26030737The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Poppy
Source: The NOVL newsletter
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

A ridiculously cute, formerly-famous new guy dropping into your life? It’s practically every girl’s dream.

But not Jules McCallister-Morgan’s.

I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn’t get to be the editor of my school’s long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year-early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college-and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to “live a little,” or boys.

At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.

And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.

I know what you’re thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don’t understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I’m not going down without a fight.


* Okay, I sort of did. But it’s a sore subject.

** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous.

***Some people think I’m overreacting. But this. Means. War.

Filled with romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that’s sure to have you falling for The New Guy. – Goodreads


Occasionally characters come around in books and I feel like I have found myself. Jules is one of those characters. She has high anxiety, she has this need to be perfect and accepted. Natalie has few wants in life. She wants to be editor in chief of her school newspaper, wants to get into Brown, and wants to feel like her parents (Mom and Darcy) found her worth it.

If Natalie was here, maybe I wouldn’t have earned this. Maybe I didn’t even earn this. Maybe I’m just the one who’s sitting here. Why isn’t Natalie here anyway? Why would she want to leave when this was her destiny as much as it was mine? —pg 23 ARC

Jules’ dreams start to come true with her getting editor in chief and everything else around her starts to crumble. There is a rival newspaper/TV show. There is a cute boy. And Jules is slowly becoming a shitty friend (even though she’s currently not aware).

After we eat, I stack my textbooks on the kitchen table and realize I have more homework than usual, and I should have started hours ago. I feel guilt for ignoring it for the extra time I spent with Alex, and then I feel guilty for regretting any moment with him, and then I’m back to feeling like an underachiever, and it just keeps circling. —pg 82 ARC.

Here’s the thing. I know that spiral that Jules was in. I know it well. It’s also why when people comment that Jules isn’t realistic, or she worries about silly things I’m going to be bothered. Because there was a bit of me in Jules. I’m super protective of her because teenage Ashley needed Jules.

He sighs. “There’s a line between caring passionately and maybe going a little too far.” –pg 194, ARC

What I also loved about The New Guy and Spalding books in general, are the friendships, particularly female friendships that are evident throughout not only The New Guy but previous novels also. They’re real friends and they work through their shit. One can never say that Spalding writes one dimensional friendships.

“…You’ve made me feel…” Sadie cries silently for a moment, and shoves my hand away when I try to touch her shoulder. “Like nothing. I know I’m just stupid Sadie with my stupid hair and my stupid problems and I’m not going to an Ivy League school, but –” —pg 253, ARC

Sometimes books are hard to review, and it is of no fault of the book. It’s totally on me and I’m not sure how to put into words how much I adored this book. Spalding is easily one of my favorite contemporary writers. From her main characters to how she writes parents, I adore her stories, The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) cannot be missed.