Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review of New Girl by Paige Harbison

New Girl
Paige Harbison
Harlequin Teen
320 pages

How do you tell your parents that the exclusive private high school you lusted for at 13 is not what you want at 17 especially when they’ve just given you the gift of your senior year there, especially when the last thing you want is to disappoint your parents whom you love with all your heart, what do you do, you suck it up and make the best of it. That’s how I became the “New Girl” at Manderley Academy in New Hampshire, as far from my blessed Florida beaches as the Moon is from the Sun. Now it’s hard enough being the “New Girl” without it becoming not only your status but your identity as well, because from the moment I stepped foot on campus I was compared to Becca Normandy a student who disappeared mysteriously at the end of the previous school year. A girl with many faces and many secrets. Unfortunately for me there are all too many comparisons between us and many of the student population is quick to point out that I don’t measure up, but not everyone feels that way and those are the ones that matter and the ones might help me make it through the year.

Paige Harbison is a bright new voice in the YA genre, it was obvious with “Here Lies Bridget” and it’s even more apparent with “New Girl” as the author matures so does her work. The plot is varied, complex and will draw fans of multiple genres not just YA, adults also will enjoy this hormonal angst filled high school drama mixed with a superb mystery. It gives a realistic look at high school life, realistic enough that I would keep it away from pre-teens impressionable enough to want to follow in big siblings shoes as it delves into deeper sexual, social and peer issues than may be appropriate for a younger reader, it’s divided between Becca’s story and “New Girl’s” who we don’t get a name for until late in the read. Her characters are stars especially “New Girl” who’s light shines even though it’s constantly snuffed, but also the other characters both minor and major stand out as the talented author pieces her puzzle together for her audience. If you haven’t read Paige Harbison before do now you won’t be sorry and even if you’re not a fan of YA, this is a novel that adults would enjoy too, both those of us who remember high school and those of us who don’t. It’s an excellent contemporary mystery, and a high drama novel and I’m anxious to see what this up and coming novelist has for us next.
Buy the book here visit Paige's website here.


  1. Reviews have been really mixed on this one...thanks for sharing your thoughts

  2. This book is entertaining. It's got romance and suspense, mystery and emotion, with just a touch of the paranormal. The characters are all incredibly strong and well written. Some you'll love, some you'll hate. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat, and I highly doubt that once you begin, you'll be able to stop. It's a tragically beautiful and insightful story. I definitely recommend it for readers of all types!

    1. thanks for your comments France and I totally agree.