Release: February 1st 2022
Genre: Young Adult/Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Back of the Book: Lia Setiawan has never really fit in. When she wins a full ride to the prestigious Draycott Academy on a track scholarship, she’s determined to make it work even though she’s never felt more out of place.
But on her first day there she witnesses a girl being forcefully carried away by campus security. Her new schoolmates and teachers seem unfazed, but it leaves her unsure of what she’s gotten herself into.
As she uncovers the secrets of Draycott, complete with a corrupt teacher, a golden boy who isn’t what he seems, and a blackmailer determined to get her thrown out, she’s not sure if she can trust anyone–especially when the threats against her take a deadly turn.
Have you ever read a book and realized literally every character is unlikable and now you’re just waiting for the book to be over? That’s how I felt about The New Girl.
First off, boarding school sounds like a literal nightmare, especially Draycott Academy. I don’t think there was ever a moment of genuine happiness for Lia at that school. She literally struggled the entire book, some of those struggles being her own fault, and Lia owned them the best she could.
“…and then I won’t be able to go to college, and then I’ll have no future and basically spend the rest of my life licking avocado husks for lunch or whatever it is that boomers think young people should do to get by.”
The book itself started off a little slow. Personally, I like for my mystery books to kick off within the first three chapters. I ended up borrowing the audiobook from the public library halfway through. Shoutout to Ms. Eunice Wong, because if it wasn’t for her, The New Girl probably would’ve been a DNF.
The audiobook experience was SO much better. I usually shy away from them because I find myself zoning out and retaining zero knowledge of the book, but this time around was so much fun. Eunice brought the characters and the book to life in a way I don’t think would’ve happened had I kept reading it myself.
“Am I really sitting here comforting him while lying to him? What kind of monster am I? And the worst part of it is that my mind keeps skittering to a single thought: Does the police suspect anything?”
Right away, I knew Danny was too good to be true and couldn’t be trusted. He didn’t fool me one bit. Lia was a very meh main character. She wasn’t the worst, but also wasn’t too exciting to follow. The side characters were very one-dimensional. The plot was very much all over the place.
After the book was over, I found myself asking, “That’s it?”