Susannah Greenwood and Daria McQueen haven’t seen each other in over 45 years, since their days at Foxhall Co-Ed Prep School (boarding school). Daria was Queen Bee while Susannah was the new girl trying to fit in. Luckily for Susannah, she was taken in by Daria and her friends, Fath, Brady, and Jan. But there was another new girl at school named Molly Grimes, also known as Moll. Moll was an awkward girl who didn’t fit in anywhere and has been that way her whole life. Susannah or Susie, for short, does her best to befriend Moll, even to the chagrin of Daria and the other girls. Then there’s Miss Bleaker, the dean of students. Susie’s desire to befriend Moll as well as help her impress a boy leads to a tragedy no one saw coming and the effects of that tragedy stay with everyone involved long after school ends.
The Other New Girl, told through the eyes of Susie, explores one year of Susie’s life at the Quaker prep school and the lives of those she connected with either directly or indirectly. Although set from 1959-1960, it will still bring back memories of being 15 years old and thinking the issue you had then were major. For Susie one particular issue was major, but she didn’t let it define her, but she never forgot about it either. This book also explores young men and the draft along with social issues of the time.
I found The Other New Girl to be an easy read by the mere fact it’s told in first person format. Gschwandtner does a great job of making you feel like you are with Susie every step of the way. The writing is not forced and the stories flow with ease. This book reminded me of Judy Blume’s In The Unlikely Event as we are witness to the trials and tribulations of being young and how it affects the lives of those much later in life.
On Goodreads, I gave The Other New Girl five stars. I highly recommend this book to everyone. And while you’re at it, pick up In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume.
The Other New Girl by LB Gschwandtner
Published 26 September 2017 by She Writes Press