Review: New Girl

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: New GirlNew Girl by Paige Harbison
Published by Harlequin Teen on January 31, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Gothic, Mystery, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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 And everyone acts like it's my fault that infallible, beloved Becca is gone and has been replaced by not perfect, completely fallible, unknown Me.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.

So freaking cool! And not just because it was set in New Hampshire…because it’s cold there. Punned! Anyway, with this book, I pronounce myself a Paige Harbison fan. Last year, I read her debut Here Lies Bridget and I liked it, but it wasn’t too much out of the ordinary. This one, though, just blew me away.

Why? Well, I’ve always had a weakness for books based on other books. New Girl is based on Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca, which I have not yet read. Unfortunately, I had to look up a summary on Wikipedia, because I did not want to miss any references. Hopefully, I will forget about some of the plot twists before I try to read the book.

Anywho, based on my extensive knowledge of Rebecca (aka Wikipedia article), Harbison did a really amazing job modernizing this. The transitions she made in some of the characters, like turning Mrs. Danvers into Dana, Becca’s roommate who refuses to let her go, is quite clever, as is the changing of the scene with the dress.

The story is told alternatingly between the New Girl’s perspective in first person and Becca’s perspective in third person. You might think that sounds clunky, but it really wasn’t. This makes the fact that you never learn the New Girl’s actual name but are so familiar with Becca’s completely natural; I didn’t even notice until partway through. Of course, I wanted to punch Becca in the face the whole time, but I really liked New Girl.

For those who like clever teen lit, you’ll probably quite enjoy this. It’s full of drama and told in an interesting way. I also suspect that people who love Rebecca and don’t ordinarily read teen lit will, at the very least, get a kick out of New Girl.

3 responses to “Review: New Girl”

  1. I really really want to read this book, and after reading this review want to read it more than ever!

    Jessica from Booked Up!

    🙂 xxx

  2. Nori says:

    I literally, like minutes ago, just finished this one!

  3. roro says:

    i loved this one .

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