Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review: "New Girl" by Paige Harbison

Provided Via: Netgalley
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 1/31/12

The Scoop: (Goodreads)

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 Take:

So, our New Girl comes to Manderly Academy for her senior year. Because space is limited, she takes a spot that recently opened up due to the mysterious disappearance of a student named Becca. The New Girl has all of the elements of your basic fish-out-of-water story: she feels awkward and not sure what to do, people are snotty to her and the hottest two boys in school are sending smoldering glances her way (natch).

"Hey newbie. Wanna go to the boathouse??"
Her roommate is a psycho who worshipped Becca (no bonding anytime soon here...) Also, apparently Becca's parents couldn't be bothered to clean out her side of the room and New Girl sleeps under a wall of smiling Beccas beaming down upon her. Her peers and love-interests are constantly comparing her to Becca. Putting New Girl (her name isn't revealed until the end of the story as a nod to the source material) in the position of having to always prove that she is not Becca. How annoying for her...

Now imagine that every one of these pics were of a missing/perhaps dead girl...
The New Girl has elements of teen sex and partying and I wouldn't recommend to people who are sensitive to reading about such things. These elements did make me wonder what kind of crazy prep school this was because the kids went out every night and barely had to hide it. Which is fine, but your typical high schooler doesn't usually have the liberty the throw down every night of the week. Now college...that's a different story.

Save this behavior for your college years, guys! You don't want to be jaded before you're actually legal to drink.
This story comes with a twist, though. Becca was a notorious party girl and her disappearance is a mystery that consumes the entire school. I loved trying figure out who-done-it and trying to discern the truth from rumours.

You don't have to call Robert Downey Jr. to help you solve this mystery, Now Jude Law...well you can call him just because.

Harbison has crafted a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller (based on Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier) that was a pleasure to devour.

Final Verdict:

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