Sunday, 2 September 2012

New Girl by Paige Harbison

Goodreads Summary : A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

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.

My Rating : 3.5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : When I was in eighth grade I first read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, where a orphan young girl fall in love with a broken rich widower and married him, then brought to a Manson in Manderly, where she was haunted by the memory of the first wife and the house keeper, who was fondly devoted to the first wife, Rebecca couldn’t stand presence of this new bride and started to make her life worst than hell. She was started being compared to Rebecca, who went missing and assumed to be dead. I was stunt by the mystery at each pages of Rebecca, so my expectation was high for new Girl. Now when I read it, I am confused.
The story was told from the perspective of both Becca, the girl went missing months ago from, prestigious Manderly Academy, and The New Girl who was given Becca’s vacant position at school, even her room, her locker, worst she started to fall for Max, Becca’s boyfriend. It actually helps to create the dramatic environment, as the readers get to know Becca’s story from third person POV and the unnamed New Girl from fist person POV.
Other than the concept, I liked how few things remain unchanged as of the original one, like the Manderly Manson became Manderly Academy, Maximilian de Winter became Max Holloway, and the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers turned into best friend Dana.
Actually New Girl is one of the most successful and original retelling of this year, although I don’t think it quite achieved the level of Daphne du Maurier, but Paige Harbison is definitely one of the talented author who has skillfully brought the whole story into modern teen lit aspect without changing the original tune. The new Girl struggled with her identity as she was living in shadow of previous queen bee and being compared with her in her every movement. With her growing insecurity of being throw out school as well as Max’s heart on Becca’s return, was well portrayed, but I think the New Girl could have been given a little more stronger personality.
Becca was a very complicated character who loved to live in limelight, snatching attention of everyone, even manipulating others for her own social image and needs. She had no idea what she wants from her life and slowly she drifted away in her own darkness.
The book progressed in fast pace, as mystery builds around Becca’s sudden disappearance, and the prime suspect was Max, the who was officially with Becca, also Jonny the boy with whom Becca has secret relationship. The conclusion was well planned and well executed.
The last line is New Girl was a very interesting read for me, and I enjoyed it. I will definitely recommend the book for those who loves both teen drama and suspense.

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  1. GReat review! never read any of these Daphne du Maurier books but they sound interesting.
    new follower!