Expected publication: January 31st 2012 by HarlequinTeen
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.
To be honest, I feel like New Girl drags on for thousands of pages. It's really only about 300 pages, but everything seems to move so slowly that I wanted to take my laptop and throw it at something. (It was an e-ARC, hence the laptop-throwing.) There just wasn't a lot of stuff going on, and I got incredibly bored more than once.
The narrator, "New Girl," will mainly be called the MC in this review, since we don't learn her name until the last page. I don't understand why at all, but obviously there's some sort of reason for keeping it a secret, so . . .
The book switches off between the past and the present - the present, where "New Girl" is at Manderly, and the past, where Becca was at Manderly. I have to admit, I always wanted to skim the Becca chapters. Because even though that's where the true mystery is, Becca is so manipulative and annoying that I just wanted to get her chapters over with.
I wasn't really a fan of any of the other characters, either. Madison and Dana and other girls in the book are completely awful and obnoxious most of the time. And yes, I know they're going through something awful, and maybe I would be like that, too, but the way they treated the main character frustrated me to no ends. I can't help but wonder how the MC didn't crack and smack them all silly.
I'm still not sure how I feel about Max. Max is an intriguing character, someone different from a lot of YA male characters. But he let himself be manipulated by Becca so easily, and he was so hesitant of starting any sort of relation ship with the MC that he almost seems like a coward. Of course, Max also surprised me more than once.
Admittedly, the MC handles the situation she's in a lot better than I would have. She keeps a cool head most of the time, and while I didn't love her, I didn't have any problems with her, either.
I think a huge problem I might have had with this book is that the mystery kind of unfolds itself. There's not a lot of investigating or clues that keep you guessing on the edge of your seat, so to speak. One chapter you don't know the answer, and the next you do.
However, New Girl definitely gives off the creepy and mysterious vibe I think it's meant to. Everything seems to have a sinister feel to it, and I spent a lot of time being suspicious of pretty much everyone.
Overall: While New Girl was definitely mysterious and unlike a lot of things I've read, it just didn't hold my interest because of the way the characters are portrayed and the slow pace. 2 stars.