Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

New Girl
Paige Harbison
Harlequin Teen
Publication date: 31st Jan 2012
My rating: 4 out of 5

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.

New Girl is a brilliantly creepy modern day adaptation of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, the story alternates between "New Girl" (I loved how we don't get to find out her name until right at the end) and Becca the popular girl who has gone missing and who's place at Manderley Academy new girl has taken, and the two boys caught in the middle.

Confession time- I haven't read the original Rebecca so I have no idea how New Girl measures up but all I can say is I was completely creeped out by it! The strength of New Girl is definitely in the characters. Poor new girl is literally living in the shadows of Becca who seems to have had everyone under her spell. Becca was forward, selfish and downright manipulative and had a sort of "golden couple" relationship with Max that everyone was jealous of. Max incidental seemed like quite a nice guy which left me wondering why he continued with Becca? Was it convenience, fear or because she was pushy and all over him like a rash?

My favourite character by far was Dana the roommate who definitely would win the creepiest character of all time award. She's convinced Becca will be back to take her rightful place at the top of the Manderley food chain, keeping the room a shrine to Becca despite New Girl now living there. To say she was openly hostile to New Girl would be a complete understatement. Dana is brilliantly bonkers and scared the living daylights out of me!

New Girl is captivatingly chilling. The mystery of Becca's disappearance kept me guessing right to the end. Did Dana the bonkers roommate kill her? Was it Max the boyfriend or Johnny the bit on the side? Did Becca just head off into the sunset and is about to make her triumphant return? Honestly, the suspense nearly killed me, I had no idea which pretty much guaranteed that I would race through it to find out. Riveting read I loved it.

Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review New Girl.


  1. i honestly really loved it too!! though i have to disagree with you, i HATED Dana. But you're right, the book was very creepy at times! I also haven't read the original (didn't even know there was one!) but i might pick it up if its as good as this one :D

    great review!

    - juhins

  2. I am just about halfway through and I kept thinking I'd forgotten her name didn't realise we didnt know her name until you just mentioned it :)

  3. Thanks Maji I'm glad you enjoyed being creeped out too!

    Kate it's so bizarre isn't it not knowing her name, I almost didn't realise until pretty much near the end. I think I was so engrossed in the story to notice.

  4. Wow... the second stunning review of this book. Looks like I'll be checking it out!!

  5. It's been so long since I've read Rebecca that I hardly remember it, so this story would probably be completely new to me. I like how this one keeps you guessing till the end.

    Awesome review!

  6. This one sounds great, I've never heard of it until now! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  7. Reading this at the moment and I'm completely hooked. I haven't read Rebecca either but I have seen the movie so I know the basics. I can't get enough. It's thoroughly creepy and the mystery surrounding Becca is intriguing. I want more!



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