Monday, April 16, 2012

New Girl by Paige Harbison

I read a review about this book which prompted me to request it from NetGalley. I’m so glad I did. New Girl is a re-telling of Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. I have never read Rebecca nor was I familiar with the story so I thought it would be a fun way to discover a classic and I would have no pre-conceived ideas of how the plot should go. The other thing I knew about the book was there was a twist at the ending. I had expected more of a twist than I got. That’s not to say it was a bad ending or twist but my overactive imagination was sure there was something so unexpected going to happen like the “New Girl” turned out to be Rebecca and everyone was playing along with her fantasy but it was nothing like that. The only twist is that you find out what really happened to Rebecca and it’s not that much of a twist. The story was great. I could not put the book down. I devoured it in hours (which always leaves me unsatisfied because it’s over). The main character’s name is not revealed until the last page or so which makes describing the book a little tricky. The “new girl” is accepted to Manderley, a private boarding school in New Hampshire. She has spent her whole life in a small town in Florida and is stunned to learn she will be spending her senior year at a boarding school she had been interested in years prior. She’s not that excited to go. She gets to the school to find that she is “replacing” Becca who mysteriously disappeared at the end of the last school year. The book flips between the new girl’s story and Becca’s. There’s not a lot of “plot” in this book but it’s an interesting picture into the life of the New Girl. I enjoyed her journey through her senior year. It wasn’t easy and yet her character remained believable. The circumstances remained believable. Sometimes it’s nice to just experience someone else’s life and that’s what New Girl really is. She’s not perfect but she’s not overly flawed, just human. She’s in a bad situation but doesn’t let that stop her from succeeding. It was nice to see her struggle and the awkwardness she felt as she changed. I think it’s a great book for young women to read. It’s probably too “girly” for boys but it’s still a great story to experience.

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