Wednesday 23 May 2012

Blog Tour: A Review for New Girl by Paige Harbison + Author Interview

Posted by Jess
Release Date: May 4th, 2012
Finished Date: May 14th, 2012
Publishers: MIRA Ink 
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

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.

The Review: "Before I could talk myself out of it, his lips were on mine. My mind went blank. My body went numb. I faded into him, letting my bag fall to the floor. I didn't care if someone walked in. I didn't care if anyone saw." -New Girl
I'm not even sure on where to start with this review. This book was incredible. Although I haven't read the original Rebecca, I am familiar with the story having watched the movie a few years ago, so I'm not sure if I can make an comparisons. What I can say is that Paige Harbison has managed to create a fantastically spooky story, full of mystery. Having watched the movie (I know it's not the same as the reading) I can say that Paige has done an excellent job at a retelling this story. 
We meet 'New Girl' (We don't find out her name until the end of the book) who's parents have managed to get her into the prestigious Manderley Academy, it's been a dream of hers from the age of 8, but she grew out of it and didn't have the heart to tell her parents. So she went anyway, and that's when it all began. She is treated as an outsider, people are mean to her thinking she is there to replace Becca, the girl who went missing a year ago. The only people who treat her with any kind of friendship are Johnny, Blake and sometimes Max who happened to be Becca's ex-boyfriend. The last thing she needed to do was fall for Max. 
New Girl is told between alternate points of view. One from New Girl and the other from Becca. This is done extremely well and helps to see how different the school year was for both girls. Becca was popular, top of the student body food chain. She was also mean, manipulative, a liar, and a cheat. She scratched her way to the top by using the people around her to get her way and get what she wanted. Towards the end of the book when she eventually had her break down, I had little, to no sympathy for her. In fact I hated her and I felt myself getting angry with Becca through out the entire book. New Girl, was different. Although she was treated badly, she stood strong, she hung in there. I would have run away back home, but she didn't she stuck it out and showed that she wasn't just going to be intimidated by Becca's memory or her friends. New Girl is probably one of the strongest female protagonists that I've read about in a long long time, and I loved her from the start. I was able to connect with her on an emotional level. Even though Paige kept New Girl's name a secret until the very last page, it didn't deter me away from the book and it didn't feel like Paige was purposefully withholding the name. In fact when her name was revlealed in the end, I was excited to finally read it! It's a pretty name too ;)
The book itself is paced well, there aren't any dull moments (in my opinion). It's always full of intrigue and mystery. It's an extremely emotional book, which had me on a rollercoaster all the way through. I picked up so many feelings when reading this book. Anger, love, sadness, pathetic-ness. It's all there on every page. It was just simply brilliant.
Overall the ending was satisfying. Things seemed to wrap up nicely, but I felt it could have been a little more to it. It felt a little rushed but that didn't make me give it any less than 5 stars.
This was the first book that I've read of Paige Harbisons and I intend to read a lot more. She's wonderful story teller and brilliant writer being able to bring all of these characters to life. Being able to keep you in suspense right to the end. I will be reading from Paige Harbison most definitely, And if you haven't picked up New Girl yet, then I suggest you do so. It's absolutely thrilling and I wish there was more! 
Note: This book is for mature adults due to use of coarse language, drugs, underage drinking, and teenage sex. I recommend this for 16+ ages. Thank you to MIRA Ink for letting me review this.
Paige Harbison
Paige Harbison
Author of Here Lies Bridget & New Girl 
Check out her Goodreads Page: HERE
Check out her Website: HERE

1) Why did you decide to write New Girl?
                New Girl is basically the story of a girl being overshadowed by the presence of a missing girl. I love the spooky mood of Rebecca, and wanted to retell it in a modern setting. In high school especially, tragedies become more than just that. They become obsessions. People want to figure out the mystery behind it; they want to understand it. Put that together when high schoolers’ ability to believe the It girl has it all? High school is a world where feelings and emotions run high and rampant at all times. I wanted to take Rebecca, a truly haunting story, and put it in the minds and hands of teenagers.

2) How long did it take to write?
                From proposal to final draft, about a year.

3) What's your favourite quote from the book?
                Oh man. I have no idea. Haha um, let me look… Okay, actually someone pointed this one out on and I also liked it: “You realize that everything you think and feel now will be encompassed in the hyphen between two years.” 

4) Who's your favourite character?
                I know I shouldn’t, but I like Becca. She’s just so misled and messed up that she makes every mistake imaginable. I just want to know her and say, “Hey! That’s stupid!”

5) We will be featuring New Girl in our weekly US vs UK cover battle next week. Which cover do you prefer?
It’s hard to say. I think they both play up a different aspect of the story. I think the US version does a good job of setting the mood, but I think the UK does a good job of luring you in by posing as a much lighter story than it actually is. Ultimately I like the moodiness of the US but I like the slutty factor of the UK. ;)


nat cleary said...

Sounds really good, Ive never read the original nor seen the movie. Shes a new to me author as well so I will definitely check it out.

Giselleco said...

Awesome review! I read this a  few months ago and I liked it. I hadn't read Rebecca either but it wasn't an issue I don't think, I think those who did read Rebecca were disappointed though.

Becki Weston said...

This sounds like a really interesting book. I will have to pick it up. Great review.

Leila Benhamida said...

When reading the review, I feel this book has been writing with passion. I especially love books with suspense. I will have to buy this book.

Megan Williams said...

Great review!! I've seen this book pop up a lot recently and it's definitely on my to-read list now. I love emotional books, haha. Can't wait! 

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