Saturday, February 04, 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

New Girl
Paige Harbison
Release date: January 31st, 2012
by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads / Purchase
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.
*A copy was provided by Harlequin for review purposes*

New Girl tells us the story of both Becca and "New Girl" simultaneously. "New Girl" - who I only realized past the half way mark has no name yet - is living in Becca's shadow. Arriving at boarding school after Becca's disappearance makes the others feel like she's replacing their friend; their friend who came in with a bang and completely changed the school's atmosphere.

Dual POV has become a favorite of mine. I love seeing both sides of the coin, getting to know the characters at a deeper level. In this case, it also helped with the suspense factor. Becca's story is unveiled to us in small increments which makes it very intriguing. I was always looking forward to more of her chapters. Her character has a terrible personality of someone who is used to getting what she wants. She lies, she cheats, she's overall a awful person. But god darn it is she ever entertaining! No matter how much I would hate knowing a person like her, she makes a good, fun story that I was overall fascinated with. Happening after Becca disappears, New Girl's point-of-view gives us the after effects. Her hateful roommate thinks of her as a replacement. The rest of the school is not very welcoming either. This New Girl's personality couldn't be more different from Becca's. She's considerate, has self-respect (which Becca lacks greatly) and tries hard to fit in, but most of the time I just wish she'd defend herself better. Especially towards Dana -her roommate- who can be considerably cruel. I understand grief, but I couldn't comprehend why everyone was so upset at New Girl. She barely did anything except get accepted to this school. It felt kind of overly dramatic.

I hardly cared for the romance in this novel. Both love interests were just not that interesting. Max is simply hard to grasp. He lets Becca lead him like a dog on a leash. I did like Johnny though, but I didn't feel his connection with Becca. The mystery of the disappearance is what kept me glued to the book. I'm a sucker for mysteries and this one had me rushing through it. Becca's story has such an ominous vibe to it. I was hoping for a shocking ending that unfortunately left me feeling underwhelmed. It wasn't awful, I was just hoping for a bigger twist to it.

Although it failed to wow me, it was still an entertaining read that I mostly enjoyed. I would even recommend it. Especially to those who like mysteries and - surprisingly - Gossip Girl (Yes, I AM a fan! Don't judge me. One word: Chuck! Another word: Nate! Ah heck, they're all freaking awesome! (Well except for the prince *yawns*)). I also want to note that this is a retelling of the book Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, though I'm not able to make comparisons since I haven't read the original. 

3 Hot Espressos