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Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

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Through the Looking Glass: Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

Friday, February 10, 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

New GirlNew Girl by: Paige Harbison
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Page Count: 304
Format: e-ARC (Thanks NetGalley!)
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Challenge: 2012 YA Contemporary Challenge, 2012 YA Standalone Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

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:

When I picked  up this book, I truly had no idea how intense it would be. Filled with lust, envy, mystery, and jealousy, this book sucked me into its web of drama at Manderley Academy.

First of all, let me clarify that this book takes place mostly at a boarding school in New Hampshire. Before even reading the full synopsis, I knew that this would be a great book. Boarding schools always provide a certain inexplicable quality to books that I just can't get enough of.

The perspective switched between Becca and New Girl, Becca's being a year before New Girl's present year at Manderley. I loved how both girls were telling what happened to them at the same time of year. For instance, if New Girl was telling about a dance, so was Becca, only a year before. Before she went missing.

The mystery behind Becca's disappearance I found very intriguing. She had a terrible manipulative and impersonal attitude, but behind her shell was a person more complex than any one of her worshippers at Manderley ever could have imagined. She just got fed too much of popularity and it gained control over her actions. I was constantly wondering if she went missing on purpose to attract more popularity or if someone took her or worse.

New Girl was a frustrating read, but in the best way. The New Girl was always presumed by her peers to be trying to take Becca's place and be exactly like her. That wasn't her intention at all, of course, but people never showed any sign of knowing it. Especially Dana. She was bipolar or something was not right in her head. Not only did she blame New Girl incessantly for Becca's disappearance, she was always chanting songs in her sleep and furiously insisting that Becca was still out there.

From the beginning, I knew that Dana knew more than she was letting on. More than anything, this book was unpredictable. So much so, that I didn't dare predict what was to happen. There were new surprises around every corner and suspense galore!

Official Rating:
Four and a half Un-Birthday Cakes!

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