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A Written Rhapsody: New Girl by Paige Harbison

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Girl by Paige Harbison

"Welcome to Manderley Academy 

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 And everyone acts like it's my fault that infallible, beloved Becca is gone and has been replaced by not perfect, completely fallible, unknown Me.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."

Like everyone has said, this is a retelling of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I'll be honest and say I'm totally not "with it" because I haven't heard of the story or author before this. I went in reading this story because the excerpt sounded interesting and let's face it, the cover is pretty cool.

The plot to the story was intriguing because as a reader I wanted to know more about Becca. It kept the mystery going and made me want to continue the story. New Girl only being known as that was a pretty smart idea, but it made it harder to feel like she'd be someone I could know. By the end I was pretty tired of it and started disliking the idea.

The character of New Girl wasn't all that relatable to me just because I really disliked how she let people walk all over her without saying anything. I get that she was trying her best to fit in, but I still wouldn't let people treat me like crap. I did appreciate that she tried to make the best of her situation, I just think she could've gone about it a little better. I don't really get why everyone thought she was trying to be Becca since she obviously didn't know her. Most of the secondary characters made me want to hit them. I'm thinking that was done on purpose, so kudos to Harbison on that aspect. I wanted more Becca because though she was a super crappy person in her life, she made things interesting for me. It also made me question why everyone thought she was so great once more stuff came out about her.

After finishing the book, I think it was an interesting take but nothing that would stay with me. It wasn't something that kept me addicted to reading it, but the mystery of the story definitely kept me coming back to complete it. I just didn't feel fulfilled with the characters. I hoped the ending was a bit better, but it did wrap things up decently well. If you're looking for a mysterious read I'd say to pick this up, but don't expect to be wowed through the development of characters.

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At February 13, 2012 at 4:33 PM , Anonymous Amanda @ Letters Inside Out said...

I think I was the rare exception..I didn't even realize she was nameless until towards the end. :x I knew she was going to be...but I didn't REALIZE it. LOL

You were supposed to loooveeee it. :P

At February 13, 2012 at 4:34 PM , Anonymous Myshelfconfessions said...

It sounds like you enjoyed the book more than me. I think I would've liked it about as much as you did, except that Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is one of my favorite books.. and I couldn't get over the comparisons.. not that I thought they should be exactly the same, but I expected the same element of suspense to translate over - since it's what Rebecca is so famous for.. but New Girl was sadly lacking in that..

I'm not sure if you'd like Rebecca or not, I thought it had a lot more suspense than New Girl and captivated me a lot more.

Good review, definitely portrays your "meh" feeling :)

April @ My Shelf Confessions

At February 13, 2012 at 7:31 PM , Anonymous Preet @ A Written Rhapsody said...

It probably helped that I didn't have something to compare it to. I kind of want to give Rebecca a chance now because I disliked the last so much.

At February 13, 2012 at 7:33 PM , Anonymous Preet @ A Written Rhapsody said...

It's odd, I'd normally like the whole nameless idea for a book! I think the book just annoyed me enough to dislike it, lol.

Sorry, please forgive me.

At February 14, 2012 at 5:22 PM , Anonymous rogier said...

Good review/sad it was meh for you
i quite liked it

At February 14, 2012 at 8:09 PM , Anonymous Myneuroticbookaffair said...

I have my review written up not posted yet but gotta tell ya....I felt pretty much the same. Except I hated Becca with a passion she was such a, well you know.

At February 18, 2012 at 5:50 AM , Anonymous Amanda @ Letters Inside Out said...

Not acceptable. Sheez! :P


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