Monday, January 9, 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

New Girl
Published by: HarlequinTeen
By: Paige Harbison 
Release Date: January 31st 2012

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.

*An eGalley was provided to me by HarlequinTeen for review purposes*

I am a new comer to Paige Harbison. I had seen her first book Here Lies Bridget and immediately added it to my to be read list. Well, I have yet to read it, but now I am glad that I haven't gotten around to it yet. Why would I say such a thing you ask? I would say such a thing because New Girl completely enthralled me. I was initially drawn in by the cover and the tag line "What if nobody knew your name?" That and the blurb about it makes you go crazy with questions does it not?! Well readers, once I picked up New Girl I couldn't put it down. I skipped meals, walked around the house with my nook attached to my hand and quite a few times I had to hush the people around me. When I said this book enthralled me, I mean it. So get ready for some major love, because this book has earned a place in my heart.
New Girl. It isn't the most enticing name to be called when one is trying to make the adjustment to a new school. A school, mind you, that I never even wanted to be going to. Somehow a thirteen year olds fantasy to attend a boarding school [after reading Harry Potter of course] hadn't been forgotten in my parents mind. Now here I am in my senior year of high school attending Manderly Academy. Some would say the opening spot in their program was a blessing, but upon arriving it is very clear it was anything but. Thanks to the missing Becca Normandy no one is even the slightest bit welcoming. Especially not my roommate Dana, who is probably the most hostile person I have ever met. Soon it becomes clear that somehow, everyone thinks I am trying to replace the mysterious Becca.

Nothing like a blow to ones confidence when a whole school is against you and you did nothing more than arrive right? Oh, and the fact that the one person I may be crushing on is completely off limits, well according to the loyal followers of Becca anyway. How does someone find their place at a school that is full of questions that no one is willing to answer? More importantly why does everyone think I am out to replace Becca? There is only one thing I knew at this moment. I, the new girl, am in for one hell of a senior year.
This story is told in two point of views [New Girl and Becca] that intertwine throughout the whole book. It is a perfect way to help you reveal more and more about the mysterious Becca and answer buring questions that you have acquired throughout the chapter. Now, when a story is being told by two different people you are bound to have a 'good guy' and a 'bad guy' and this story is no different, though by the end your emotions are running so rampant you don't really know what to think anymore. This book was fueled by Paige Harbison's characters that I seriously fell in love with, even if some of them were a bit crazy [or a huge nut jobs]. There was always someone to love, or hate, or even someone to wish you could just slap the crap out of.

This book did an excellent job of showing the not so glamorous side of being the new girl. Sure, this situation was rare, but it was a great way to show how awful some teenagers become when they are latched on to someone as they all were to Becca. It also shows just how dangerous it can be to crave attention from everyone in order to make yourself feel better no matter what the costs. Whispers and rumors can cause even the most sane people to question themselves and I found myself yelling at the book at certain points, and was thrilled when new girl started finally standing up for herself against all of the crap everyone put her through. Because trust me, there was plenty of that.

This book was undoubtedly pure gold for me. I loved new girl [whose name you find out in the end] and her journey to really find herself and tackle the issues she faced. The writing dazzled me page after page as did the cast and as I flipped the last page I was left with the biggest sense of accomplishment and just plan ol' happiness. I had a huge smile which was a welcoming change after I wanted to punch a bunch of girls in the face half of the book. Like I said in the beginning, I am thrilled this book was the first one I read from Paige Harbison because is just struck me so hard. No doubt I will finally be getting Here Lies Bridget and looking out for anymore titles Paige Harbison throws my way. She is simply marvelous.

Five Stars
[Breathtakingly stunning]
**** **** **** **** 
Is this book on your to be read list? Have you read it yourself? Let me know what you think and don't forget to head over to goodreads an add it to your to be read list if it isn't there already [which it totally should be!!] 


  1. Ooooh, fab review! I read this one a couple of weeks ago, and also the first I've read of Harbison. The writing is just GORGEOUS. I swear it verges on poetry in some places. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews--so pleased to see a glowing on, and I'm so glad you loved it! xx

  2. I read this a few weeks ago, and didn't love it as much as you did, sadly! I hated that new girl would not stick up for herself, and that Becca was such an awful person. It was a really creepy book for me. Haha. My review is on my blog, if you're interested!

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl