New Girl by Paige Harbison

New Girl by Paige Harbison

Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier.

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.

When I heard that New Girl was a retelling of Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier, I knew I had to give this one a try. I haven't managed to read Rebecca yet, but my aunt and mom keep telling me to, and I knew that if I liked New Girl, I would be definitely willing to give it a try. Well, I just bought Rebecca so guess what? I loved this book.
The atmosphere which Paige Harbison created during this novel was intense. There was suspense and doubt at every corner. She'd built up the characters so well, created Manderly Academy just like the original Manderly (from what I've read so far in Rebecca). I love how this one though, is much more suited to a younger audience. Obviously, this is a modern re-telling, but the way in which it's told still holds the bits of the classic story.

The story alternates between two perspectives: Becca and "Me". We don't know the name of the main character, as she is only regarded as "New Girl" throughout the novel until the very end, and I thought this was interesting, but really held no significance. I was kind of hoping for some kind of shock or jolt that when her name was given to us, something new would be revealed. This wasn't the case for me unfortunately as I found to real revelation with the use of her real name.
As for change in perspectives, I thought it worked extremely well. Becca's perspective is in the past and our narrator's is in the present. I found myself alternating between the two, loving every moment and soaking up every detail as the mystery unfolded and builds up to a conclusion that blew me away.

New Girl was amazing. I loved it. It was brilliant, creepy and mysterious– the perfect blend for a dark contemporary. I fell in love with the story, and found myself wishing it hadn't ended I haven't read Harbison's other book, Here Lies Bridget, but it sounds just as good. Whether you're a fan of gothic novels or not, this one will be the one that will captivate you from start to finish. I enjoyed it and I'm pretty sure you would too!

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  1. I will have to look into this bc one of my friends recommended Rebecca ages ago. Nice review

  2. I think i should try this, too. I loved Rebecca; it was dark and mysterious, with beautiful descriptions and just the right amount of creepy.

  3. Sounds great! Look forward to reading...

  4. Sounds interesting... the cover with the girl underwater is prettier!

  5. I'm actually reading Rebecca too right now. I like how this is like a modern re-telling especially as it's never been done before.
    The reason the New Girl or Me is called that is because in Rebecca, the narrator/heroine never reveals her name. I'm about 100 pages in and all I know is that she's an orphan and under 21...

  6. I'm excited for this one. It sounds so good and I love the original story so I'm sure this one will be great too!


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