|Read from February 4 to|
February 5, 2012
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Number of Pages: 304
Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary
Excerpt: "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."
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 connected 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 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.
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 where too much for me. But I do believe it's a subjective feeling so I think you have to find that out 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, brava to you.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley.