Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

Read (February 4 - 5, 2012)
Book: New Girl by Paige Harbison
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Number of Pages: 304
Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley

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. - (source)
“We come into the world the furthest thing from alone. We come into the world with everyone fawning over us, and helping us. That's just how it is when we die. I don't know what's different. Maybe it's the fact that when you look at someone's dead body you see their entire live flattened, with an end point.” - taken from an uncorrected ARC 
I want to say this before this review turn into a rant. Reading New Girl was not a very enjoyable experience. By the time I was finished reading, I have a headache and I'm doing this squinty-eye thing I always do when I'm really irritated. That might sound harsh, but GAH reading this was very frustrating. 

Never once did I ever connect with the protagonist, which I will call New Girl, because, her name I think was mentioned only once and that was on the last pages of the book. I didn't even know why that's the case. 

See, New Girl wants to attend a boarding school much like in the Harry Potter series. She got in, only to find out she didn't really want to leave her friends and family and study in a school so far from home. But she went anyway and all hell break loose after that. The students were cold to her and her roomate, Dana was really nasty. She have no idea why, only to find out she was the replacement of a really popular girl named Becca, who had gone missing for quite some time.

New Girl was told in alternating voices by the New Girl and Becca. And as the story progresses, I learned more about Becca. She was an attention-hoarder, scheming, evil, and you know, the one that rhymes with beach. Yeah, that. Mostly, she's the reason why I really had a hard time with this book. But knowing more about her, I discovered she was extremely lonely and has this intense need to prove herself. To show them her worth. That's why she crave attention, I guess. Dana was really hard to take in as well. My first thought about her was she was mental and beyond repair. But she has problems about guilt that has to do with Becca's disappearance. And to cope, she has to project all her pent-up anger to New Girl. What do we call that in class? Oh yes, projection.  

Basically, the conversations went like this:
Everybody: *whispers and stares* Why are you here?
New Girl: What is everyone's problem?
E: We know you're not the reason why Becca's not here anymore. But you have to stop acting like her. Dressing like her. Because never in a million years will you replace her. So, just stop. B**ch!
NG: I'm not trying to be her. I'm just me. *huddles in the corner and cry*
E: (not listening) Becca blah blah blah. Becca is this. Becca is that. Blah. Becca!
NG: I don't know what you're talking about.
E: You're stealing everything from her. YOU NO TOUCH BECCA's PROPERTIES!!
NG: OK. I'll stay away. I understand.
E: Good.
NG: *talks with Becca's boy toys*
E: *whispers and stares* then ERUPT.. expletiveeee

Oh the drama! Goodness, it was insufferable. Harbison did well in creating this mean and a little psychotic Becca but I think she did it so well, it got really hard for me to connect with her. New Girl, on the other hand doesn't have any backbone. If people treat me like that, I'll sure tell them to back-off and find another person to bully.

I think what kept me from putting this down and marking it as DNF, is the intrigue factor. I just have to know more although the hate emanating within the pages of the book was extremely cringe-worthy. The love aspect was pretty infuriating, too.

With that I can still say I'm speechless about a lot of things. I could talk about the issues tackled here. Some were glossed over, some were really brought out into the open.  But I wouldn't though because I think some were too much for me. But I do believe it's a subjective feeling so I think you have to find that out for yourself.I thought I'd know more about the characters and after revelations after revelations it did happen but it was not enough. There's not a lot of closure as well and what we have to look forward to is the future. The effing future! And the lack of authority on this book was unbelievable. Knowing that it's a boarding school, it irked me that with all the partying, and jaw-boxing, and booze, and shouting and name-calling, the adults have no idea. If there's one thing I learned about New Girl, it is to think twice before sending my future kids to a boarding school. 

Pick this up, if you dare. And if you enjoy it, then bravo to you.

Cupid's Verdict:
2 Cupids
A copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley
in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Hah! I do the squinty-eye thing too when I'm irritated, but especially when I have a headache. Not a pretty sight, that. :)
    I've read quite a few reviews of this book so far and I don't believe either of them was positive. Yours just served to convince me further that I never want to read this.
    Maja @ The Nocturnal Library

  2. Too bad you didn't enjoy it more. The synopsis sounded good enough. I don't think I'll pick this up though.

  3. That's sad. The synopsis sounds good. And this book reminds me of Pretty Little Liars and I like Pretty Little Liars. Now, I am having second thoughts on this book if I'll read it or not.

  4. This sounds like a psychological read to me. And even though you didn't enjoy it, something about it still intrigues me. But I do not like a character without backbone. At the beginning it is one thing, but if it doesn't change it can ruin a good/great book. Thanks for the review!

  5. What's up to every body, it's my first раy a quick visit of thiѕ wеblog; thiѕ blοg consiѕtѕ of
    awesomе and in fact good stuff in ѕuppoгt οf rеaders.

    My wеb sitе; direct саr insurance (


Thank you for the comments. I really appreciate and lovelovelove them and will try to reply as fast as I can. Have a blog? Post your blog URL along with your comments below. I would love to visit.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...