The New Girl By Tracie Puckett

Book Review/Summary - By Kammie Harn

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Abcdef Ghijk

The New Girl starts off with Abcdef (Steph) Ghijk introducing herself to Mr. Rivera, her new english teacher. Steph and her mother, Caroline, recently moved to Webster Grove. With Webster Grove came school number eleven and house number eighteen in Steph's seventeen years of life. Caroline found out that she was pregnant with Steph at fifteen and all that Steph knows about her biological father is the little bit that Caroline shared; He was abusive. When Steph was two years old, she and Caroline fled to an old, abandoned house across town. Steph's bio. father found them, so they moved again; Starting the vicious cycle of constant moving and hiding.

From the start there is something about Mr. Rivera that Steph can't seem to shake. He is quite the handsome man - deep brown eyes, tan skin (Cuban descent), dark and slightly messy hair. He has it all. After introductions are done between Steph and Mr. Rivera, the bell rings to begin first period. Steph is befriended by Nate and Bridget. At lunch, Bridget convinces Steph to try out for costume design for the school play. Good thing Steph loves to design clothes. Oh, and there is a plus; Mr. Rivera is the play director. She couldn't pass up a chance to catch some more glances at her gorgeous teacher! Later on at play auditions, Mr. Rivera is impressed with Steph's designs and she ends up getting to be the head of costume design.

When Steph gets home from auditions, she walks into her house and it is completely put together and looks like a home. To some this is normal when moving to a new house, but for the Ghijk girls, this is anything but normal! Caroline Ghijk never settles down and unpacks because, before you know it, they're off to a new town. Steph is confused. She can't wrap her head around the fact that they're unpacked and knows Caroline is up to something. Of course! It has to be another guy! What else could be expected from Caroline Ghijk. Steph is anything but impressed, but tries to be happy for her mom.

A few weeks later, Steph finds out that she is having dinner with her mother, Cal (her mother's new man), and his little brother. Needless to say, Steph is less than thrilled. As the door bell rings, Call comes in and soon accompanies Caroline in the kitchen. A few seconds later, the doorbell rings again and as Steph opens the door she could NOT have been anymore shocked. None other than Mr. Rivera was standing on her front door step. Steph tried to explain to Caroline that this could not happen, but Caroline would not listen. With Cal and Caroline preoccupied in the kitchen, Steph decided to accompany Mr. Rivera in the dining room. They decided to keep their teacher-student relationship under wraps and act natural. They made it through dinner alright until Calvin and Caroline got engaged! Again, Steph was less than thrilled. She left and went to her room. Awhile later, Mr. Rivera, better known as Alex, went to check on her and that was the moment that Steph was completely sure that hiding her crush on her teacher and soon to be step-uncle was going to be much harder than she thought.

As the book goes on, Steph manages to keep her crush on the down low, for the most part, despite her forced relationship with Mr. Rivera. That is until everything gets turned upside down. The play goes off without a hitch and the costumes were fantastic. Mr. Rivera has a monumental surprise for Steph in the end and it throws all of her work of trying to keep her crush hidden straight down the drain. As she is cleaning up costumes from the play, Mr. Rivera tells her to stay put because he has a surprise for her. He walks back into the room with his grandmother, however, she's not just another typical grandma. She is Steph's fashion idol, Adrianna Holbrook. Steph is speechless. She can't thank Alex enough and the only thing she could think to do was to throw herself into his arms and repeatedly thank him. It was in that moment, though, that she knew that Mr. Rivera was something special and fate had something big in store for the both of them.

The Webster Grove Series

Book 1 - The New Girl

Book 2 - Under the Mistletoe

Book 3 - Secrets to Keep

Book 4 - Coming Out

Book 5 - All Good Things

My Opinion on The New Girl

I love this book. I actually bought every book in the series and I'm on book four right now. I love Tracie Puckett's writing style. She is very genuine and does a fantastic job at making her characters relatable. I loved reading about Steph's life unfold and all of her struggles trying to suppress her feelings. Bridget and Nate remind me a lot of a couple of my friends and their truly supportive of Steph.

This book was a pretty easy read. It's decently short, but I like how the author broke up the different stages of Steph's life up into the different books. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to someone looking for an easy, relatable read!