The New Kid (New Kid, # 1)
By: Temple Matthews
Published: 2009 by Teen Libris
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!!)
Goodreads description--Will Hunter is used to being the New Kid; Harrisburg High School is his fifth new school in less than three years. By now, he knows not to be fooled by the bright pep rallies, the wholesome jocks, the innocent cheerleaders. He knows the evil lurking underneath. It’s the same evil that took his dad eight years ago: the same evil he battles every day.
Natalie Holand’s life fell apart the night her sister Emily disappeared. No one believes her when she tells them what she saw: yellow and green eyes, glowing beneath the surface of the water in which Emily supposedly drowned. And Emily isn’t the only person to go missing in Harrisburg lately. The town is changing, not for the better, and Natalie doesn’t know why. What she does know is that, whatever’s happening, it’s bad, and the New Kid is right in the middle of it.
Because Will has a secret even bigger than Harrisburg’s, and there’s more to it than even he knows.
This fast-paced, action-packed first novel by veteran Hollywood screenwriter Temple Mathews takes the idea of high school as hell to a whole new level. Will’s story, part wish-fulfillment sci-fi adventure and part iconic hero’s journey with a side of budding romance, will appeal to teen readers of both genders.
I have to be honest and say that I truly did not have high expectations for this book. I can’t really explain why. I hadn’t (and still haven’t) read any other reviews of it, but it definitely exceeded my expectations.
It was a nice change of pace to read from a guy’s perspective. I know they’re more prevalent than they used to be, and I’ve been reading The Chronicles of Nick series, so it’s not like I’m unfamiliar with reading from a guy’s perspective, but female leads still dominate the YA genre.
Will’s an extraordinary teenager. He’s able to bend time in order to move extremely fast. He’s crazy strong and super smart. While other kids in chemistry class were looking at the assignment, Will’s been inventing protective clothing tougher than Kevlar.
For the first time in his life, Will attempts to have friends. A weird kid, Rudy, that he saves from the school big shot, and Natalie, a cute girl that catches his eye from day one. Rudy and Natalie insist on being in on the action, and while that normally bugs me coming from characters who can’t handle themselves (especially of the female variety), Natalie holds her own without being unconvincingly helpful.
I can’t say there were any plot twists that I didn’t see coming. There was a section when I was hoping that Will would eventually explain how he’s learned everything he’s learned without the help of someone to show him the ropes, but all is explained in a way that I was at least okay with though maybe not fully convinced. I’m not squealing in anticipation to get my hands on the next book (which I actually already have in my possession), but The New Kid definitely ended up being better than I expected.
I have to add that I really like the title and how it was played into the story—good choice Temple Matthews.
So, The New Kid gets 3.5 stars. Have you read The New Kid? If so, what did you think? Let me know!