Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DNF: New Girl by Paige Harbison

publisher: Harlequin Teen

release date: January 31st, 2012

paperback, 304

intended audience: Young adult (recommend 15+)

no rating/did not finish

source: Netgalley

description: 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.

Why I didn't finish: I don't really consider this a review since I was unable to finish this one. New Girl was, quite simply, not my cup of tea. I don't read a lot of contemporary, so when I do, it's usually something I am incredibly excited about. That was the case with New Girl. I actually haven't read Rebecca but I do love Daphne Du Maurier's other work, so I was excited to hear this was a retelling of one of her stories.

This was really not what I expected. The story is told from two points of view: The "New Girl" and Becca. Becca has since gone missing from Manderly Academy and her mysterious disappearance opened up a spot for "New Girl". Now one of the main gimmicks of the story is that the New Girl's name is never revealed until the very end---I think it sort of speaks volumes about how little I cared about the character that I literally never even noticed that fact until I read someone else's review, and at that point I was already 120 pages in. It's not that the story is bad, it's actually interesting and moves along at a good pace. But I am big into characters---I don't always have to relate to them, but they at least have to give me some reason to be engrossed in their dilemmas, and have some basis for their actions that I can empathize with. I didn't find that here. One was in a silly situation that her own spinelessness got her into, and the other showed no other side but her self-pity and manipulativeness. And while I am far from being a prude and completely understand that sex and drinking is a part of some teen's lives, watching a young girl use sex as a way to make a name for herself, and drinking and vomiting as basically the only way the students of Manderly pass the time---it was just more than I could stomach. While there may be some sort of growth to the characters eventually, I'm afraid I just wasn't interested enough in either of them
to stick around and find out. While I hate not finishing anything, by page 151, I had to admit this was not for me and finally decided to set it aside.

But don't just take my word for it! Check Goodreads for more reviews, good and bad. Some definitely enjoyed this one, but it just wasn't for me.


  1. Sometimes it is best just to part ways with a book that isn't for you. I always try and read the first three chapters or 60 or so pages of a book before I put it aside but there is just way to many great books out there to be wasting time on something that just doesn't suit you.

  2. Thanks for your honesty. I have that problem with contemps sometimes too.

    LOVE the cupcake image btw!

  3. Aw, poor squashed cupcake!

    I haven't heard much about this one, and while I'm kinda of intrigued by the premise, the characters sound like they'd be hard to warm to. Thanks for the honest review. :)

  4. These days I try to stop reading when I realize that a book is simply not for me.
    I read for pleasure, and if a book annoys me it defies the purpose of reading.
    I have an ARC of this, but still I don't know if I'm gonna read it. Thanks for your honesty.

  5. Thanks for the insight! I'm a pretty character driven story person myself but I think I'll still give this a chance. :)

  6. That is probably the most depressing picture of a cupcake I have EVER seen lol!!

    I couldn't finish this book either... I was really excited for it and I just couldn't get into it.