I hadn’t wanted to go, but my parents were so excited…. So here I am, the new girl at Manderley, a true fish out of water. But mine’s not the name on everyone’s lips. Oh, no.
It’s Becca Normandy they can’t stop talking about. Perfect, beautiful Becca. She went missing at the end of last year, leaving a spot open at Manderley—the spot that I got. And everyone acts like it’s my fault that infallible, beloved Becca is gone and has been replaced by not perfect, completely fallible, unknown Me.
Then, there’s the name on my lips—Max Holloway. Becca’s ex. The one boy I should avoid, but can’t. Thing is, it seems like he wants me, too. But the memory of Becca is always between us. And as much as I’m starting to like it at Manderley, I can’t help but think she’s out there, somewhere, watching me take her place.
Waiting to take it back.
Let me first just say, I’ve never read Rebecca. New Girl is a retelling/modernization of it. I’m honestly not sure how much it pulls from the original, so I’m not going to compare them. From what I gather though, they are completely different books with the same basic storyline. *For the sake of the review I’m going to refer to the main character as NG, her real name isn’t revealed until the very end.*
Now that I have that out of the way, before I picked New Girl up, several people were saying negative things about it. I was kind of hesitant to pick it up, I’m swamped with books and reviews that NEED done right away so I figured I could do so at a later date. Then I decided because I loved Harbison’s first book Here Lies Bridget, I would go ahead and tackle it. I am so happy I didn’t wait.
NG has finally gotten into the boarding school of her childhood dreams, but she no longer really wants to go there. She’s happy with her life, she has a great home, family, and loves her friends. Plus who really would want to go to a boarding school their senior year of high school?!?
I loved the character, NG. She’s your basic typical teenage girl. She’s unhappy about the situation, but has decided to make the best of it. I’d probably whine a bit too if I was in her situation. This usually turns me off, but in NG’s case I felt it went along with the her personality. Yes, she probably should’ve just been honest with her parents in the first place. Instead she bit her tongue and feigned that she was happy. I, personally, would’ve done the same exact thing at her age. I didn’t like to cause any sort of unnecessary drama. (I’m still that way today, but am a bit more outspoken than I used to be.)
Then there is Becca, the other main character of New Girl. I’m fascinated by her. I would love to read something more in depth about her BEFORE she went to Manderley. She’s slightly crazy and, in my opinion, fun.
The students at the school bothered me a bit. I get they missed Becca, she had started school there and then completely changed their entire outlook on life. They loved her. What bugged me was their lack of acceptance of NG. I understand why, but at the same time…grrr! Oh, Max, I liked him, really. I just wanted to slap him for that very reason.
One of the major complaints I’ve seen that I really would like to address is the amount of sex, drinking, and drugs…Yes, they take place in the book. Does every student in the world have sex, drink, or do drugs while in high school? No. But let’s face it, many do. We don’t know that EVERY student at this school was partaking, in fact, it’s kind of obvious to me that they weren’t. New Girl was about the students that WERE. There is a crowd like that in every school, it’s just how it is. Let’s face it, there was nothing in New Girl that teens aren’t already exposed to.
Is New Girl going to be for everyone? No, but I have to say I really enjoyed it.
I received New Girl from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.