Guest Post & Review: The New Boy by Paula Rawsthorne

The New Boy

Author: Paula Rawsthorne

Published by: Scholastic on March 7th, 2019

Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Young Adult // Thriller

Similar Books I’ve Read: The 100 Society

Disclosure: I received this book from the Publisher/Author in exchange for an impartial review. This is an unpaid/unsponsored post.

When new boy Jack starts at Zoe’s school, something about him makes her nervous – he’s so perfect, he can hardly be real. But Zoe is soon swept up in how charming, popular and handsome he is. 

Soon, they’re dating and he’s everything she dreamed he might be – kind, attentive, full of romantic gestures. 

Eventually, though, the cracks start to show and Zoe wonders whether she was right all along. Is Jack too good to be true?

First Thoughts  

I was first introduced to Paula’s incredible writing when I read Shell last year. It was one of my favourite reads of the year, and when The New Boy came along, looking all shiny and inviting, you can’t say no to something so perfect. I was won over straight from blurb and that twisty-turny cover.

My Review  

I started reading just after midday at the very beginning of March and suddenly, only a couple chapters in, it could have been snowing outside and I wouldn’t have noticed. I was completely engrossed in Zoe, our main character, and her world. Days are the same old, same old for her. That’s until Jack starts at her school. He’s new, and of course, whenever someone new starts at school, there’s always some kind of aura around them. They’re the shiny new person and because you haven’t grown up with that person, or spent time around them, they can sometimes seem off. But everyone loves Jack. Like, immediately. Somehow, to everyone and the naked eye, he’s perfect. Flawless. 

Zoe promised herself she wouldn’t fall under his spell. But she soon becomes entangled in his perfect mystery. His whimsical charm, the words that roll off his tongue, his looks, his voice, his everything. And all of a sudden, they’re together. Dating and spending all their time together. He’s the dream boyfriend, caring and sweet and beyond dream-worthy. But all good things seem to come to an end. The perfect surface starts to shatter beneath them both, and Zoe starts to see a different side to Jack and the flawless exterior he’s fronted. She’s faced with the hanging question if her first thought was right. What if he isn’t who he said he was after all?

Overall, I was hanging on every last word reading The New Boy. Just like Shell, I couldn’t put this down. I finished the book in one day solid, no breaks, no interruptions, just like reading should be. A little before the conclusion, I did start to figure out the little hints and put together some of the mystery, but the wow-wow-wow moment of realisation still happened and after that last page had been turned, I just sat there for a good ten minutes writing down notes that were all gushy compliments, lots of omg’s and about how this is perfect for some kind of Netflix movie worthy book-turned-movie honour. There isn’t enough words to describe just how incredible The New Boy is and you will not be disappointed. Five stars completely! 

Advice for aspiring writers by Paula Rawsthorne

1. My first piece of advice is the most obvious and basic – if you want to be a writer you

have to get writing! We’re all experts at procrastination, but if we’re going to create

a story we have to knuckle down and get words on the page. Why not just start and

see where it takes you?

2. Writing a novel is like running a marathon. It’s hard work and it takes stamina and

determination. Keep the momentum going and try and stay excited about your story.

3. All writing is rewriting – this means that you get your first draft down (no matter

how roughly) then have a proper break before returning to it with fresher eyes. Be

critical as you reread your work. Be honest with yourself about what needs

improving. Do the characters feel real? Does the dialogue ring true? Is the plot

convincing and engrossing? Be brutal – edit out waffle and padding. Sharpen it,

choose the best words to convey images in your readers’ heads. Redraft, then

redraft again and again until your story is the best it can possibly be.

4. Carry a notebook around with you to jot down anything that sparks your

imagination. Inspiration for stories is all around us, so be observant and curious.

5. Daydream- We have sensory overload 24/7 so it’s important to take time out and

turn off your phone, computers, X box and just stare into space. See what images

come into your head, see where they take you. We all need HEADSPACE to release

our imaginations. Sometimes the best ideas come when we’re doing nothing!

6. Use your 5 senses when you write. It makes your work more layered, vivid and


7. Enter writing competitions – they give you motivation, deadlines and themes. Make

sure they are reputable and not a scam to get money out of you.

8. READ – If you want to write then read as much as you can. Find books that you can’t

put down, that stay with you, that you want to discuss with others. Then try and

work out why you liked them so much. Dissect how the author wrote the characters.

What was it about the plot that had you gripped? Analyse it and think about how

you can do it in own your writing. Of course, this doesn’t mean copying them. The

more you write, the more you’ll find your own unique voice and style.

Have you read The New Boy? Let me know what you think!

Use #THENEWBOY to tell me on Twitter!

You can buy it:

Amazon | Book Depository

happy reading!

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