There has been an opening at Manderly Academy and “New Girl’s” parent get it for her as a surprise. Up until recently New Girl wanted to attend Manderly but now she doesn’t want to leave her home in Florida and go all the way up to New Hampshire. But when she first enters the door she’s viewed as Becca’s copycat. Becca Normandy went missing at the end of the previous year and that’s where the opening came from. The two girls, Becca and New Girl, have similar apprences but opposite personalities. Becca was the new girl the previous year. As soon as she arrives everyone likes her and the things she gets people to do leave a lasting mark and traditions at Manderly. Becca is confident and manipulative. She always get what she wants. New Girl is the opposite, she is self conscious and does what others want.
Everyone of Paige harbison’s charaters in New Girl are memorable. They all have flaws and at times and at points you don’t want to like them. Becca Normandy at first is only the mean girl, but that’s not all she is. The New Girl is shy and feels like she’s walking in Becca’s shadow but she stands up for herself. Max, Dana and all of the other minorish characters have many attributes. Her plotline is also intriguing and unique.
I couldn’t put this novel down. Paige Harbison’s writing is amazing and I can’t wait to read her other novel Here Lies Bridget.
So freaking cool! And not just because it was set in New Hampshire...because it's cold there. Punned! Anyway, with this book, I pronounce myself a Paige Harbison fan. Last year, I read her debut Here Lies Bridget and I liked it, but it wasn't too much out of the ordinary. This one, though, just blew me away.
Why? Well, I've always had a weakness for books based on other books. New Girl is based on Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca, which I have not yet read. Unfortunately, I had to look up a summary on Wikipedia, because I did not want to miss any references. Hopefully, I will forget about some of the plot twists before I try to read the book.
Anywho, based on my extensive knowledge of Rebecca (aka Wikipedia article), Harbison did a really amazing job modernizing this. The transitions she made in some of the characters, like turning Mrs. Danvers into Dana, Becca's roommate who refuses to let her go, is quite clever, as is the changing of the scene with the dress.
The story is told alternatingly between the New Girl's perspective in first person and Becca's perspective in third person. You might think that sounds clunky, but it really wasn't. This makes the fact that you never learn the New Girl's actual name but are so familiar with Becca's completely natural; I didn't even notice until partway through. Of course, I wanted to punch Becca in the face the whole time, but I really liked New Girl.
For those who like clever teen lit, you'll probably quite enjoy this. It's full of drama and told in an interesting way. I also suspect that people who love Rebecca and don't ordinarily read teen lit will, at the very least, get a kick out of New Girl.
Full of lust and mystery. A page turner, I must admit.
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!