New Girl

New GirlRarely has a book has left me as confused and conflicted as New Girl When I started the first chapter, I was very, very sure I was going to hate it, but I just couldn t This book was like the little girl in the nursery rhyme when it was good, it was very, very good, but when it was bad it was horrid.Let s start with the good bits I think New Girl might quite possibly be my favourite retelling this year Paige Harbison got it just right the story can stand alone as a well plotted contemporary YA novel, but still manages to pay tribute to the much beloved DuMaurier classic, Rebecca Without veering too far from the original story, Harbison still manages to put her own individual stamp on things And most refreshingly, this is not a retelling of a myth about super special supernatural creatures on whose shoulders the fate of the world rests it s a story about mostly real people and interpersonal relationships and handling everyday life I really, really liked the new girl Although, unlike in Rebecca, we do find out her name eventually, Paige Harbison manages to skilfully keep the narrator s name out of the book without seeming like she was forcibly withholding it And although I have only a faint memory of Rebecca it is far from being my favourite DuMaurier I think the characterization of the new girl is infinitely stronger and likeable than the trembling, tentative second Mrs de Winter The new girl in this story isn t afraid to stand up for herself although much of her life at her new boarding school, Manderly, is lived under the shadow of the missing yet vibrantly alive presence of Becca, she is far from being a shrinking wallflower Although she has several instances of self doubt and insecurity, it is justified by her life at Manderly and the circumstances surrounding it And she does have moments of self awareness and a fair idea of her own value, which ups my respect for her by a hundred points, easy The pacing, however, was what really made this book for me It s not a super fast, action loaded story, but it moves along at just the right pace to keep you turning the pages, eager to see what comes next Harbison s writing is not perfect, but she manages to hold on to her audience, nonetheless, and her characterizations are, for the most part, interesting as all hell The story is not so much creepy as it is chilling, a train building up to a wreck with each successive page, making sure you just can t look away I also liked the dual perspective of the new girl and Becca, a seamless transition for the most part, although I do think the author could have done way, way better on the characterization of Becca.Which brings me to the reason why this was a 3 star read for me instead of a 4 star one Firstly, the book starts off on the lamest premise ever The new girl is headed off to Manderly, a prestigious boarding school in New Hampshire, leaving behind her friends and family She is not very happy about this development because, according to her, when she wasthirteen , she tried to get into Manderly, failed, and got very upset about it So unbeknownst to her, her loving parents kept trying to get her in, and four years later, when she s forgotten all about her fleeting desire to go to boarding school, her parents present her with an opportunity to finish up her senior year in a new place, far from home, away from the friends she has had her whole life, out of their overwhelming love for her.I m sorry, but I m calling bullshit.No parent in their right mind would think that a thirteen year old s desires would continue on through four years of teenagehood, especially when the narrator makes it very clear that she has forgotten all about wanting to go to Manderly Secondly, no parent in their right mind would think it a good idea to uproot their child in the last year of school, at a place where she is happy and healthy and doing well, simply to send her off far, far away from everything she s ever known, and for no pressing reason And thirdly, no teenager in her right mind would willingly and self sacrificingly accept the situation without making the least push to tell her parents that she has changed her mind and would like to stay at home until she goes off to college the next year This entire story arc was less of a plot hole and of a giant sinkhole, and coming in the first few pages, made me want to throw the book away Why would you present your readers with such a blatantly stupid, made up situation when there are a million others that would work better Maybe her dad got transferred to Saudi Arabia Maybe she still wanted to go to Manderly Maybe her boyfriend mistreated her and she wanted to get the hell away from her surroundings There are at least ten scenarios I could come up with right now that would be convincing I do understand why Harbison took the route she did The book is, in part, about finding strength and belief in yourself when you are far from familiar faces and comfortable surroundings But I still think it could have been handled better My second big problem was with the characterization of Becca We are all made very aware, from the very first page of Becca s viewpoint, that she is pretty much a sociopath She is incapable of thinking of anyone but herself, and has no compunctions about hurting other people to get what she wants She has no deep feelings towards her friends, and tends to use them mostly as pawns in her power plays But instead of letting the reader find this out gradually, Harbison bluntly hammers home the point on page 10 and then relentlessly keeps drilling it in Becca has no complexity, her personality is revealed not through her actions but through the very obvious thoughts in her head that the third person omniscient narrator tells us about Becca could have been an interesting character, complex and complicated and compelling, but in the end, she is so obviously the mentally disturbed bad guy who appears in a horribly contrived final scene to make good her sins, that she loses all colour This is one of the few times I wish I could have gotten my hands on a draft of this book before it went to the publisher with a little work, it could have gone from interesting but annoying to abso fucking lutely awesome The new girl s relationship with Max was another thing that was very hit and miss for me The reason why Max de Winter stayed with Rebecca was very clear social norms and peer pressure and status all combined to trap him in a relationship he couldn t get out of And taking the comparison to an even older book along the same lines, Edward Rochester s fascination with his first wife had a basis in her beauty and his lust for her and his ambition But here, I could see no reason why Max was sticking around Becca At no point do you ever get the feeling that he felt deeply about her He makes out with her, sure, because she is convenient, but he never feels a connection to her, or any deep desire to see her happy Why would a regular teenage boy get all tortured and emo about a girl he doesn t even like very much There is no chemistry, no sense of the dark fascination Becca supposedly asserts over people, nothing that could justify his acting the way he did And the way he keeps jerking the new girl around, and how she keeps coming back for Not cool This was possibly the part that annoyed me the most in the book, that despite the occasional flashes of rebellion and I m worth than this pep talks, the new girl never quite manages to shrug off Max and his assholish behaviour Speaking of which, I forgot to mention the hysterical, over the top Dana Veers, off her rocker and crushed by the disappearance of her friend, jealous and paranoid that the new girl is trying to take over Becca s life Dana was quite possibly the best character in the book for me, mainly because Harbison let her have her say without trying to tell the reader how they should be viewing Dana, and what motivates her frenzy All in all, this book was an interesting experience, and I do think I would recommend it to most people Unlike most of Harlequin Teen s tripe, this book actually has some substance, and like I said before, when Harbison is good, she is very, very good Definitely worth a read, and I can t wait for someone to read it and tell me what they think I m so conflicted, I could use a second opinion A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers via Net Galley. A modern retelling of Rebecca one of my all time favorites about a bunch of whiny, privileged teenagers with apparently too much time on their hands Yes, please OK, so this book was melodramatic I m talkin insanely melodramatic Where Rebecca worked, however, New Girl falls short While Maxim de Winter was charming, yet mysterious, Max Holloway is just a dick Who can occasionally be sweet An occasionally sweet dick, but a dick nonetheless Rebecca s protagonist, while young, also has a certain force about her Yes, she s insecure and scared and unsure of what to do with herself at Manderley, but all in all, she s pretty kick ass New Girl s protagonist is just a hot mess Mrs Danvers, the insane housekeeper who was fiercely devoted to Rebecca, made sense Dana, the bipolar roommate who was insanely devoted to Becca.well, not so much The girl is a ticking time bomb, yet none of the faculty call her parents to take her home and get her some professional help Really, that s where this book lost it for me Coincidentally, it s also where it made me so amused that I couldn t possibly hate it It s just far too silly to truly dislike I m giving it two stars becausewell, why would I rate it any higher But it can be an enjoyable read, provided you suspend reality for a few hours and just laugh at all the zany antics I mean, these kids don t make any sense, not a one of em, and that ingredient, mixed with the extreme emotional rollercoaster ride, makes for one awesomely bad story.There s some of this image error so i m not a prude or anything, but the amount of gratuitous teen sex in this book is RIDICULOUS by page 100 one of the MC s had sex about seven times or something with two different dudes and she s been in school for about, uh, three days, methinks i mean, seriously, dude holy shit i gave up on the book because of it, but ended up going back to it to skim it till the end to see what happens and i was left quite disappointed not necessarily because of how the story ended, but with the book in general.Rebecca is one of my favouritest books ever, so i guess it s only natural that this one didn t quite live up to the mark this book just doesn t seem to have the same feel as the original one i know Ms DuMaurier s prose is pretty much incomparable, but still and the characters well, in Rebecca, even when they re infuriating, they re so deep and 3D, ya know in this one some of them have depth but some of them like Max, for example were just bland as heck which is sad because the original Max Maximilian de Winter, i.e is one of my favoritest love interests ever and i justreally didn t like the Young Adult isized version of the tale so yeah.ah bloody well. New Girl tells us the story of both Becca and New Girl simultaneously New Girl who I only realized past the half way mark has no name yet is living in Becca s shadow Arriving at boarding school after Becca s disappearance makes the others feel like she s replacing their friend their friend who came in with a bang and completely changed the school s atmosphere.Dual POV has become a favorite of mine I love seeing both sides of the coin, getting to know the characters at a deeper level In this case, it also helped with the suspense factor Becca s story is unveiled to us in small increments which makes it very intriguing I was always looking forward to of her chapters Her character has a terrible personality of someone who is used to getting what she wants She lies, she cheats, she s overall a awful person But god darn it is she ever entertaining No matter how much I would hate knowing a person like her, she makes a good, fun story that I was overall fascinated with Happening after Becca disappears, New Girl s point of view gives us the after effects Her hateful roommate thinks of her as a replacement The rest of the school is not very welcoming either This New Girl s personality couldn t be different from Becca s She s considerate, has self respect which Becca lacks greatly and tries hard to fit in, but most of the time I just wish she d defend herself better Especially towards Dana her roommate who can be considerably cruel I understand grief, but I couldn t comprehend why everyone was so upset at New Girl She barely did anything except get accepted to this school It felt kind of overly dramatic.I hardly cared for the romance in this novel Both love interests were just not that interesting Max is simply hard to grasp He lets Becca lead him like a dog on a leash I did like Johnny though, but I didn t feel his connection with Becca The mystery of the disappearance is what kept me glued to the book I m a sucker for mysteries and this one had me rushing through it Becca s story has such an ominous vibe to it I was hoping for a shocking ending that unfortunately left me feeling underwhelmed It wasn t awful, I was just hoping for a bigger twist to it.Although it failed to wow me, it was still an entertaining read that I mostly enjoyed I would even recommend it Especially to those who like mysteries and surprisingly Gossip Girl Yes, I AM a fan Don t judge me One word Chuck Another word Nate Ah heck, they re all freaking awesome Well except for the prince yawns I also want to note that this is a retelling of the book Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, though I m not able to make comparisons since I haven t read the original For of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads Welcome To Manderley AcademyI Hadn T Wanted To Go, But My Parents Were So Excited So Here I Am, The New Girl At Manderley, A True Fish Out Of Water But Mine S Not The Name On Everyone S Lips Oh, NoIt S Becca Normandy They Can T Stop Talking About Perfect, Beautiful Becca She Went Missing At The End Of Last Year, Leaving A Spot Open At Manderley The Spot That I Got And Everyone Acts Like It S My Fault That Infallible, Beloved Becca Is Gone And Has Been Replaced By Not Perfect, Completely Fallible, Unknown MeThen, There S The Name On My Lips Max Holloway Becca S Ex The One Boy I Should Avoid, But Can T Thing Is, It Seems Like He Wants Me, Too But The Memory Of Becca Is Always Between Us And As Much As I M Starting To Like It At Manderley, I Can T Help But Think She S Out There, Somewhere, Watching Me Take Her PlaceWaiting To Take It Back This one did not work for me Daphne DuMaurier s Rebecca is one of my all time favourite books, and the elements I feel that made it such a powerful book are wholly missing from Harbison s adaptation While Rebecca s lingering presence was chillingly palpable in DuMaurier s novel, her New Girl counterpart Becca has all the menace of a Bratz doll Creepy, but not in the way you d think Similarly, the supporting character fall flat in this retelling Max is entirely forgettable and doesn t produce any of the conflict in the reader as does Maxim de Winter, and Dana Veers is a cartoonishly hysterical Mrs Danvers Essentially, while the basic plot of New Girl is transplanted into a modern North American setting, none of weight and resonance of Rebecca has been retained What should be disturbing is merely histrionic, mean girl shenanigans and cheap thrills by means of a lot of sex and drinking And no, it s not the beer pong and casual hook ups I find offensive I really don t it s the fact that the author seems to have attempted to soften up the original story into a sort of Rebecca for The Gossip Girl Generation, which if I find kind of insulting The protagonist is much assertive and forthright than her predecessor, which results in she New Girl view spoiler her name is revealed at the end of the book, unlike in Rebecca hide spoiler I really struggled with how to rate and review New Girl , mainlybecause I was trying to figure out what there was to like about it.Okay, that s too mean.The thing is, I didn t actually struggle with reading it Although the GR feed says that I read it for 12 days, I actually read it in about two The biggest asset here is Harbison s writing it s fluid and constantly engaging, despite never being fantastic However, it s engaging I can t quite go as far as to say compelling , and very well paced But, overall, it was bland The worst offense, in my mind, is that it just isn t original There is not one spark of originality in this entire book This might sound like a stupid thing to say well, of course it s not original, Beth, because it s based on Daphne du Maurier s book Rebecca However, for me, the thing that makes retellings worth it is the spark of originality that infuses it with new life New Girl didn t have that Although you don t have to read Rebecca to enjoy this, reading any amount of YA contemporary might spoil your enjoyment Because it s just nothing you haven t seen before Without the quite blatant, e.g Beatrice Blake Rebecca references, it s just another book about an everygirl who feels chronically, fatally overshadowed by someone much better , except in this case it s not a Dead Older Sister but a girl who lived in her boarding school room Even with this hackneyed plot mashed together, New Girl could have been something special But the only life in the book came from three of the only interesting characters Becca, the New Girl and Dana Dana Veers, taken from Mrs Danvers Becca is a great character, the only really interesting one in the whole piece, an utterly selfish sociopath whose constant manipulation, especially of Max, kept me reading New Girl was quite likeable But I thought the extreme downside to Harbison s plotting is how shallow everyone was They were just so incredibly two dimensional There s nothing really to tell Max and JJJack view spoiler Becca s two love interests hide spoiler 3.5 stars Some SpoilersI had such a hard time trying to figure out my feeling for this one, which is strange since I usually know before I even finish a book I can t guarantee that I m gonna make sense and I m sure other reviewers will say this much better, but here it goes anywho s.Did I like this Yesand no I guess this is what I would call a guilty pleasure since to tell you the truth I wouldn t normally enjoy books like this I am a very easily annoyed reader when it comes to characters personalities One or two flaws I can live with, but it seems like everyone of these characters with the exception of very few got on my nerves Lets start with the main protag She s nothing but a punching bag for insults, mind games and mockery Which quite frankly isn t very fair since all she did was attend a school Our other main protag, Becca is the girl who the New Girl can t ever live up to See Becca left quite a stir at Manderley Academy Her parents sent her there unwillingly, but as soon as she arrived she became the life of the party, actually she became the party Wild, daring, alive and pretty much had everyone bewitched by her mere presents So naturally when she went missing and presumed dead everyone took it hard Enter the New Girl I d give you her real name, but since we don t actually find out till the end of the book it would be a shame to spoil it for you now she s always wanted to attend a boarding school since she was in eighth grade but since she never got in she became content with her life till her parents surprised her with a special gift, she finally gets accepted to Manderley in her senior year no less Becareful what you wish for As soon as the NG walked into her new school everyone seemed to look at her like the odd man out Some were cold, others downright ruthless See, she only got in cause there was a unexpected spot available The NG lived in Becca s old room, started to hang out with Becca s friends and caught the eyes of Becca s love interest s Eventually she was accused of trying to steal Becca s life which is crazy talk since she s never even met her This is a story about two different girls starting over at new shcool and how they decided to handle themselves and just how very different things might have turned outYeah okay, so this story It s completely messed up I m not talking about the writing or saying that this is a bad book, what I m saying is that the actually story line and it s characters are really quite a trip The book is told in alternating point of views, one is the New Girl and the other is Becca, telling the story one year ago.The NG seems to be living Becca s old lifebut with a twist I have to hand it to Paige Harbison, she weaves a story that is equally interesting and exasperating I m not even sure what genre this would be classified under I guess it s a contemporary with a touch of supernatural, but one thing is certain, this story was very uniquely constructed to get the moral of the story across to the readers It s a bit unorthodox, sure, but these days playing it safe seem very overrated.Rebecca Normandy isn t a character that I liked At all The moment you meet her you just know she s trouble She s an attention seeker, always gets what she wants, she s manipulative, back stabbing and uses sex to her advantage She was semi redeemed in my eyes in the very end, but yeah, for the most part I really wanted to slap her whiny little face The NG is easy enough to like but I really wish she had of a spine, she did start to defend her self eventually but it just wasn t enough I really wanted her to rip into some of these people and yet she didn t seem to have it in her I mean for crying out loud all she did was transfer to a school It was so frustrating to see her endure it all especially since it just kept going on and on to the point where it started to get pretty unreasonable As for Max I m still not sure what I think of him When he was with Becca he didn t have much of a personality He seemed to only be with her for sex and then later out of guilt But when he s with the NG he seems decent, kind and caring and I started to find myself hoping for the best It felt very disconnecting to have an opinion about someone who is portrayed so differently in the same book And I pretty much felt the same way about Johnny It was just such a strangesituation and one point or another I just wanted the NG to drop everyone who even knew Becca s name Dana is a nut job Period Her fits of rage were intense, uncontrollable and crazy She was the main reason it made it so hard for me to want to keep reading So why did I Bottom line, I was completely entertained by this story out of sick morbid curiosity if nothing else The characters were complicated and well developed but I didn t really like them The plot was absurd and eventually turned outrageously ridiculous But throughout it all I couldn t stop reading It s like watching a train wreck, I couldn t look away no matter how frustrated I was for even wanting to look in the first place The writing really is fantastic though It s has a bit of everything, mystery, suspense, intrigue and above all it plants a burning desire to find out the truth This wasn t exactly a struggle read but it did tangle up my emotions pretty dame good and any book that can do that is good enough for me.I m not entirely sure how others will perceive New Girl It s frustrating as hell and gets pretty overwhelming but it s unique, compelling and entertaining right up till the very last page Arc provided by Netgalley and Harlequin teen Edit An after thought I didn t realize this was a retelling of a classic tale called Rebecca If I would have known I would have read that book first and then maybe I would have had a different experience I think it should be stated that this is indeed a re telling then other readers might have the experience I didn t have. Trigger warnings ALL OF THEM EVER In the order in which they appeared in the book ableist slurs, all of the slut shaming ever, cheating, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, manipulative relationships gaslighting, mental health, assault, rape, rape involving knock out drugs, view spoiler death, drowning hide spoiler Two stars A modern update of the classic Rebecca, that fails to impress.Summer is coming to a close for our protagonist New Girl Days of lying in a bikini, soaking up the sun s warm rays on Florida s sun drenched beaches will soon be replaced by the halls of high school New Girl is looking forward to her senior year, filled with friends and memories Little does she know her parents are about to surprise her, with an acceptance letter into the prestigious, boarding school, Manderley Attending a private school was a wish she envisioned when she was thirteen, while reading Harry Potter After years of rejection, New Girl has grown to love attending her public high school Not wanting to disappoint her parents, who are overjoyed at the prospect of her attending this elite school, New Girl packs her bags and heads to Manderley to start her senior year Upon her arrival, she discovers her room still decorated with the former occupant s belongings New Girl finds herself the unwanted replacement for the ambitious and popular Becca Normandy, who disappeared at the end of the previous school year Our protagonist finds herself thrust into an unwanted spotlight No matter how hard she tries, it proves impossible to separate herself from Becca s shadow She is constantly compared to Becca To make matters worse she seems to be the anonymous girl, without a name other than New Girl New Girl digs her heels in and tries to form her own identity, but the questions and rumors refuse to die She is constantly surrounded by whispers and looks, there is no where she can go to escape Becca s influence What happened to the beautiful and mysterious Becca What I Liked Having read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, I was excited to read a modern take on this classic The author does a nice job of recreating the mysterious atmosphere of Manderley, in her vision I enjoyed the presentation of the dark mystery I was drawn into the strange circumstances of Becca s disappearance and enjoyed formulating my own guesses on her fate Trying to unravel the events and clues kept me reading this book One of the most memorable aspects of Rebecca, was not revealing the protagonist s first name, the whole book she is referred to as Mrs De Winter I recall when I read this book, being frustrated with this tactic I wondered if Ms Harbinson would use the same technique Indeed she does, our protagonist is known throughout the entire novel as New Girl or me I could see how relegating the heroine to anonymity, enhanced the power that Becca held over the rest of the characters, as well as the reader I liked the switching of the narrative between New Girl in the present and Becca a year ago I appreciated being able to see inside Becca s head, so I could better understand her manipulative power and why she had such a lasting impact And The Not So Much My biggest complaint and reason for the lower rating of this book was the heavy references to teenage drinking and sex I realize that in reality, teens do engage in these activities, but this book s depiction is over the top Becca on her first day at school organizes a drunken party and gives up her virginity to a boy she just met This is just one example, the entire book is chapter after chapter of scenes involving drinking Becca s use of sex to manipulate the boys she is interested in, is disturbing What bothers me the most about this novel, is that it is marketed as a YA title In this situation this book should be read by mature readers only I would certainly not want young teenagers reading this, due to the content The author brings up two tough topics facing teenagers today, rape and drug induced rape She used these situations to clarify why two of the characters were troubled The problem for me is in both events, the girls involved did nothing to rectify the situation, they chose to run away and hide by attending Manderley Again, I understand that in real life, there often is not a positive resolution to these horrendous acts I wish the author had taken the time to address these matters in a better way Showing how the characters got help and worked through the difficulty would have made an impact As an author, you have the power to make a difference with your words, why not show teenagers who have lived through these demeaning acts, seeking help, instead of showing them running away from their troubles The characters, I can t say that I enjoyed any of them Becca is cruel, controlling and cares for no one, including herself The males, Johnny and Max are confusing, they both succumb to the temptress Becca and unwittingly become her pawns Max especially, I never had a clear picture on his true feelings for Becca The protagonist, New Girl, I liked her, but I was not pleased on the way she handled many of the situations that she faced The book drew me in with the mystery of Becca s disappearance but after awhile it was overshadowed by too much teenage drama The first half of the book is dark and engaging, while the second half languishes.I was excited to read New Girl, a current retelling of the classic Rebecca, but unfortunately this book failed to meet expectations While some of the elements work, the book was lacking and did not hold my interest Due to the mature themes involving heavy alcohol use and detailed sex scenes, I cannot recommend this book for young readers If you have not read Maurier s classic, Rebecca, I would suggest reading that instead A copy of this book was kindly provided by Harlequin Teen, courtesy of Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.Favorite Quotations The panoramic view outside the windows of the bus showed a world that wasn t mine It was chilly in early September and the trees were pine, not palm Manderley is like being stuck in an attic Dusty, cold, and you feel like you might be struck by lightning at any moment Sometimes it s just nice to get out The waves were like a million dead, gnarly hands throwing themselves onto the sand and trying to bring whatever they could back with them into the darkness I am what made him live I am his light I am his excitement I was the bells, the light, the darkness and the melody in his life Lonely, friendless, barefoot new girl, with no identity I d never felt drab in my life I was like the gray, rainy skies outside, only less threatening and full of no mystery at all They all liked her because she was unique She was a new toy they never really got to play with And now that she s gone, they just want her than ever You lived a year in my shadow but somehow you still never lost your light Originally posted on my blog

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✻ [EPUB] ✰ New Girl By Paige Harbison ❅ – Hookupgoldmilf.info
  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • New Girl
  • Paige Harbison
  • English
  • 03 July 2017
  • 9781848450639

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