The New Girl (novel)
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First edition cover of The New Girl
|Author||R. L. Stine|
|Published||1989 Simon Pulse|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Followed by||The Surprise Party|
The New Girl is the first novel in R. L. Stine's Fear Street series. It was written in 1989 and was one of the earliest horror novels Stine wrote. The New Girl is one of the twelve Fear Street books that were reprinted in 2005.
Cory, a high school student, falls in love with Anna, a new girl at his school. As he tried to learn more about her, he begins to doubt her existence: most of his friends have never seen her on campus, and she's not listed in the school's files. When he calls her family's home someone on the other end insists that Anna is dead.
When Cory visits Anna's house on Fear Street, he is met by a man who again insists that she is dead. A few nights later, Anna calls him asking to meet her, and implies that she is in danger and needs his help. When he meets her, she says she just wanted to see him, and kisses him, convincing him that she is real. She tells Cory the man he met at her house is her brother, Brad, and that he is "crazy" and possibly dangerous.
At school, Cory's friend Lisa asks him to a school dance. Soon after, she finds a dead cat in her locker with a warning note attached to its neck. She suspects that Anna left it, being driven by jealousy over her friendship with Cory. At the dance, Lisa is pushed down a flight of stairs by Anna's brother, Brad. While attempting to pursue him, Cory and Lisa end up locked in the music room. Cory escapes and lets Lisa out, but Brad escapes.
Coupled with Anna's begging Cory for help, he now understands Brad is behind all the trouble. Cory angrily travels to Anna's house to confront Brad soon after. He gets there and sees Anna and Brad fighting each other. It is revealed that Anna is actually Willa, Anna's sister. Willa killed Anna out of jealousy, following which she assumed Anna's identity. Willa has told Cory that Brad is insane and possibly her sister's murderer, but Cory now realizes it was the other way round. Brad was always trying to just warn him away.
Cory and Brad manage to subdue "Anna" and call the police. At the end, it is implied that Cory begins a relationship with Lisa.
The School Library Journal commented "the vocabulary is simple, the premise interesting, and the plot compelling, making this book one for reluctant readers". However, Publishers Weekly described this book as "a tame offering". R. J. Carter from The Trades commented that this book was "a fine example of the crazed killer tales that teens love to spook each other with in the wee hours of the night".
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