Cover Image: The New Girl

The New Girl

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I really wanted to love this book but I really struggled with it, it was a slow burn of a read hence the 2 stars

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This is going to be one of those books that live in my brain rent free for all eternity!
Who would send such a cryptic and yet heart wrenching pack when all Anna wants is to be able to start a family of her own.

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The New Girl was just fantastic - it had me hooked from start to finish. It had plenty of twists and turns, secrets and lies and a very satisfying ending. Absolutely loved it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for my ARC.

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This book was exactly what you would need in a thriller. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and for a thriller this brought on a new view in terms of office workspace. Great book.

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"The New Girl" by Alison Stockham is a riveting and addictive psychological thriller that had me hooked from the first page until the very end. The story of Anna and Jon's struggles to conceive takes a dark and twisty turn when they receive a mysterious baby scan photo, throwing their marriage into turmoil.

Alison Stockham masterfully weaves a tale full of suspense, secrets, and intrigue, keeping me on the edge of my seat throughout. The character of Grace, the new employee at Jon's printing business, adds an extra layer of tension to the story, and I found myself constantly questioning her motives and intentions.

The pacing of the novel is perfect, with each chapter ending on a cliffhanger that left me eager to read on. I couldn't put this book down, and it kept me up late into the night as I raced to uncover the truth behind the mysterious baby scan photo and the secrets lurking within Anna and Jon's marriage.

Overall, "The New Girl" is a gripping and thrilling read that will keep you guessing until the very end. Alison Stockham has once again delivered a top-notch psychological thriller that I highly recommend to fans of the genre.

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The premise of this book was slightly different from anything I’ve read before. So I was intrigued from the very beginning. I just knee that I had it figured out, but the ending was SO unexpected! This book has it all - secrets, betrayal, lies, and drama. There was no lack of twists and turns throughout this story. I felt a plethora of emotions while reading this one. It was such a roller coaster. I thought things were one way, but things were very different than they seemed. I was pleasantly surprised with the writing style that kept me intrigued and playing investigator to try and determine what was really going on. I enjoyed that there was a religious component, which you don’t really see in thrillers. Yet, it wasn’t done in an overbearing manner. Definitely recommend.

Thank you NetGalley and Boldwood Books for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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The New Girl by Alison Stockham was an emotional rollercoaster that just had you gripped from the very first page till the last. You will need tissues and lots of them. This book was a hard read for me and too close to home but very cleverly written by Alison.

I highly recommend this book.......but a book to be read away from people. If you are like me You can't hide under your sunglasses or sun hat whilst on holiday.....A sniff and a tear or two will give the game away!!! lol

Big Thank you to Netgalley and Boldwood Books for my ARC

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Review for 'The New Girl' by Alison Stockham.

Read and reviewed for Alison Stockham, Boldwood Books, Book & Tonic, NetGalley and Rachel's Random Resources Tours.

Publication date 9th April 2024

This is the first book I have read by this author but it most definitely won't be my last!

This novel consists of 29 chapters. The chapters are short in length so easy to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

'The New Girl' discusses some topics that may upset some readers or may not be suitable for others. I like to point this out ahead of time in my reviews so you can judge if this book is for you or not. In this book Keri discusses/includes Miscarriage, marriage problems and infidelity

WHAT did I just read!!!! WOW!!! I mean seriously Wow!! I was NOT expecting that lot fair play!!! This has GOT to start with a MASSIVE WELL DONE Keri!!!! Ooopps sorry, yes, needed a minute to get over that but I've just left you hanging there... Sorry.... Let me tell you more...

Firstly let's start off with the writing style, etc!! This book is an extremely well written book by this amazing author which had me hook line and sinker!!! It is so smoothly and fantastically written with vivid descriptions I completely forgot I was even reading a book a few times. The synopsis, title and cover really fit the storyline. As you can tell I LOVED the storyline!!! I found it to be realistic, heart racing, addictive ,extremely fast paced and everything you could ask for in an absolutely gripping storyline!! In this gripping domestic thriller we meet married couple Anna and Jon. They run their own small business and have been trying for a baby for a long time with no success. Jon lost his previous wife and unborn child in an accident and is desperate for a child or his own. To help them have more time for themselves and help Anna relax in order to help them conceive Jon employs the niece of a friend Grace to help them out in their business. Anna isn't happy that Jon has made this decision without her but it is too late and Grace has been told to come in to see what she thinks of the job. Not long after Grace starts working for Anna and Jon a baby scan picture is posted anonymously to Anna and Jon and Grace starts acting strangely. What is going on between Grace and Jon? Who sent the scan to Anna and what is she hiding? Who can be trusted, if anyone? Pick up your copy today to find out the answers to these questions and many more. This fast paced domestic thriller is ram packed with secrets, family, lies and an explosive twist that I would have never seen coming!! A huge congratulations to Alison on managing to shock me!! I have read hundreds of psychological and thriller books so it is getting harder and harder to surprise me but you managed it hook, line and sinker!! I was left questioning who was hiding what and didn't know if I could trust any of the characters at all!! Alison discusses important but difficult topics such as fertility issues, miscarriage and marriage problems but does so sensitivity and manages to weave them all into a great storyline that I just could not put down!!! Alison's fantastic evocative writing skills ensures the reader is sucked deep into the storyline with the characters, atmosphere and emotions coming to life in front of them. All of the characters were very well developed, strong and realistic. I must admit that I wasn't really a fan of any of them and although this isn't a surprise in itself, what is is the fact that I still enjoyed the storyline!! If I dislike all of the characters in books I tend to struggle with the book itself but I had absolutely no problems with this one!! Anna annoyed me with some of her behaviours, accusations (especially towards her and Jon's friend Kate) and found her to go to extreme lengths at times. I found Jon to be a bit dull in the way that he went about things with just no thoughts to how Anna may feel. I was very wary of Grace especially with her strange attitude towards Anna. However, regardless if you like them or not they all played their parts perfectly and all came to life as you turn the pages. This book was fast paced with something constantly happening to keep you addicted. Every time I kept telling myself one more chapter the one I was in ended at a point where there was no way I could stop reading so I absolutely devoured it in one sitting!! Just brilliant fair play and everything linked in and wraps up perfectly!!! I cannot remember the last time I flew through a book so quickly. Each and every time I went to put it down to do something my fingers were itching to pick it back up as I just HAD to know what happened next!! I can't say more than that as I don't want to spoil it for future readers so if you want to know you'll have to grab yourself a copy!! I would absolutely LOVE to see this turned into a movie and would wait up all night to get tickets to watch it!! An absolute must read!!

Congratulations Alison on an absolutely explosive success!!! This is the exact reason I would like to welcome you to my favourite author club!! Here's to your next success 🥂!!!

Clear your schedules before picking this addictive thriller up as you will not be able to put it down!!!

Make sure you read to the very end of the book to read the first chapter of Alison's 'The Silent Friend' which promises to be just as addictive as this book and is one I'm definitely looking forward to reading myself!!

Overall an absolutely page turning, addictive, gripping and explosive must read that will keep you addicted from the very start to the mind blowing ending!!!

290 pages.

This book is just 99p to purchase on kindle via Amazon, free with Kindle Unlimited and £9.99 in paperback which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!!

Rated 5/5 (I LOVED it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook.

Feel free to add me on Goodreads or follow me on my website or Facebook for more reviews.

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Anna, 37, and Jon, 43, own a printing business which is becoming very successful. so, when Jon suggests getting an assistant to help with some of the work, Anna isn’t sure she wants that. But, Jon knows a young woman named Grace at church who has just graduated from college and would be interested in working several days a week. Anna is perturbed that he already has someone in mind for the job.

Jon wants a child so very much. Anna says she does too but has not been able to conceive.

When Grace starts working at the business, Anna is not quite ready to have her there. For some reason, she can’t help but think that Grace and Jon could be having an affair. So, when she receives an anonymous picture of a baby scan, she wonders who could have sent it and why.

I just did not like Anna. I felt that she had a not of things going on in her head and her anger is actually frightening. The emphasis on the church plays into the story to show how some people are so mindset on how the church can control their lives. The story plays out showing readers why Anna has such anger but I just still wasn’t that impressed by this book. Sorry.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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This was an easy book to read. Not too many characters to confuse the reader but a very well written story which I guessed who the "bad" person was.........I was totally wrong! Held my interest although a little sluggish a few times but overall a good read!
Many thanx to NetGalley, the author and the publishers for allowing me to read and review this book

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The New Girl was a brilliant introduction to Stockham's writing for me - why have I never read anything by her till now?

It's a moderately paced thriller, that's based on the secrets and lies between husband and wife duo Anna and Jon on their baby journey. Who doss the scan photo belong to? Who is playing wicked games with Anna's mind?

Loved the twistiness of the plot, the brilliant characters and an ending that left me mouth agape in shock!

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Secrets, lies, and a big surprise! I had no idea where this book was going when I picked it up. I was pleasantly surprised with the writing and intriguing plot.

Anna and Jon are a married couple who own a business together. They have been trying to have a baby for quite some time with no success. Jon hires Grace as an intern to help as their business picks up. Anna is a little leery as Grace begins asking questions about her life and past. Why so nosey? Then, one day a baby scan is left at her home and Anna can't help but wonder who sent it, what it means and wonders if Jon has been cheating on her. Could the baby be his???

This book is full of secrets, past pain and trauma, and insecurity. I wanted to yell "communicate, communicate, communicate" at my kindle. Anna likes to share things with her friend that she has never shared with her husband. What secret is she keeping from him?????? She is not the only one keeping a secret in this gripping and thrilling book!

This was a tantalizing read full of secrets, twists, and revelations.

Thank you to Boldwood books, Rachel’s Random Resources and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Jon and Anna find each other and connect over each losing a baby. They get married and start a business. Their business is growing, and Jon suggests hiring someone to help them out. While Anna is iffy about it, Jon has basically already hired Grace. Grace starts asking personal questions, and Anna sees Grace and Jon whispering a lot and suspects they are having an affair. Everyone seems to be keeping a secret, but what are they and how do they effect each others’ lives.

This is the true definition of a slow burn. A little too slow for me personally, but there are those that really love slow burns, then you will absolutely love this book. Told in the third person point of view, we are told the story from Anna’s perspective. I would have liked to have gotten the perspectives of the other main characters, but the fact that we don’t really helps the mystery.

There was something early on that tipped me in the direction of one of the secrets, but as the author so skillfully did, I was thrown off that scent. Then I was second guessing what I thought the secret could be.

I’ve seen a lot of comments about the religion in the book. For me, it didn’t bother me. I actually barely noticed it. So this will be different for every person that reads it.

I did find Anna slightly annoying, and even more so when she was with her friend, Kate. But I guess if I thought my husband was having an affair, I may be annoying and not myself either.

All in all, a good book.

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Anna was so paranoid throughout the entire book I began to get paranoid too.
I really thought Jon and Grace were up to no good. I never dreamt another possibility could be the truth until it literally hit me full on in the face. My reaction was to be chagrined because I should have figured it out sooner.
I was bothered by Anna’s lying to Jon about a very big thing.
I don’t think she will be able to keep it s secret and I believe she will rue the day she didn’t tell Jon.
It’s a guessing book full of miscues, placed adeptly and purposely by the author.

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'The New Girl' is a novel I personally would classify as family saga/drama...possibly edging its way into psychological fiction territory!

The protagonist, Anna, is married to Jon, and together they own a fledgling graphic design business, they are a church-going couple, and are keen to expand there family, but, frustratingly, nature does not seem to be cooperating, This would seem to be the state of affairs, but of course, delve a little deeper and there is plenty more going on!

Jon suggests they expand their team at work, and quickly suggests an attractive young woman he knows through church connections, combine this with a sinister piece of mail Anna receives and her suspicions as to what exactly is going on with Jon and this new intern quickly escalate!

This is a good story and definitely one for fans of the slow burn! Likable and interesting characters and some very interesting writing around family dynamics!

My thanks to NetGalley, author and publisher for the opportunity to review this novel in exchange for an advance copy.

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I received an arc copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion of it. I actually got to 30 percent and could not finish. The main character just drove me crazy. She was just always whining and complaining and was just about poor me. Her husband thought she wanted a baby and they were trying for years but she was actually on the pill because she didn't want a baby. One day an ultrasound picture of a baby shows up in her mailbox and she accused her best friend of putting it there lol. It was so drawn out also.

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I loved this, despite getting everything wrong and going way off route with trying to guess what was going on.

I’m a massive fan, so I knew I was in for a treat, she writes the best characters and there always to be one who annoys me, this book had Grace, such a annoying sneaky and patronising person! I wanted Anna to punch her in certain points 😂

This has some great twists, add to your TBR

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After reading My Silent Friend I was eagerly awaiting a new release by Alison Stockham and this did not disappoint. I was hooked instantly and I would never have predicted that ending. I thought the twists and turns were perfectly plotted to keep you guessing and needing to reach the conclusion. The characters are well written and I found it really easy to sympathise with Anna over her current struggles and the past trauma that was shaping her ability to let herself build a future. I think the dual timeline was great at gradual showing the bigger picture. If you like an intense family drama/thriller full of secrets and betrayal then this is perfect.

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2.5 rounded up to 3.

My unrestrained thoughts: Hm… Quite good. Hm… What is happening? Hm… I don’t understand where this is going. Hm… I see, this is how it ends. Okay…
Now, onto a little sophisticated review – it may contain tiny spoilers!

TW: Potential infidelity, marriage issues, past miscarriage, and potential infertility.

I have never read Alison Stockham’s novels before so whatever thoughts I have on her writing style or structure are restricted for The New Girl only. Its story goes like this – Anna and Jon seem to be flourishing together, they have a seemingly happy marriage and running a business. But their inability to conceive has driven a wedge between them, but they, like any other couple, sweep it under the rug.

But that wedge deepens when Jon butters up Anna to get a new intern to help them with the work. In comes Grace – a young girl half their age who is attractive and suspiciously close to Jon. Right from the start, warning bells ring in Anna’s head about Grace, further fuelled by her friend, Kate’s assumptions about Jon’s possible infidelity. The conflict comes to a head when a baby scan photo comes to Anna’s doorstep. Why is it important? 1. Because it taunts Anna on her well-kept secret about their inability to conceive. 2. The back of it reads Grace. *dramatic sound effect*

If you think you can imagine where this is going, you simply can’t! Because the reveal flips the script all over. There were certainly some parts that I loved, but I have to be honest here, even though the protagonist was relatable, I didn’t like her much. Anna lets her paranoia overtake her throughout the book, blowing things way out of proportion. As a result, most of the narrative circles round and round without getting to the point or even dropping any foreshadowing events.

Another point is that there is a pretty big religious aspect to the novel. I wasn’t expecting that and I immediately saw amazing potential in that angle… but that was also not handled properly. Unfortunately, all these (and other things) made the book a bit tedious for me to read.

What I liked about the book:

• The realistic portrayal of overthinking: The way Anna spiraled over her own assumptions was something I liked only because I found it totally relatable. She thinking the worst and taking a molehill and making a mountain of it… I know for a fact that’s exactly how overthinking works.

• Anna’s day-to-day life: Even if Anna was overthinking all the time, the author didn’t fail to show how Anna lived every day. Snippets of her home life, her workdays, and her church visits – all these painted a homely picture that I couldn’t help but like. It showed that Anna was a really jovial yet dedicated person, and I would have loved to see that more… but, oh well!

• Parts of the big reveal: I didn’t like the way the reveal was handled, but there were parts of it that I couldn’t help but appreciate. Firstly, the actual mystery – I simply wasn’t expecting that. It made my jaw drop and gave me some satisfaction after all those grueling chapters. And secondly, Anna keeping her secret from Jon about not getting pregnant… well that made sense to me. And, as Anna reasoned, it would’ve been such an unnecessary way of hurting their family, when she was finally pregnant!

What I wasn’t impressed with:
Imagine you want something and it’s right there in front of you. But for some reason, it seems to move away from you when you go closer to it. This book felt like that to me. It was truly capable of becoming one of the best mystery books with a slice-of-life twist (but it came across as the other way around)… I guess that goal moved away from the author when she tried to go close.

This novel had its wins, but the confused narrative put all those in the backseat. The mystery was watery at best, with only one thing happening to fuel it (the scan coming in through the post). [ I was also expecting more insight into Anna’s childhood – so I could hate her family and justify her actions – but nothing came of the sort. Since there was no shock value to her past, it negated the goosebumpy effect the book promised to deliver.

Expanding more on that, I also felt that the end was too good to be true. Everything was laid out in the open in two short chapters and there was no anger, just acceptance. I was especially hoping Jon to lash out at Anna but he was all loving, understanding, and caring. For a story so rooted in reality, the ending was almost fairy-tale-like, and that definitely doesn’t happen in real life.

My final thoughts?
I don’t know how to make up my mind on The New Girl – while it is a quick and easy read, it is also the kind of book I’d pick up only if I have nothing else to read. But me not being impressed with it doesn't mean you won't be, so give it a try!

Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
#netgalley #arcreview

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***TRIGGER WARNING: Miscarriage, marriage problems, possible infidelity***

Anna and Jon are a married couple. Anna really wants a baby. They feel overwhelmed in life and work with their design and printing business and feel like they need help.

Will they get that help in Grace?

Grace goes to the same church and has a dog that sleeps under the pews. I liked this little detail, and how ir was woven into the plot. She works with Jon at the church.

Anna’s feelings were right out there from the start, and some were realistic and others were unfounded. She was a bit opinionated at times. Kate is a good friend of hers, and I liked her and how supportive she was.

The New Girl is the first novel by Alison Stockham I have reviewed.

It was a little predictable, but it also felt true-to-life. The pace was very quick, which was good, as I was eager for Anna and Grace to get to know each other. The way they did was realistic.

I was also thinking: what kind of feelings does Jon have for Grace? Are they messing with Anna and her mind? I did feel uneasy more than once as the story developed because of this and other things that happen to add twists to the book.

Who can be trusted?

Thanks to Alison Stockham, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

3.5 stars.

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