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 don't really know where to start with this book, I got through it quickly and enjoyed it enough but I just didn't love it, but even though I finished reading it days ago I still can't get it out of my head, so it really did grip me.
Having read and loved Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, which New Girl is largely based on it would be very difficult for a retelling of it to impress me but I had to read this book. Obviously, nobody could compete with Du Maurier's fantastic writing but I loved the way that Harbison managed to get into two different characters and develop both of their personalities so differently.
I found the story was very easy to follow, despite being set in two timescales, which would usually throw me off. I was gripped by the story line which was adapted so well to a boarding school setting and loved to see two characters lives unfolding.
The characters were a let-down for me, the only characters that I liked were Dana because she was such a deep, intense character and Max, and even he annoyed me at times (like in Becca's storyline). Becca was a cliche attention seeker and I really disliked her, but at the same time, looking back she's a character that a deep part of me can relate to, so my dislike may be a personal issue rather than due to the development. The other character, who is referred to only as 'New Girl' until the end of the novel was too spineless for me and I wish she'd stuck up for herself a little.
The pacing was fantastic, I was actually gripped from the start to the fisnih and read it withing about three or four hours.
Overall, an pretty good read that gripped me from start to end. The storyline and pacing were absolutely amazing but unfortunately the characters really disapointed me so I'm giving this book a pretty average grade.
Overall rating: C
Released 31st January 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Book received as an eGalley via Netgalley