Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

New Girl
by Paige Harbison
Publication Date: January 31st, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780373210428

Where to Buy:
B&N | Amazon | The Book Depository

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. (Goodreads)
I have to say I was definitely intrigued by the storyline for this book. I had heard that it was a re-write of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, a book that I have wanted to read for a while now, so I was looking forward to checking this out.

The story starts off with the main character, the New Girl, starting off in a new private school; Manderly Academy. Miles away from her family and friends, but looking forward to a fresh start, the New Girl goes to the school not knowing that she’s falling in the previous New Girl, Becca Normandy’s shadow. Becca’s disappearance is the only reason the New Girl even has a spot at the school, but New Girl is not Becca, and everyone is quick to let her know this.

I found most of the characters of the book to be pretty unlikeable, and I wonder if this is how the author wanted us to feel for them. I really disliked the way they all treated the New Girl. I do like that the New Girl was pretty headstrong, for the most part, and in the end just didn’t care what people thought about her. I always find that admirable in a female character. I found Becca to be just a horrible person all around; I didn’t care for her at all. The love interest in the story, Max, was a bit wishy-washy for me, although I did grow towards him a little more towards the end of the book.

The thing that stood out the most about this book was the mystery that surrounded the storyline. This definitely kept me hooked while reading the book, because I just wanted to know what happened with the mysterious Becca. It was also a little disconcerting to go throughout the whole book not knowing what the main characters name was. We do finally find out at the end of the book what it is, and it’s such a pretty name, that I wish it had been used more in the book. However, I enjoyed the suspense of waiting to see if the name would ever be revealed.
This book also has a lot of sexual related content. Some of it was very disturbing, and some of it I was a bit surprised to see in a YA novel. There were also mentions of drug and alcohol use. I found this to be very realistic, and it’s definitely something I could see happening in a private boarding school. Due to these mentions, I wouldn’t recommend this for the younger YA crowd.

Overall, this was a really different read for me, full of teenage drama and turmoil. Although most of the characters were unlikeable, I liked the main character, and the mysterious storyline kept me intrigued. This book also really makes me want to pick up Rebecca by du Maurier right away!

Happy Reading!


  1. I haven't heard too much about this one. It does sound really interesting. I'm being more selective in YA fiction lately. This one sounds good.

  2. I feel like it was the mystery and the intrigue that made me want to keep going. But I definitely liked reading this, though I felt like there were so many questions I wanted answers to while I was reading it!

  3. I actually reviewed this today, myself and I have to say I really agree with you there; most were unlikable and I was so annoyed after seeing things from Becca's POV that people adored her so much! But it also kinda made the story quite eerie with the mystery going on... I kept wondering what was actually going on there. But I really loved New Girl and I'm getting myself a copy of Rebecca as soon as possible! I'm super curious. New Girl was creepily realistic in some ways imo, with the teen things, so it was the things surrounding these things that intrigued me enough to finish the book in a day!

  4. Glad you enjoyed this book!! I've read a lot of positive reviews on this one lately tha make me very interested in it !
    Thanks for the great review Christy

  5. I have wanted to read Rebecca for a long time now too. I'm going to try and read Rebecca before I read New Girl. I'm hoping it will give me a better insight and maybe understand the characters more. I'm glad to hear that even though most of the characters were unlikeable that it was still an intriguing read.

  6. Glad that you enjoyed it, my post was towards the end of Jan beginning of Feb (I think). You're right the characters treated "New Girl" poorly and that made me irritated with them. A certain someone was just outright coo-coo (think you know who I'm referring too). It was a good read just to see the mystery behind everything.
    Creative Reads

  7. I liked this one too! It had so much more mystery than I expected.

  8. Eh I'm not really a fan of all the drama that can be in some teen books. I think I might end up passing on this one.

    Thanks for the great review though. :)

  9. This one has gotten some seriously mixed reviews and I'm torn as to whether I want to read it or not. It's hard to read "unlikeable" characters, even when they're written that way on purpose. Still, I do enjoy a good, twisty mystery.

  10. I've heard pretty mixed things about this book! I get the same impression from other reviewers that the characters were unlikable so it's not just you. It's hard to read a book with unlikable characters since it's rarely done well. I am very curious about the mystery though since it seems really intriguing.

  11. This one looks really interesting but I'm not sure if I'd like it that much. But I am really liking the sounds of the mystery! Thanks for the review, Christy!

  12. I really haven't paid much attention to this but I'm adding it to my TBR now. It's hard for me to get past unlikeable characters, but as long as the MC is likeable I should be alright. Great review!

  13. I had really mixed feelings on this book - I agree with you on Max. I wanted him to make up his mind already! And my heart went out to New Girl being treated SO horribly by all the other students.

    If you liked NG, Christy...DO go pick up Rebecca. It is an awesome read!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  14. I wasn't a fan of this over all, but the mystery aspect kept my attention enough to finish it. Also, I did some what like the New Girl (I, at least, felt sorry for her).

    I am glad you liked it and am curious to see what ways Rebecca is different.

  15. Wow...that's interesting! I've read some negative reviews. I didn't care for Here Lies Bridget. But I LOVE Rebecca....so maybe just on that alone I'll pick this one up. Great review!

  16. I've heard a few mixed things about this, but I'm looking forward to read it nonetheless. Thanks for sharing your opinion with us - great review. :)



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