The New Girl

The New Girl, Book

The New Girl – Ingrid Alexandra (2018)

Three Stars
* * *

Read me if…

  • You’re looking for an easy read to devour in one go
  • Enjoy plot twists throughout
  • Looking for a lighter psychological novel

I woke up covered in blood.
That is the one thing I’m sure of, the one memory that has survived. But the events leading up tp it are fragmented, uncertain. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real and what I’ve imagined since. And that’s what frightens me. The not knowing.

— Ingrid Alexandra, The New Girl

Picking up another Aussie-set novel to continue the collection. I managed to read this book in around six hours, I started and couldn’t put it down so I wiled away a 40 degree, baking afternoon reading.

It’s a relatively easy read so would be perfect for beach reading or taking poolside. If you’re looking for a twisted, psychological thriller, this isn’t the novel for you. It’s relatively fluffy, even with a death added in for good measure. If you are looking for something darker, check out The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood.

Without spoilers, the storyline follows a female protagonist through her journey of abuse and mental health. Flitting between first person narration and diary entries, the story unfolds and mirrors the fragmented personality of the lead character, Mary. Alexandra (the author) drip feeds the reader with clues as the story progresses, but it seems to take two steps forward and one step back.

The novel is set in Sydney with the troublesome past firmly in Melbourne. We get flashbacks between the two, between past and present as Mary tries to put her life back together with the help of her best friend and room-mate. When a forth flatmate moves in the dynamic changes and a suspicion is aroused in The New Girl who seems too familiar. Her intense interest in Mary initiates confusion and division in the group.

It’s easy to get sucked into the novel’s storyline and its twists which keep you turning the page. Mary’s mental state, current life situation and her past filled with drugs, missing family and abusive relationships, all snake their way to the finale. It makes you hungry for something all-revealing and I’m not sure we get that.

I’m honestly torn by this book, while I couldn’t put it down, I found the ending really unsatisfying. I was skimming by the end and I felt the energy had run out. If you’re sitting on a long-haul flight and need a read to take you away for a few hours, this is your golden ticket.

Easy reading but not quite profound enough to make me want to pick it up again. Would love to hear your thoughts!

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