publisher: Harlequin Teen
release date: January 31st, 2012
intended audience: Young adult (recommend 15+)
no rating/did not finish
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.