Title: New Girl
Author: Paige Harbison
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
From the Publisher: A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
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.
I finished this one a few hours ago, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I never read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, so I can’t comment on any similarities – as such, the story was completely new to me.
I liked the main character – it startled me at the end when someone said her name. I hadn’t realized that for the entire book she’d only been called “New Girl.” I liked that she figured out pretty quickly that she was worth far more than what her classmates made her out to be. I liked that she stood up for herself.
I pretty much hated the rest of the characters, even Max. Yes, even Max.
They all treated her so horribly – as if she were trying to steal Becca’s identity – when all she was trying to do was live her own life. They were mean to her. They were petty.
I think that’s why the book left me so unsettled – I couldn’t find a redeeming quality in most of the characters I met. Max managed to redeem himself – somewhat – but no one else did.
While I didn’t care for the characters so much, I can’t deny that the writing was high quality. If Harbison hadn’t written such descriptive characters, I wouldn’t have ended up feeling the way I did – and I wouldn’t have been so eager to find out what happened to Becca and how things would end up for everyone.