Sunday, March 7, 2021

My Thoughts on: The Castle School (for Troubled Girls) by Alyssa Sheinmel


The Castle School (for Troubled Girls) by Alyssa Sheinmel

Publication Date: March 2, 2021 by Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: YA Contemporary 

Source: eARC from publisher via NetGalley for review.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

When Moira Dreyfuss’s parents announce that they’re sending her to an all-girls boarding school deep in the Maine woods, Moira isn’t fooled. She knows her parents are punishing her; she’s been too much trouble since her best friend, Nathan, died―and for a while before that. At the Castle School, isolated from the rest of the world, Moira will be expected to pour her heart out to the odd headmaster, Dr. Prince. But she isn’t interested in getting over Nathan’s death or befriending her fellow students.

On her first night there, Moira hears distant music. On her second, she discovers the lock on her window is broken. On her third, she and her roommate venture outside…and learn that they’re not so isolated after all. There’s another, very different, Castle School nearby―this one filled with boys whose parents sent them away, too.

Moira is convinced that the Castle Schools and the doctors who run them are hiding something. But exploring the schools will force Moira to confront her overwhelming grief―and the real reasons her parents sent her away.

I really was excited to read this story because it sounded interesting, but this book was nothing like I thought it would be. The synopsis made this sound like a mystery/thriller and it was nothing like that. There’s a small mystery, but this is mainly a contemporary about dealing with grief and learning to accept loss in your life. I really liked the author’s writing, but I probably wouldn’t have read this if I had known it was a contemporary. I don’t read that many contemporaries, especially ones that depict mental illness, because they hit too close to home. If you’re expecting a mystery/thriller based off of the synopsis and the book’s cover, that is not what you’re going to get.

This story is told mainly from Moira’s point of view, but every couple of chapters focuses on each of Moira’s fellow classmates and what brought them to the school. I liked getting a little peek into each of the girls’ lives and finding out what led them to the castle school. I definitely liked the beginning of the story because the school seemed mysterious and I thought there was going to be this big mystery and maybe murder. However, I was disappointed when I got to about halfway in and realized that nothing exciting was happening and that this was not going to be the mystery/thriller that I was hoping for. 

Overall, I was disappointed because the story was not what I was expecting. I will definitely check out other books from the author since I really did enjoy the writing. If you are looking for a contemporary that deals with serious topics, then you should definitely read this one, but I wouldn’t recommend this book if you’re looking for a mystery/thriller.

Thanks for reading!

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