Review: New Girl

New Girl by Paige Harbison
Release Date ~ January 31, 2012
ISBN13: 9780373210428
E-galley received from publisher via Net Galley

Goodreads Synopsis:
It's hard to be the new girl--especially when she's filling the spot at an exclusive boarding school that was formerly held by perfect Becca, the girl everyone loved. Becca--the girl who disappeared, and who may or may not be really gone. Original.

New Girl caught my eye from it's psychological thriller premise, a genre I don't read nearly enough of (not because of a lack of interest, but there really isn't that much out there) mixed in with some mystery.

I had my worries that the book wouldn't live up to my expectations for it, since these seem to be so tricky to write well but overall I was extremely satisfied and impressed with this retelling of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (which I have yet to read but I'm interested in now)!

  1. Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars:
    Wayyyy back when PLL first came out, I was on that bandwagon. I loved everything about the mystery of that series and just how intense it was! But gradually, after the books just kept coming out and the twists (and bodies) continued to pile up... well, I got a little bit tired of it. So New Girl is the ideal book for those of who loved the mystery of a missing girl, the drama of those left behind to pick up the pieces, and potential danger lurking around every dark, sketchy corner...
  2. A fantastic ambience:
    The writing by Paige Harbison is truly effective at creating a very creepy and eerie atmosphere; and that was probably what made this book shine so much on its own. So many weird, curious things start happening to the new girl and I didn't want to put the book down just because I had to know what had actually happened to Becca!
As more of the story was uncovered, I really loved getting to find out what exactly transpired between the various characters and seeing all the different sides of them... Becca is definitely one character that you're supposed to dislike as a reader. But some of the others (like Max and Johnny) I ended up feeling a little torn over; I wasn't entirely sure what to make of them and I think I was supposed to like them more than I did (they kinda seemed like jerks to be honest).

And I honestly loved the majority of the book... until the ending. The ending felt entirely different from the rest of the book, and had a very disjointed feel to it. It came across as overly moralistic and preachy even, and didn't seem to conclude logically from the rest of the story we were given. That ended up being my greatest disappointment, because I was so unsure of what to make of it. But it still wasn't as disappointing as I feared (and could have been); and I was happy to see things tied up nicely. Plus, it was a fairly unexpected surprise but one that was realistic and appropriate to the plot.

There were a few things about the story that didn't appear to be relevant after reading it (such as why we never hear the main character's name until the end of the story; I'm still not clear on the reasoning behind that) and even some of the writing seemed like it jumped around a bit too much. Overall though, I have to say that I REALLY enjoyed this one and think it's a great one to add some zest to your reading list.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Jesse said...

I completely agree with all of your points. I was so disappointed with the ending. I say in my review that it felt like the easy way out. I was also expecting more of not knowing New Girl's name... in fact, I spent about 5 minutes after finishing trying to find some connection, some detail I'd forgotten.

Anyway, here is my review: http://elle-lit.blogspot.com/2012/02/book-review-new-girl-by-paige-harbison.html

The Flashlight Reader said...

Did you know this is a retelling of a British classic by Daphe Du Maurier called Rebecca? =) That's one of the main reasons for not knowing the MC's name... same in the original book.

I wasn't thrilled with this ending at all. It was different from the original book's ending, and not nearly as effective. You should read the original... the ending is a shocker! Plus, it's fun to find all the similarities between the two.

Anna @ Literary Exploration said...

I really really wish I had liked this one as much as everyone else seemed to. It was just too much for me. The swearing and sex were way over the top, and the ending was LAME! Lol!

Anna @ Literary Exploration

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