Being the new girl in school is tough enough as it is, but when the only reason why you’re there is because the previous new girl disappeared, it makes the situation all that more awkward. The missing girl, Becca Normandy, seemed to be quite the popoular, in-demand girl. Her disappearance affected everyone at the school, especially the new girl’s roommate, Dana. Constantly being compared to Becca, the new girl faces constant accusations from her peers that she was trying to replace a girl she never knew. Alternating between the POV of Becca and the new girl, the story unfolds simultaneously a year apart as the reader learns more about what lead to Becca’s disappearance.
The idea of the story was interesting. I love a good mystery, and being set at a boarding school can always be a good time. (Plus, as the new girl mentions, she equated it with the idea of Hogwarts!) The alternating viewpoints of each chapter was also a good storytelling method. Without it being too repetitive and sounding rehashed, you would get the story from the new girl, and then from Becca at that same time of year (but from the previous year, pre-disappearance).
However, that was about as captivated as I got with the book. Most of the characters were extremely superficial and, perhaps intentionally, often really irritating. I absolutely detested Becca, and honestly couldn’t feel any empathy towards her – or, really, any – of the characters. The “mystery” of her disappearance (whether she’s alive/dead/run away/etc) is eluded to all throughout the book, from cover to cover. Whether I’m suspending my disbelief about where the beer suddenly comes from for all their parties, the stereotypical behaviour of guys & girls (ie. that lateness is a “flaw in most girls”) or the convenient wrap-up ending, I did appreciate one of the most poignant, most mature moments in the whole book when, near the end, new girl is reflecting on life & death.
New Girl is currently available in stores.
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ (2.5/5 stars)
I received this eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.