Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: January 31st, 2012
Number of Pages: 304
Where did I get this book: Netgalley e-ARC
My rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads Summary:

"A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back."


First, a big thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for the chance to read this. I was in no way compensated for this review other than the book itself.

I wish that I had had time to read Rebecca first to get the full effect, but I didn't. But, honestly, I thought this book was great as a stand alone. It was definitely a thriller, just creepy enough to keep me turning the pages, wanting to know just WHAT was going on. Right up until the last few pages. But not so creepy as to turn me off (I'm not a big fan of the "thriller" genre typically).

The characters were intriguing..."New girl" (who, interestingly, goes completely unnamed until the VERY end of the book) was very well-developed in my opinion. I really felt her frustration and confustion. She goes into this school and everybody thinks she is trying to be this person she doesn't even know. How can she be trying to replace somebody that she never even met. Throughout the book she is trying to solve this puzzle of who Becca was - what made her SO special. And I was trying to figure this out myself. The book alternates viewpoints. It gives flashbacks from Becca's point of view, so we do get to know who Becca was and what she was thinking. Wow. That is what really kept me reading. She is an excellent psychological case study - let me leave it at that. Very, very interesting.

Basically, Becca seemed to have everyone under a spell. This seems to be especially true with her roommate, Dana, who is now "new girl's" roommate. Dana is incredibly protective and defensive of Becca and certain that Becca will be returning. And she is positive that new girl is out to replace Becca. Basically, she is out to make new girl's life a living hell. Then there is Johnny and Max who were "love interests" of Becca's...and now of new girl's. Yeah, it's kind of complicated.

This story was just full of twists and turns and neat characters and excitement. I really, really enjoyed it. I think that it would have been even cooler if I had read Rebecca first to do a full comparison. I highly recommend this book!


Kate said...

I read Rebecca looooong ago, but I thought that this book did a good jib of keeping the creepy, Gothic feel of Rebecca with the modern setting.

Space Station Mir said...

I've read Rebecca, and from what you've said, it sounds like the story is incredibly similar, down to the characters' names. I don't think the ending could be the same though...

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