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31 January 2012

Review: New Girl

New Girl
New Girl by Paige Harbison is a modern retelling of the book, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  I've tried to read Rebecca several times in the past, but could not get in to it.  But, I really liked the idea of New Girl, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  I'm really glad I did!

Here is the summary from 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...

I liked that the book was told in both Becca's point of view in flashbacks and New Girl's in the present.  It kind of threw me at first, but had I been paying attention to the chapter titles, I would have seen that they are clearnly labled as "Becca" and "Me". 

Reading the book, I felt so bad for the main character---honestly, I called her New Girl in my head, I don't think she gave her name more than twice in the book.  It started at the beginning---she felt pushed into Manderly by her parents, she gets there and most everybody hates her because she isn't Becca, she gets into a fight with her best friend, but she rises above it.  She doesn't give up, she gets stronger from the experience and realizes that she doesn't have to stay in her small little world, that she is able to branch out, and that branching out may be for the best.

I don't know why she wasn't named, but my thought on it was that she didn't have her own identity, and wasn't strong enough with that identity, until the very end.  She was in Becca's shadow the entire book, until she realized that she was different and stronger and thats when Max said her name.

Since I had never been able to finish Rebecca, I was wary of Max the entire time.  I also thought that Dana, the roommate, was going to attack New Girl.  Johnny kind of gave me the creeps.  But, as you delve deeper into the book, you realize that they are all just Becca's pawns. 

I also went to the library and checked out Rebecca in hopes that since I now have a better understanding, I can finally (FINALLY) finish it! 

Please note:  I downloaded this book for free via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

3 comments:

  1. New Girl was an interesting read, although it was a bit confusing for me too. I ended up having lots of questions afterward! But I enjoyed it.

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  2. I'm reading really mixed reviews on this one. It's funny that this book makes you want to finish Rebecca. It makes me want to read Rebecca before I try New Girl. Not sure.

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  3. I found all the drama made for an interesting read.
    Great review.
    Feel free to link your review in the linky on my New Girl Review.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

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Gold stars given to good comments.