“Sometimes you have to break the promises you make to protect the people you love.”The Castle School (For Troubled Girls)
Thank you to TBR&Beyond Tours for once again letting me participate in a blog tour! Click here to check out the rest of the tour stops! I didn’t really know what to expect going into The Castle School (For Troubled Girls) by Alyssa Sheinmal. I thought maybe it was going to be a YA mystery/thriller, and while that wasn’t the main component of the story, I ended up loving this book!
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
“Saying what if never helped anyway. You can’t undo the bad things that have happened. Pain cannot be avoided, but it can be accepted.”The Castle School (For Troubled Girls)
Like I said at the start of this blog, I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. There is a slight mystery element throughout the book, but this book is so much more about grief and mental health and I loved how it represented all different kinds of mental health issues. Being a mental health professional and dealing with anxiety myself, I’m always worried that books won’t fairly represent both treatment and actual disorders and Alyssa Sheinmel did a great job depicting both the setting and the mental health problems each of the 12 girls deal with.
I fell in love with all the characters, and enjoyed that the book gave us brief POVs about how each of the characters ended up at The Castle School but ultimately returned to Moria’s POV to tell the actual story. I think it helped move the plot along relatively quickly and also spoke to how what we perceive of other people’s issues isn’t always accurate. The characters all had their issues and flaws, but were quite loveable and I got very invested in their wellbeing. I highly recommend picking up this book, I think it can speak to just about anyone.
Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars
“The words we use are very powerful.”The Castle School (For Troubled Girls)
Alyssa was born in Stanford, California, and even though she moved across the country to New York when she was six years old, she still thinks of herself as a California girl.
She still remembers the very first chapter book she ever read—The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo, by Judy Blume. Before long, reading was her favorite thing in the world. She loved it so much that when there was nothing to read, she wrote my own stories just to give herself something to read. And when there was no pen and paper to be had, she just made up stories in her head.