventually the author reveals who is who in this one. 


I didn't get a very good sense of the male in this story, Mike Parker. He's obviously abusive, but the book chooses (rightfully so) to focus on the teen girls in this story and the widening sides at the school with those who don't believe Mike hit his girlfriend and those that do.  The girlfriend chapters were the best in my mind. That said, I just got tired of jumping around after a while. When the book reveals who is who though it was much easier to read in my opinion. It just felt very gimmicky and I don't think the book needed that, that's the main reason I gave this book three stars. The book also starts to read as repetitive after a while. When Sheinmel reveals who the girls are in the book things become clearer, but I think that could have been dealt with better earlier. I can see this turning off some readers after a while with them not wanting to wade through all of this. 


The setting of this book is North Bay Academy. Through the multiple POVs you get the sense the school is diverse, but also has a lot of wealthy classmates mixed in with many people, the principal included, shocked that Mike could hit anyone. And of course there are a lot of people questioning why "the girlfriend" put up with it then. I thought this book tackled a lot of strong subject matter well, and others a little rushed. I think it was good though that we have a young adult book talking about abuse between younger people. I think the last young adult book that did that I read was Sarah Dessen's "Dreamland."

The ending was okay, the book really didn't grab me much except when I was trying to work out the connection between all of the girls in this one. 

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text 2019-11-05 16:03
Reading progress update: I've read 22%.
What Kind of Girl - Alyssa B. Sheinmel

A look at abuse between teens and the many sides key people at this school take about it. We get chapter headings with: The Girlfriend, The Bulimic, The Popular Girl, and the Pothead. We find out that each girl so far has different thoughts about the boyfriend in this story, Mike, who is accused of hitting his girlfriend. 

Right now I feel very sorry for the girlfriend character because she still wonders at this point did she do something to cause the first fight where he slapped her.


Getting interesting perspectives from the other people in this story. 

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review 2019-10-06 19:13
"The Kind - Recoverist Quartet #1" by Jule Owen
The Kind (The Recoverist Quartet Book 1) - Jule Owen
"The Kind had interesting ideas and a good plot but the storytelling was too arms-length for me and the cliff-hanger ending was annoying.

I loved the start of "The Kind". The title of the first chapter was eye-catching:


the dead girl and the talking dog


The first paragraph made me grin in anticipation:


SHE HAD BEEN DEAD for over an hour. It is one hour and twenty minutes since her breath shuddered to a halt in her chest, her heart stopped beating and her brain, starved of blood, shut down.  I am a little late, then, he thinks.


That this-is-going-to-be-weird-but-worth-it storytelling tone is sustained throughout the book and mostly works. It is weird. It doesn't get any less so as the book goes along.


"The KInd" is the first book in a Young Adult post-apocalyptic quartet, set in a far-distant future Britain, remade into deserts and islands by climate change. It's packed with good ideas and clever world-building. I was fascinated to see towns I know like Ilkley and Buxton having become something different but not entirely new, to imagine Wales as a source of renewal and Land's End as an island.


The story is told more as a fable than as a realistic account of fictional events. We get the big sweep of history and a ring-side seat at the events people will write songs about but the characters in the story are more like puppets playing their part in a saga. There's almost no depth of characterisation.


There is a strong plot which kept everything moving and kept me wanting to know how everything would play out. The plot and the world-building mesh well. Every time I thought I knew what was going on, something new was added and the scope of the problem and the solution broadened.


This was interesting but a little too arms-length for me. I wasn't engaged by the characters and had only an academic "Oh-I-didn't-see-THAT-coming" interest in whether they lived or died. There's a huge body count in the story yet no sense of threat or distress.


The book has a cliff-hanger ending, which didn't endear it to me. Even in a quartet, I think each book should end and not just stop.


I won't be reading the rest of the books.



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text 2019-09-23 23:04
Reading progress update: I've read 4%.
The Kind (The Recoverist Quartet Book 1) - Jule Owen


I love the opening to this:


Chapter 1


the dead girl and the talking dog



SHE HAD BEEN DEAD for over an hour. It is one hour and twenty minutes since her breath shuddered to a halt in her chest, her heart stopped beating and her brain, starved of blood, shut down.  I am a little late, then, he thinks.

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url 2019-08-05 23:51
5 Romance Novels to Read If You LIke Stranger Things
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