E-Arc Review: The Castle School: For Troubled Girls by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Title: The Castle School: For Troubled Girls
Author: Alyssa Sheinmel
Genre: YA Contemporary / Mental Health
Publication Date: March 2nd, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!




“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.” (Goodreads)

I have read two other books by this author and although one was just an okay read, I figured why not read a third book.

This book was different than I expected as on netgalley it says “dark psychological contemporary”. To me, there was nothing dark or psychological about it. I think that is where part of my disconnect was with this story.

When it came to the characters, Moira is the MC and has the biggest point-of-view. The plot is mostly about her journey through grief from the loss of her best friend. It was interesting to read about her from start to finish. She goes through a lot of development along the way even if she questions the headmaster’s motives. I wouldn’t say I fully connected to her but it didn’t lessen my likeness for her.

There are other chapters about each girl who attends this school and covers how each one got there. I thought this was a nice touch since when they are first introduced we are told about what brought them there. Each one is dealing with a different issue. I like this added bonus but I also wish we got more from them throughout the plot. A few of the girls are more major than others but it just wasn’t enough for me.

One thing I like about this author is that she talks about mental health. In this day and age our mental health is more important than ever. I like seeing it discussed in YA books and I hope there will be a lot more books about it.

Overall, it was a good book. I didn’t fully connect to the story but I appreciate what the author wrote about and can see many enjoying this book.

CW: Self-Harm

3 thoughts on “E-Arc Review: The Castle School: For Troubled Girls by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

  1. I think there was an increase in Mental Health rep included in YA contemporary books, from what I’ve read in new releases’ synopsis. I haven’t been reading much YA contemporary but I agree it’s definitely important to discuss mental health in YA books.
    Great review, Joanna.

    Liked by 1 person

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