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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 26 Jun. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The New Girl (Paperback)
I found "The New Girl" an enjoyable and stimulating read. The story follows a group of teenagers who have just completed their high school exams and are spending their last summer of 'school holidays' before they go on to work, family life or college. As they wait for their exam results they are provided with a period of time in which to reflect upon the directions that their futures could take. This process of transformation is emphasised when Miranda arrives from the city to take a class with this group which aims to help them to explore 'themselves'.

I think that Emily Perkins manages to portray 'smalltown' life very well, for example - the claustrophobia (echoed in the atmosphere and weather) of everyone knowing you and the inability to easily slip into new identities as those around you have a firm idea of who you already are; the comfort of familiar surroundings and the loyalties of the people who 'belong' there; and the built up hostilities and resentments of the town. Alongside this she presents the city as a place of opportunity, somewhere where your life can head off in several different directions. This contrasts with the stale picture of smalltown life where people seem to get stuck in a predictable pattern. However, the city is also a place where things can go wrong and then you find yourself alone.

I felt that this book gave me plenty to think about, especially in relation to the 'big' decisions we take in our life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic, evocative one-sitting read., 27 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The New Girl (Hardcover)
I read 'The New Girl' on the strength of the blurb and magazine reviews, and was for the most part, thoroughly pleased with the novel. Perkins has painted in Julia, Rachel and Chicky, three girls we all know, and grow to like, pity or dislike. Meanwhile, Miranda is an anti-hero for our time - deliciously self-absorbed and to a degree, quite wretched. The dialogue is tight and accurate, and the descriptions evocative. The only issue I took with it was the fact that their hometown was unnamed, so I had some difficulty in placing the scenes geographically. But that didn't hinder me in spending a whole afternoon engrossed in this novel. Highly recommended, and a novel I wish I'd written...
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Read, 27 Jun. 2009
This review is from: The New Girl (Paperback)
This book is excellent at getting under the skin of small-town life. Set over one long, hot summer, Miranda - the brash city girl - steadily turns peoples lives inside out. The POV shifts constantly, but Emily Perkins keeps a steady hand on the plot, and it shifts and turns smoothly.

Miranda isn't really a very nice person. She is easily bored, and examines the younger girls as though they are lab rats, provided for her entertainment. How they perceive her is interesting and helps the story to develop.

It's another good read from a little known writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very insightful about relationships, 2 April 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: The New Girl (Hardcover)
This engrossing story about breaking free is built around relationships that Perkins describes with great perspicacity - what makes up friendships, how daughters might relate to mothers and fathers, or husbands to wives. The plot twists unpredictably as these relationships are challenged by the arrival of Miranda, the beautiful catalyst.
Men and how they relate to their wives and daughters are scrutinised and, perhaps, implicitly criticised the most.
Worth reading, even if the device of not naming the place or geographical area grates.
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The New Girl
The New Girl by Emily Perkins (Paperback - 10 May 2002)
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