New Girl – Paige Harbison

“The panoramic view outside the windows of the bus showed a wolrd that wasn’t mine. It was chilly in early September and the tress were pine, not palm.
I grew up in St. Augustine, Florida. My life so far had been made up of conversations over noisy fans, Shrieking at the sight of pony-sized bugs in the shower, and coming home from the beach to find an alarmingly sunburned reflection waiting for me in the mirror.”
Last year at Manderly Academy Becca normandy went missing. No-one knows what happened, where she went or if she’s coming back. The school over her place to a new girl and when she starts life gets strange for her. The Manderley students all look at her as if she’s scum for taking Becca’s place. Becca was the Queen Bee and no-one can match up to her, so its best not to try. However the new girls eye catches Max, Becca’s boyfriend, and she can’t help but fall for him. 

***
New Girl is a modern day re-telling of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Whilst I haven’t read the original I had heard the re-telling was very unique and very subtle. I had wanted to give it a try but I was being quite reserved as I had heard mixed things. I should have put my reservations aside though as I really enjoyed the book and found myself skipping forward just to know what happens next!! 
I love split perspective books and I loved the way New Girl used that but made it a little different. You get bits about the ‘New Girl’ from her point of view then alternating paragraphs about Becca but told from in a third person narration. I really liked this because it made you view Becca as others did but with some personal bits too and made me hate her even more. It also helped differentiate the two characters as “New Girl’ was always the narrator in her chapters. You don’t find out ‘New Girls’ name until like the last page which I found intriguing but annoying at the same time, though it added to how much of an awful experience it all was for her as everyone compared her to Becca and never used her name.

I loved ‘New Girl’ she annoyed me a bit at the beginning but I really grew to love her and feel for her and want to be her friend. I adored Blake because Blake seemed to be able to see through Becca even before New Girl turned up and she was so kind and a friend to New Girl when she needed one most. Julia and MAdison were like Siamese twins. I swear, they were joined at the hip and the kind of girls I really cant stand. I wanted them to get over Becca and stop treating the New Girl like she was temporary. The guys were great. I really enjoyed getting to know both Max and Johnny through the book and I don’t blame either one of them for their actions. I think Max could have done more to defuse the situation in the Becca sections of the book but I adored him and New Girls relationship and could tell what he was really like. Dana was a very odd character and I really thought she could do with some professional help, she should not have been at that school. but I think she was the most effected by Becca and thats why she was the way she was
Becca deserves her own section in this review. She’s a bitch, she uses people and how mean she was to Dana, omg! I couldn’t believe how awful she was, how manipulative and what you learn about her past, thats just awful. I couldn’t imagine knowing anyone like Becca Normandy and I really hope I never do. I know what its like to be manipulated, for someone like her (but not on the same scale) to be a part of your life and its not nice. I really wanted to rip the pages out of the book when her name was mentioned! 
I had to suspend my disbelief in a couple of places in this book, the main thing that didn’t sit well was the room that New Girl and Dana shared. I honestly didn’t believe that the school would have given Becca’s space up to someone new without emptying her room. There’s like health and safety issues with just the fact that Becca’s bedsheets were still on the bed when New Girl turned up… I really didn’t believe that that would happen. But it did make for some interesting developments between Dana and New Girls relationship! 
This book was really good other than that though. I really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down because I had to find out what happened to Becca, if she was still around, where she’d gone and why etc. I would recommend it but you have to be able to put up with horrendously bitchy and awful characters as Becca really is one!! 
New Girl was published on May 4th by MiraInk. My copy was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
  • I really enjoyed this book though like you some bits seemed unrealistic to me.

  • I really enjoyed this one as well! Had a few niggles with some of it, but was really surprised at how much I ended up liking it!

  • Rebecca is one of my all time favourite books so I’m a little bit fascinated by a modern day re-telling.
    This does sound slightly genius, actually. I’m intrigued to see if they change the ending from the original, though.
    Thanks for the review – I’m really excited now!

  • This book sounds great. Must get it. x

  • I enjoyed Here lies Bridget, and I really want to read Rebecca. Seems like I should get hold of this. Great review!