Thursday, 19 January 2012

#50 Book Review: New Girl [ARC]

New Girl [ARC]
Release Date: January 31st 2012
Author: Paige Harbison
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy: Amazon & The Book Depository
More Info: Goodreads

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.

My review:

I've always loved covers set in underwater. I absolutely adore the model in the cover and how the picture is taken underwater with the girl's hair and dress floating! So gorgeous!
4 Forget-me-not flowers for the cover!

What if you are the new girl in a school and you are actually a 'replacement' of someone who has gone missing?

New Girl is a story of teenage private school life as a new girl tries to adapt with her new school and new surrounding. What she never knew was that she became a replacement of the girl who went missing, Becca. Becca was a star and everyone adored her. This includes Max and Johnny, two most popular guys in the school who are also bestfriends. The story goes on with the new girl trying to deal with her school life, as she falls for Max and how everyone always talked about Becca every single day. 

I never actually thought I was going to enjoy this book! I loved how this story was told from this 'new girl's' POV without us readers actually knowing her real name. I thought it would be strange, reading a story where you don't actually know the main character's name. But, the way Harbison wrote this story without actually using the 'new girl's' name did not feel weird at all. It felt normal and just like any other story. Besides reading from the 'new girl's' POV, we also get to read from Becca's POV which leads to the reason why she went missing and how. The story's plot was very unpredictable and there were mature scenes in the book, giving a better insight of the teenage life in Manderly Academy. As I read the book, I was really curious if Harbison might actually decide to mention this 'new girl's' name. When she did, it was such a perfect timing and this 'new girl's' name actually sounds really beautiful when you read it for the first and last time in the book!

New Girl, New Girl, New Girl, this term keeps on popping in the story and I feel a bit sad for the new girl because the other characters never actually bothered to ask what her name is in the beginning of the book. The students in the school see her as a replacement of Becca and occasionally compares her to Becca. Meanwhile, Becca is a very annoying character I didn't quite like. She is an arrogant character who pretty much only cares about herself and wanted the two boys for herself. But I really enjoyed reading from her side of the story because I really wanted to know what happened to her during her school life and the reason behind her disappearance. The boys: Max and Johnny? I didn't really like them but I did enjoy reading about them too. Max's behaviour was a bit annoying. One day, he shows great interest with the new girl, but the next day, he acted as if he is not interested. During the end though, I came to like him. I also didn't like Dana, Becca's friend because she really treated the New Girl badly and became a bit too obsessed with Becca. She keeps on saying that Becca is still alive and even made shirts to promote about finding Becca. I think the characters are written very well because I can actually feel emotions for each and everyone of them, like how I don't like this character but I like this character, etc. Usually, I don't really have strong emotions for side characters in a book but Harbison really brings out each character in the book that I can't resist developing different emotions for each of them such.

New Girl is a story of identity and a school life. It is filled with suspense and also mystery as you try to unravel the secret behind the disappearance of Becca while a new girl tries to fit in the new school. It is a dark story you'll enjoy, particularly if you love reading books about teenagers and their school life. I recommend this book to older YA readers as there are mature scenes involved within the book. It was an enjoyable read and my first Harbison's novel!

Are you curious of the New Girl's true name? Read the book and find out! ;)

Thank you to Harlequin Australia and Harlequin (via NetGalley) for the review copy!

4 Forget-me-not flowers for New Girl!

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