Title: New Girl
Author: Paige Harbison
Release Date: January 31, 2012
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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.
The first thing about New Girl that captured my attention was the beautiful, yet eery cover. The girl appears to be floating just beneath the surface of the water, patiently waiting for something...to be saved, maybe? I don't really know, but I fell in love. Then I read the synopsis and knew I had to get my greedy paws on this book...immediately. I'm so glad I did.
I wasn't aware that this novel was a retelling of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, obviously meaning, I haven't read Rebecca. I have now added it to my TBR list and look forward to reading it soon.
The book starts with "New Girl" getting accepted to a boarding school her senior year. She had originally applied to Manderley several years before wasn't accepted. Her parents continued to submit applications every year and kept it a secret until one day when they received an acceptance letter. Even though it's her senior year and she's perfectly happy with her home and school life, "New Girl" decides to move from the warm Florida coast to chilly New Hampshire. She's determined to make the best at the school of her dreams...or nightmares as the case maybe.
What she doesn't know is she's taking the spot that once belonged to Becca, a girl who went missing at the end of the previous school year. Rumors and mystery surround Becca's disappearance and somehow "New Girl" is taking the brunt of them and can't seem to escape Becca's shadow--from the guys she crushes on to her roommate.
The story consistently built upon itself, each page bringing with it a deeper deception, heart-ache, and finally complete understanding. I enjoyed getting to see the story unfold from both Becca's and "New Girl's (NG)" eyes. As the reader, I became frustrated with the situation wanting to grab NG and tell her all the dirty little secrets. I also wanted to grab Dana, the roommate, and tell her to open her eyes, not everything is as it should be...but then everyone has their secrets...right?
I'd read half the book before I realized I didn't know the main characters name. I know this bothered some people, but it only added to the mystery and intrigue for me. My only problem with New Girl was the flipping between "New Girl's" point of view and Becca's point of view. Alternating POV's don't usually bother me but the fact that it was also a past/present POV shift made everything a little harder to understand.
When I finally read the line in which I find out NG's name...my heart wept with joy.
I highly recommend New Girl to lover's of suspense and romance.
*Thanks to NetGalley and HarlequinTeen for the chance to preview this uncorrected e-proof.