Sunday, 24 June 2012

Book Review - New Girl

Title: New Girl
Author: Paige Harbison 
Publisher: Mira Books
Release Date: 4 May 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1848450639

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.

My Review
I've never read Paige Harbison before, I'd heard really good things about her first book 'Here Lies Bridget' and it's been on my TBR pile for ages, so when I got this one through I was quite excited. The synopsis sounded quite different and I was intrigued. Not necessarily my usual read but something I could get into. It says it is a modern retelling of 'Rebecca' by Daphne DuMaurier crossed with a hint of 'Gossip Girl', well i've never read either of them so I was coming at it completely fresh.
The book is told from two points of view: the 'New Girl' and 'Becca', the new girl is told in present day and first person. Becca's is like flashbacks and told in third person. This works really well as it helps you keep track of who is 'talking' and what is happening, also a good way of unraveling what happened.
The New Girl is constantly compared to Becca, told she isn't as pretty, as smart, as funny, as good. Nothing she does is on her own merit, it always comes back to Becca, I did start to feel sorry for her, I couldn't imagine having that sort of pressure and nowhere to run to, after all it's a boarding school.
However as the book went on the New Girl began to annoy me, she spent so long arguing that she wasn't replacing Becca or trying to take over that she actually sort of did become like a Becca replacment - she shows interest in Becca's old boyfriend, and the boy she was cheating with, she gets an attitude and even dressses like her. Made me want to shake her and tell her to stop it and just be herself. People would leave her alone more if she tried to fit in maybe even disappear in the crowd a bit but she seems to attract everyone's attention back to her and make things worse.
Some of the characters were irritating and her room-mate was just a psycho. I got quite frustrated with the book.
However the mystery of Becca's disappearance is well woven into the story that you can't help but be hooked, desperate to know what happened to her, and there are a few surprising twists that I didn't expect.
You also find out New Girls name right at the end of the book, and up till that point I hadn't really considered that I hadn't known it, and it made me stop and go 'oh, wow.' she just became the 'new girl', which then emphasized the idea that no one accepted her or wanted to know her. So this was quite clever of the author.
The ending overall was quite satisfying and I was happy with how it all came together.
I'd say if you wanted a lazy day, easy read then this would be ideal, but I would take out from the library.

My Rating

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