New Girl by Paige Harbison
Genre: YA Mystery
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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.
Plot: I liked the plot! It was mysterious and creepy. What happened to Becca? Why is everyone so crazy for her? And why is everyone so crazy to New Girl? Though there were a lot of petty problems it all fit together well.
Pacing: The pacing was decent. It wasn't particularly fast-paced, but there was always something going on to keep me interested and turning the pages.
Writing: The writing wasn't that impressive. It was actually pretty mediocre, but I feel like the concise style contributes to the mystery and creepiness of the book.
"...and they did it again." (ARC, pg. 61)
That was them having sex. I don't want an explicit description, believe me. I know this is YA, but there was not even feeling behind it. Just, "they did it again."
Romance: There wasn't much of a romance. For Becca, it was mostly just sex. And for New Girl, well, I didn't understand her obsession with Max. He just led her on and was like, "I can't be with you." And gave her BS excuses. However, I did LOVE how things ended between them.
Main Character: I could easily relate to her. She lived in the same place her entire life with the same people, she didn't know how to be the New Girl, and her circumstances were a lot more difficult than most. But I did not like her. She made herself miserable for stupid reasons. She could have easily left the school, but she didn't want to show that people were right about how she was nothing like Becca. Uhm....would you rather be miserable and have people trash talk you all the time, or be happy surrounded by people that love you and know that somewhere there are people you are never going to see again talking crap and slowly forgetting you? I also hated how she didn't really defend herself. I mean, I know that she snapped a few times, but she just sat there and let people tell her that she was TRYING to be Becca. But despite it all, she was tough. She kept her head up. She graduated and went to the college that she wanted. And that, at least, I can respect.
Secondary characters: OH MY GOD. They were crazy. With the exception of Blake and Johnny, every single one of them was crazy. And completely smackable. I mean, they all had issues. They kept going on and on about how hard the New Girl tried to be like Becca, and that no matter how hard she tried, she'd never be like Becca. They kept saying that Max and Becca were madly in love and that New Girl should stay away from her. And that if Johnny liked her, it was just because of this creepy thing he had with new girls. CRAZY. Psychotic.
Ending: It was a little predictable and didn't have that WOW effect on me, but it was still good. Things were tied up nicely, but not flawlessly.
So even though this book didn't completely sweep me off my feet, I still enjoyed it. Enough to read it in 2 sittings, which is rare for me with ebooks. If you like creepy, this is a book great for you. If you're looking for a story that will keep you engaged and make you fly through the pages, I definitely recommend this book! New Girl was an enthralling read.