April 10, 2021

#BookReview: The Castle School (for Troubled Girls) by @AlyssaSheinmel

Synopsis: 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.


Rating: 💫💫💫💫💫
My Review:  
I cannot express how much I loved this book! If I could give it more than 5 starts I would. I initially was drawn in by the adorable cover and the promise of a boarding school story which I typically love. This book exceeded every expectation I had. It has your typical boarding school drama/adventures, but also touches heavily on many mental issues. Our main character Moira is shipped off to the Castle School for Troubled Girls shortly after her best friend dies. She thinks it's because her mom is tired of dealing with her and because she got a tattoo. She's placed in the school that has an alternative approach to learning and healing with 11 other girls all with some sort of issue. Moira slowly learns that she has deeper issues and starts healing from them with the help of the appropriately named Dr. Prince. I loved how it not only went into Moira's issue but also shared the story of each of the 11 other girls as well. The author portrays each of the mental illness in a real way without making the issues seem like a bad thing, and managed to keep the book extremely entertaining while broaching such heavy subjects. 

Go Into This One Knowing: depression, addiction, self harm, eating disorders.


"Hooked me from page one. I couldn't stop reading until I had every single answer." - Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters

"An achingly beautiful exploration of grief and relationships, parents and children, the ways we hurt and the ways we heal. THE CASTLE SCHOOL masterfully displays Sheinmel's talent for building tension while crafting complex, flawed and fascinating characters. Moira's story and those of the students at the mysterious Castle Schools gripped me from the first page and held me fast long after I finished reading." - Gilly Segal, New York Times bestselling co-author of I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

"Beneath the trappings of a fast-paced mystery, this novel holds a heartrending exploration of
adolescent grief... Memorable." - Booklist

"Mental health awareness wrapped in a captivating storyline. 
" - Kirkus Reviews

"Complex and layered... A heartfelt exploration of grief, guilt, and recovery." - School Library Journal

"Sheinmel's introspective story skillfully illustrates the weight of grief, the difference between adaptive and nonadaptive reactions to trauma, and the healing power of radical acceptance." - Publishers Weekly

"An effective exploration of mental illness, and it will share a coveted place on reading lists with Laurie Halse Anderson and Patricia McCormick." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Alyssa Sheinmel is the bestselling author of several novels for young adults including A Danger to Herself and Others and Faceless. Alyssa currently lives and writes in New York. Follow Alyssa on Instagram and Twitter @AlyssaSheinmel or visit her online at alyssasheinmel.com. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

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 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. 

FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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