Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE CASTLE SCHOOL (FOR TROUBLED GIRLS)! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Alyssa Sheinmel to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it and Alyssa!
The Castle School (for Troubled Girls) by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 2, 2021
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
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.
What would you do if you spent the day with moira? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Moira’s dream of a perfect vacation is backpacking across Europe going from one library to the next, learning as much as she can about as many places as she can. Like Moira, I love trivia—though I think she may love her facts and figures even more than I love mine!—so (in a post-Covid world), I’d love to tour libraries with her. I bet she’d be the perfect guide.
If moira were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
I think Moira would get along with Maisie, the main character in my book Faceless—they both have a dry, occasionally sarcastic, sense of humor. And, Moira’s favorite book is Wuthering Heights, so I know she’d be thrilled if she could hang out with some of that novel’s characters. (Maybe not Heathcliff, though!)
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from The Castle School for Troubled Girls?
I have a few different favorites depending on my mood! Right now, I like this line from a passage towards the end of the novel:
“Moira would have been surprised to discover that she and her mother could cry in the exact same way.”
Would you rather be a superhero or a supervillain? And what would your powers and name be?
I would like to be a superhero with the power to find every homeless, abandoned, or mistreated dog a good home, and to get every dog the medical care they need. (And all other animals, too!)
If you were trapped on a tropical island and you could choose 3 books to take with you, which 3 would you choose?
I’m a firm believer that the Lord of the Rings trilogy counts as one book, so I’d definitely take that with me. And Ulysses by James Joyce—I’ve never it all the way through at once, and I think being trapped on an island would give me time to finally focus on the whole thing! And probably Blue Nights by Joan Didion.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
Because of Moira’s love of trivia, I ended up learning a lot of fun facts and figures for this book, and not all of them made it into the finished novel. At one point, I had a full page of facts about Moira’s favorite book, Wuthering Heights. (FYI, everything that I didn’t cut made it into the opening of Chapter Eight.) Here’s some Wuthering Heights trivia that didn’t make the cut: At the time of its publication, Wuthering Heights was considered controversial—and that was before they knew a woman wrote it. After Emily Bronte’s death, her sister Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights and arranged for the edited version to be published as a second edition in 1850.
Alyssa Sheinmel 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.
What do you think about The Castle School (for Troubled Girls)? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!