Sunday, 10 March 2013

NEW GIRL by Paige Harbison

Publication date: January 31st, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Number of pages: 320
Date read: March 10th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Retelling, Mystery
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback

(Description source: Goodreads)

Welcome to Manderley Academy. I hadn't wanted to go, but my parents were so excited…. So here I am, the new girl at Manderley, a true fish out of water. But mine's not the name on everyone's lips. Oh, no.

It's Becca Normandy they can't stop talking about. Perfect, beautiful Becca. She went missing at the end of last year, leaving a spot open at Manderley—the spot that I got. And everyone acts like it's my fault that infallible, beloved Becca is gone and has been replaced by not perfect, completely fallible, unknown Me.

Then, there's the name on my lips—Max Holloway. Becca's ex. The one boy I should avoid, but can't. Thing is, it seems like he wants me, too. But the memory of Becca is always between us. And as much as I'm starting to like it at Manderley, I can't help but think she's out there, somewhere, watching me take her place.

Waiting to take it back.


New Girl is an intriguing read, the cover and the description work so well in drawing your interest and pulling you in. I ended up impulse buying New Girl at a sale and just got stuck into it.

The novel starts out by giving us a background on the main character and how it came about that her parents were so excited to send her off to Manderley, she agrees to go to please them and because it is a new opportunity to branch out and learn new things, she thinks that things at Manderley won't be so bad...

But arriving at Manderley to find herself under the repressing label of New Girls isn't the worst part of her new school experience, why? Because she replaced the school's sweetheart, the one who went missing and it seems that no one is willing to give her a chance or believe that she isn't trying to take Becca's place.

Given a hard time from the outset, the main character is an interesting narrator who tells the story in such a way that she allows you, upon occasion, to really feel some sympathy for her. The real intrigue in this novel come from the second perspective given, Becca's. Becca's point of view is all flashback to the events following her own admission to Manderley and how she changed things up, as well as how things started to do drastically wrong. But is Becca really missing? What happened to her? And is she coming back? Back to take her rightful place?

Written in an easy to enjoy and highly suspenseful manner, this story will keep you wondering exactly what happened to Becca and if she really is just waiting to take back her place at Manderley. There is an overuse of sex in the plot, with some characters getting it on very quickly indeed. Some characters were quite difficult to figure out, one of them being Max, he is described as extremely good looking, but there is a mystery to him that has you wonder at his part in the novel.

The seeming connection between the main character and Becca added a thriller-like aspect to the narrative, and I loved the fact that there was a ploy the author employed that I did almost catch on to about half way through, but kind of wrote it off until it was revealed at the end. This novel is kind of gritty, full of a huge variety of characters, each with their own emotions and motive, as well as secrets, making this novel quite enjoyable.

“There was no up, there was no down."

I rate New Girl Three and a Half out of Five!

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