Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The New Guy

Rate this book
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.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published April 5, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Amy Spalding

13 books673 followers
Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She has a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, and an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
182 (16%)
4 stars
257 (22%)
3 stars
411 (36%)
2 stars
200 (17%)
1 star
83 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 224 reviews
14 reviews18 followers
May 18, 2016
Okay ummm so. I just finished this book, and here are my thoughts.


I expected this to be a cute, romantic book with some twist or betrayal or drama, but I did NOT expect it to be 95% about this rivalry between two high school CLUBS. No offense, but I couldn't care less about The Crest and TALON. I ended up just skimming through most of the book, and only reading the parts between Alex and Jules (Julia???) which I will get to later.

I know this newspaper is really important to Jules, but like PLEASE. It is not a story about a newspaper, is it?? Because in that case the cover and the blurb were waayyy misleading. Some parts about war and revenge were just so boring that this was almost - ALMOST - a DNF.

The characters really didn't help. Their dialogues were so short ... It was like "hi!!" "Kbye!!!!" and that was the whole scene! Julia and Alex were making out after what, TWO CONVERSATIONS? Like watch out girl, you don't know where this ex-celebrity's thang has been. Ok.

Also. The characters had no depth. Jules has two moms and is really into school. Oh, and she walks dogs. That's about it. I'm serious. Alex is even worse. He's hot, he used to be famous, until something (I don't even remember) happened and now he's normal. He has absolutely ZERO personality and I honestly have no idea what drew Julia into him. Shallow much??

Well then. Besides the like, 3 uses of shit, and a brief mention of sex, I'd recommend this book for girls in middle school who enjoy simple characters, hot pop singers that U want 2 B ur Boi, and newspaper rivalries and revenge that is so immature that I take it back, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,915 reviews35.3k followers
February 22, 2016
Amy Spalding is pure guilty pleasure reading for me! I also support the type of books she writes for growing hormonal decent kids. I can't even pretend to read her Young Adult books as passing them on to my daughters - or to my friends who have teens---(but I have many times)...
I get the warm-fuzzies being transported into the teen world of the wholesomeness ---(not without problems), that Amy creates.

"The Reece Malcolm List" is still my favorite:
....a young girl's father has died at the beginning of the book....and immediately the story moves forward.
Devon begins a new life in a bigger city- ( LA),
with a mother she has never met. ( a famous writer).
The story covers many issues...( mother/daughter dynamics including her mother's boyfriend, an entirely new economic
environment, new school, new friends, fitting in, and her passion for Musical theater)...
Its a refreshing bright- but not sappy- well written novel exploring relationships, ...
with underline themes about trust and abandonment. --- but there is no question the 'sparkle' is the Musical Theater. Amy Spalding was ahead of her day --this book came out before the hit TV show, "Gee".

In this book: "The New Guy ( and Other Senior Year Distractions)", Jules is a senior in High School. She loves school....highly driven A student, Preppie type.
Never been kissed... ( well -one time -a long time ago -which almost doesn't count).

THIS STORY is my 2nd favorite Amy Spalding book. ( I like them all though- I kid you not).
The 'star' is *Jules*. (Senior in H.S...parents & teachers love this type of girl ...I loved her myself)
Jules becomes uncomfortable with unexpected changes. -- that feeling of being off balanced with thyself. Up until her Senior year in High School, Jules was pretty clear of who she was - ( as identity)- Happy--yet also 'attached' to her goals, her routines, her busyness. An A student with her heart set on going to Brown in Rhode Island when she graduates. She has been able to glide through life fairly effortlessly with a functional home environment and no emotional major loss or tragedy. Her life is structured, fairly predictable, until she meets Alex, a boy she likes. However, Alex isn't the only person- place -or thing that is causing Jules to feel as though she doesn't have control over the outcome of her life any longer.
About half way through the book ... I began to wonder, "how much of the struggles Jules is facing ...( challenges and distractions with school concerns and Alex), ... are perhaps an avoidance of a deeper suppressed pain? Jules is a very bright girl ...( sure a first boy crush can throw you off your game-plan)... but the conflict she was upset about - distracted with - was over the School Newspaper, which she was editor of.
Another A student ( whom Jules saw as her rivalry and competition), came up with a more modern approach to deliver the students school news using the schools TV's in every classroom.
Yet... I was wondering if Jules teenage conflicts were the 'distraction' to something deeper not yet revealed...( especially given I'd only read 1/2 the story).

Jules has two mom's. They are fabulous parents. Her relationship with them is loving with respect and healthy boundaries. Both mom's are great parent role models. I noticed the way they listened to Jules and the questions they asked ...( when they did). They were both very strong women, and it's worthy to pay close attention to them whenever they are given a scene in the book...
However, I think the story could have added slightly deeper issues to explore.
I would have liked to see more written about the 'two-moms'.

A close friend of mine was married to a woman for 10 years. They have two kids together. I've watched their kids grow up. My friend is married to a man now...
and their complicated-sounding- lives works rather smoothly actually. They live in a community ( Long Beach), where there is actually a high percentage of 'two mom's ' in the area.

But Paul and I have local friends - two mom's - married 30+ years. They asked Paul to be the sperm dad years ago ...( oh boy.. we love them.. but our marriage was just not that enlighten...Paul is certainly not their children's father)...
I remember when deeper issues surface for their teen daughter about loss and grief of the father she didn't have.

It's a possible issue to explore that might have added to this story.
And/or... I kept feeling there 'was' more being kept from us about Alex...( maybe with his parents?)...that got fully explored.
However, the story didn't move in the 'slightly deeper' directions I thought it might...
( hey.. let's be fair: I'm reading this at age 63)...and I still enjoyed it!

I just love Amy -and her books! They can have flaws.. doesn't matter to me- I'm her fan..BIG TIME!!! My drinking bottle always gets a fresh new refill of love!!!

Thank You "Little Brown Books", Netgalley, and Amy Spalding

Profile Image for Taylor.
767 reviews424 followers
March 12, 2016
I had really high hopes for this book. I wanted it to be well written and fun and be an extremely fluffy contemporary that would get me out of my reading slump. And The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) was exactly what I hoped it would be. It's so much fun to read and I loved it so much. I loved the concept and even though I got frustrated with Jules at times, I didn't find her to be extremely annoying. I thought this book was really funny. I laughed out loud a few times and the overall plot was really light and fun.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
511 reviews298 followers
April 26, 2016
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner !

Beware spoilers ahead!

I had heard about this book through Netgalley. It sounded interesting and I requested it. After some time had passed I completely forgot that I requested it. When I went into my Netgalley account I saw that I was denied for this book. That's when I remembered this book even existed. I decided to give it a go because I liked Jules. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!

The book begins with Jules as she is given information on the new student. Must to her shock and surprise the new student is famous pop star Alex Powell. Jules assumes she's imagining things until she shows the picture to her best friend Sadie. Sadie is just as surprised as Jules. After having a brief conversation with Sadie, Jules goes to meet Alex and give him a tour.

When Jules meets the student she realizes that it really is Alex Powell. Deciding to pretend not to know about his former music career, she introduces herself and begins the tour. While giving Alex a tour Jules finds out that Alex is quite nice. He didn't make fun of her when her skirt got caught in the door. In fact he seems to like her. Jules manages to get through the tour without too many hitches and the two of them go their separate ways.

By the time lunch arrives everyone's heard about Alex. Much to Jules surprise and her friends Alex ends up sitting with them at lunch. Sadie and Em (Jules friend's) are convinced that Alex likes Jules. Over the course of a few weeks Alex and Jules become close and Jules starts developing feelings towards Alex.

Of course this completely goes against all of Jules plans. She wanted to start dating boys when she was in college not in her senior year. Luckily some of her goals are achieved. Mr. Wheeler chooses her to be editor of the school newspaper. Something that Jules has always wanted. And while Alex wasn't apart of the plan she doesn't mind.

For weeks now there's been a flyer in all of the students lockers talking about TALON. Jules assumes that it must be a club but is still surprised that she hasn't heard about it. Then on a faithful Friday TALON is revealed. It's a news channel for the school. And the one who founded TALON is none other than Natalie, who Jules was competing for the editor of the newspaper. Much to Jules shock TALON is reporting what the newspaper team is supposed to put on the newspaper. And on top of that Alex has joined. Jules cuts off all ties with Alex and vows to restore the newspaper to it's former glory.

I was actually surprised that I liked The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions)! When I read the synopsis on Netgalley I thought it sounded odd. The synopsis didn't make sense to me. I didn't get why Jules disliked Alex and whatnot. Of course all that came together once I started reading. The book is written in first person in Jules point of view. The chapters are very short so it's pretty easy to fly through this book. I liked the writing style! It had the right about of emotion in the right places. There's a large focus on school and journalism which was nice! You don't really read about journalism in most YA books.

I really liked Jules character! It was nice to read about a girl who knew what she wants and has goals set. In a way she reminded me of Harper from Rebel Belle. Also she has two moms! And the relationship with them was awesome! Very rarely I have read in YA a female character close to her mothers. The truly were an awesome support system. The friendships were nice! I liked the newspaper friends and Sadie and Em! As was the determination that Jules had to save the newspaper. All in all Jules was a nice character who did most things with good intentions. I also liked Natalie's character. She was complex and smart.

I had three problems with this book. When Alex is first introduced I did like him. He was sweet and his interactions with Jules was funny. Once he joined TALON I started to lose interest in him. Then when he started coming in again I started to like him again. But then he and Jules had a secret relationship, which I did not get. I understood why Jules wanted to keep them a secret but I was surprised that Alex went along with it. Their interactions lacked substance. I never felt anything when I read about them.

This is a revenge story. There are some sabotages pulled on both ends. While I usually don't enjoy revenge stories I was looking forward to seeing what each group came up with. Honestly I found most of it to be lame. Towards the end of the book it started to get interesting.

The book did end on a good note and Jules apologized to Natalie. Then the two of decide to collaborate on a project. While I liked the ending I didn't like the miscommunication. Had the characters started communicating with each other the conclusion would've come much faster.

Note most of the book is spent on taking down TALON. So Jules ends up forgetting to get back to her friends and starts to talk to them less. Then when she secretly started dating Alex she also forgets to spend time with her friends. And was unsympathetic towards their problems. She was so caught up in a boyfriend and balancing school that she forgot to balance her friends. Now this didn't bother me because Jules wasn't trying to do it on purpose and she was new to dating as well as coming up with revenge strategies. I'm mentioning this because I know it bothered other readers. So maybe now that you know it might not bother you.

Overall this was a good book! I will definitely keep a lookout for this author. I recommend it to fans of contemporary books, and fans of the author.
Profile Image for Summer.
202 reviews123 followers
May 14, 2021
1 Star, Completed June 6, 2016

I really want to be able to say that if I read this three-ish years ago when I was a senior in high school that the story would be relatable and appeal to me more. But, alas, I still wouldn’t think I’d enjoy it.

In The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions), Jules McCallister-Morgan is a senior at Eagle Vista Academy. She’s an honors student, organization freak, and may even be slightly neurotic. Her idea of an ideal senior year is earning her position as editor of The Crest, her school’s newspaper, getting into Brown University, and proving to herself that she was worth the money her moms invested in in order to have her. What she doesn’t expect to find is that she’ll become editor by default because her opponent has already moved on to better things and backed out of the competition; Alex Powell, ex-boy band member of the one hit wonder group, Chaos 4 All, is the new guy at school; and she may be interested in having a boyfriend more than she initially thought. Least of all, she didn’t anticipate becoming commander of one of the sides of a high school war.

“…I think that someone who cares passionately is a good role model.”
He sighs. “There’s a line between caring passionately and maybe going a little too far. Can you think hard about what side of the line you’re on?”

I like to think that I was a good student in high school, but I certainly wouldn’t call myself an overachiever by any means. However, I was acquainted with so many in my group of friends that the personality isn’t something I’m entirely unfamiliar with. And I recognize enough to know that there’s a difference between being confident versus egotistical. Unfortunately, I found Jules to be more conceited than inspiring.

Jules’ character is purposely written in a way where readers aren’t supposed to like her. She’s controlling, sometimes selfish, and many times inconsiderate-somewhat reminiscent of Jane Austen’s Emma in Emma . However, I disliked that even to the very end Jules remained to be considerably bratty. She repents for her mistakes and understands how she wrongs her friends, which is something to praise, but her personality was just so consistently irritating to me. Because of her A-type nature, she frets and overreacts very easily and often. And so there was an unhealthy amount of unnecessary conflicts and melodrama that I wasn’t interested in reading.

“He’s him and you’re you?” She asks. “Oh my god, Jules. Jules! Yes, he used to be famous, but you’re amazing.”

Okay, so it’s fantastic that Jules has such a supportive clique and that they’re there for her to help boost her self-esteem (though it’s apparent that she really doesn’t need it usually), but I was constantly so irked that these pep talk sessions were too frequently found throughout the entire novel. Everyone (her best friend, her moms, her teacher, her on and off boyfriend, and even her TALON “rival”) continuously complimented her for being so “amazing” even when she sometimes presented such undeserving behavior, in my opinion.

“Can I say it?” I interrupt. I have always wanted a moment like this, and it’s here! Maybe TALON has actually given me a gift. I get to be the underdog, and everyone knows that the underdog is the one to root for. I’ve been gearing up my whole life to be the underdog.
Thatcher grins at me. “Go for it. You’ve earned it.”
“This means war.”

Well, first, I can’t imagine that people live in order to become the underdog… (Like, girl, your priorities… are really out of order.) But I found it so disappointing and strangely bathetic that this was really a story about a feud between two school clubs. I’m not sure what I was expecting but certainly not this. This plot isn’t one that’s strong enough to hold for a novel let alone one that is over 300 pages. For that reason, there’s a lot of repetition (in regards to plot), not much happens, and the pace is rather slow (it seriously took me months to pioneer my way through).

And putting aside my dismay for the anticlimactic storyline, I wasn’t impressed with the execution of the route it chose to go either. The fight between the two clubs weren’t even. TALON would hurt the Newspaper team in various ways but Jules’ side would make personal attacks on the individuals of TALON, which was not okay. The Crest‘s revenge tactics just didn’t seem fair to me (and that only added more reason for me to dislike Jules; she was so blind to the fact she was hurting people-some that she was close to-so inconsiderately).

Being someone that strongly dislikes not finishing a book, I couldn’t bear to not finish The New Guy but I probably should have called it quits early on. I found myself shaking my head chanting “I just can’t” more than I would have liked, and I hardly looked forward to picking this up after I had started it. The writing probably isn’t the problem because I know a lot of people that love Amy Spalding’s other novel, Kissing Ted Callaghan (and Other Guys) , which I do own and plan to read someday. Simply, it was Jules and her narration that was so off-putting to me. And though there is a plot it isn’t a very strong one that can keep readers interested for long.

In short, I think this is just one of those titles where expectations fell through. Regrettably, the only positive thing I can share about this story is that it features a protagonist that has two moms, which may be uncommon in YA lit but still isn’t enough for me to deem special.


Special thanks to NOVL and Poppy for sending me this review copy of The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions). In no way did this affect my reading experience or honest review.


More reviews at Xingsings

Blog @xingsings | Instagram @readxings | Twitter @xingsings

Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 6 books1,204 followers
December 17, 2015
Love, love, love this romcom about a high-achieving senior girl who finds herself falling for the former boy band member Alex when he transfers to her school. It's funny, fun, and it's full of heart. Jules's problems aren't the kind that will shatter the world, but they make HER world tough. That's what I love about Spalding's books -- they're stories about girls who have challenges in their everyday lives and find ways to work with those challenges, rather than against them. The newspaper editor angle and rivalry with the new media here was particularly enjoyable for me as a former newspaper editor turned online publication editor. Jules is also the daughter of two moms, is open and frank about wanting to be sexually active and takes proactive steps to make this possible, and she's imperfect, despite her desire to be perfect.

Also, the passive aggressive dog walking was hilarious.

This is what you read when you need a smile and what you hand to teens who want feel-good books. Totally fine for even the young YA readers.

Profile Image for Paige.
369 reviews553 followers
April 2, 2016
If you follow me on Twitter (which you totally should; there’s fun gifs and you get to hear about the dumb shenanigans I get myself into) then you know I was struggling with whether or not I should give up on this book. I ultimately decided to do so after reaching the 60% mark. I’m not writing the book off completely, since I think there were some really awesome components in it, but it ended up coming down to me getting annoyed with the main character mixed with some “I don’t really care about this story anymore.”

So, pros! I started off really liking the unique voice that this contemporary had. Jules definitely does not care what others think of her and I liked her inner dialogue…until it became annoying. There was a specific turning point in the novel when I couldn’t relate to her anymore and I started to find myself flicking past pages wondering when she was going to stop talking. Alex also got on my nerves. He seemed sort of sleazy from the beginning. No, I didn’t make it to the end so maybe he does redeem himself, but the point I got to made me really dislike him.

Gay parents! Yes! Jules’ mom’s were so rad. I probably stuck it out as long as I did because I loved them and their dialogue. Can we get a book focused all around their romance? I’d read that in a heartbeat.

I also got a bit sick of Jules’ friends and the way she treated them. Jules is so caught up in her own life that she can’t even take the time to respond to emails/texts and her friends let her get away with it! Maybe I’m just not an overly forgiving person, but it continued to happen enough in the book that I seriously questioned why her best friend, who’s name I can’t remember beyond “the loud one who acts as the foil to the quiet one” would put up with that crap.

Maybe I’m just getting too old for contemporaries? I really hope not. Maybe it’s my own fault too for siding with the “bad” characters too. I mean Jules is pretty set in her ways, which I’m all for sticking to your guns, but she did it in such a way that shut down everyone else’s ideas, and I wasn’t too thrilled with that.

At the end of the day I am giving this two stars though. I think (and hope) some people will find it enjoyable, but it just wasn’t for me. As someone pointed out to me on Twitter, life is too short to waste time reading books you don’t like. On to the next!

(As it’s becoming a common theme with my DNF’s, I do really like this cover. There’s just something about it that is great! Maybe it’s the soft pastels)

What do you think? Have you read this one yet? Are you going to pick it up when it gets released next week? Let me know!
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 18 books2,329 followers
March 22, 2017
This was delightfully adorable and laugh-out-loud funny on a whole lot of occasions. I can already tell Jules is the kind of character people are gonna get really frustrated with (and at times I did too) because A) she's 99% of the reason when stuff in her own life goes south and B) the entire premise of the book is her caring a lot about something in a way I don't think everyone will relate to, but A) is reality; I've definitely been there, and I'm in the camp that totally gets B) and would've felt exactly the same way (especially having been a magazine journalism major), so I found it extra interesting. This is a terrible review of vagueness but anyway the point is it's a funny book and I liked it a lot and I adored the sweet romance, and Amy Spalding continues to write my favorite parents in YA - this time two moms, which, YAY!
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,161 reviews1,300 followers
March 13, 2021
Full Review on The Candid Cover

The New Guy is one of the most original and creative books I’ve read so far this year. It is all about a school newspaper, rivalry, and a character who used to be in a popular boy band. To top it all off, the main character has two moms, which is definitely uncommon in YA. This whole book is just a massive rollercoaster!

The New Guy is such an interesting and unique book! It tells the story of a school newspaper. There are so many things that I loved about this, especially since YA books don’t typically focus entirely on a school newspaper. But not only does this book touch on newspapers, one of the main characters is also an ex- boyband member. This is an interesting twist because it shows what happens to one hit wonders after their success.Everything about this book is just so original!

If you’re like me and are a fan of revenge books, The New Guy is definitely a book you should pick up. There is a massive rivalry between the school newspaper and the new and high tech news show, TALON. The two groups do everything they can to destroy the other and it’s very entertaining to read about. Sabotage and embarrassing footage are definitely present in this novel.

Another element of The New Guy that also blew my mind is the fact that the main character has two moms. A lot of the time in books, parents don’t even exist, especially not a family with two moms. What I really enjoyed about this is how realistically these characters are portrayed. The questions that the main character is asked about them are questions that could definitely be asked. I really appreciated this diversity when I was reading the book.

The New Guy is a very original revenge story that is enlightening to read. The fact that the main character has two moms made me appreciate the book even more. This is the perfect book to unwind with for spring!
Profile Image for Sherwood Smith.
Author 156 books37.5k followers
February 29, 2016
Copy courtesy of NetGalley

A teen romance told in a sprightly, engagingly snarky narrative voice from the point of view of a totally focused alpha girl. I liked the way Spalding made Jules believable as an only child over-achiever, utterly focused on grade point average, SATs, and getting into her target college in spite of formidable odds. A girl whose extra curricular activities include dog walking at a rescue shelter because she loves walking dogs, but has until now not included boys.

When she meets Alex in the first few pages, showing the new boy around the school, I laughed out loud as she catches herself talking like a school pamphlet and struggling for the first time with feelings of attraction that hitherto she hasn't had time for.

I liked Alex, though at times he seemed a bit too good to be true, but he was a nice balance for Jules, whose focus has kept her from seeing how she steamrollers people into following her lead because this is the way a future leader is supposed to act. Unfortunately, her occasional insights into how much she's hurting her friends, and the difference between winning people over as a leader and using your power to get obedience, don't register until way late.

Jules' secondary focus is the school newspaper, with its long and venerable history. As a senior, she wants more than anything to become editor . . . which drives the secondary plot. Here's where I had trouble with the read. Jules' singleminded focus went on for a very long time, then the painful climax you could see coming is spring-boarded off a totally unbelievable plot point , after which the resolution comes rather fast.

I still would recommend the book to teen readers, as it has a lot going for it. I loved the way Jules' parents were worked into the story as a normal thing (while Jules was aware of how non-normal they could be to some), the dog-walking was a delight, and so were Jules' friends. Ideally there could have been a better arc of self-discovery to make the payoff feel more earned, but maybe young readers won't notice that with all the other things the story had going for it.
Profile Image for Jay.
514 reviews370 followers
February 5, 2015
nope, definitely not interest anymore. 100% no.
Profile Image for Tee loves Kyle Jacobson.
2,471 reviews169 followers
March 22, 2016
I have to say that this book had me on the floor laughing. Lord I remember high school and I hated it so much. There were so many expectations placed on you and your parents wanted one thing and you wanted another. So much chaos coming in every direction as you approach your senior year but for Jules she has her goals and she is determined to meet them.

Jules has her life mapped out. So for her senior year she wants to be the editor of her school newspaper and get an early acceptance in to the college of her dreams. Sounds doable until she gets a hitch in her plans in the form of a boy but just not any boy. Alex Powell is the band boy who made it big and then fell off and is now in her life. She likes him but she has her goals.

But as her and Alex get closer they discover they have so much in common. But as Jules uncovers things about Alex the happiness she feels soon goes away. She starts to hate him and when the truth comes out all hell breaks lose. This is one story you have to read. I laughed so hard at the situation and how Jules handled herself.
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone.
1,484 reviews189 followers
May 2, 2020
1.5 Stars

Another cookie cutter romance. Quirky girl meets cool guy (I can't remember if he had a lopsided grin but he definitely had floppy hair). Romance blooms. But oh no! They are now on opposites sides of a school feud that nobody else cares about. However, their attraction to each other and the rightness of their love triumphs over adversity. The end.

Update: To be clear, I don't have an issue with formulaic romance novels at all. The elements that make some more enjoyable than others are: the characters are interesting and have depth, amazing chemistry that leaps off the page, and dialogue that can be witty, intelligent, meaningful and romantic.

Sadly this book did not have those elements hence the 1.5 Stars.
Profile Image for Laura Cunha.
544 reviews29 followers
November 3, 2020


Depois de uma excelente experiência com a autora Amy Spalding, no livro Kissing Ted Callahan (and other guys), eu não resisti e comprei The New Guy (and other senior year distractions), porque não há melhor propaganda que uma boa experiência.

Porém, nem sempre as pessoas acertam, incluindo-se autores.

Depois de uma protagonista tão divertida em Kissing, temos a insossa da Jules em The New Guy, que até que tem uma premissa bastante interessante! A super certinha e cdf Jules está para começar seu último ano antes da faculdade, e logo no primeiro dia ela tem como missão mostrar a escola para um novo aluno, Alex Powell, que nada mais é que um ex membro de uma boy band de um único hit, Chaos 4 all.

É o tipo de premissa que promete, nem que seja no quesito drama, o que não pode ficar de fora de um livro estilo young adult, infelizmente. Entretanto, Amy Spalding entrega uma história chatinha, com uma tensão que não faz sentido dentro do próprio enredo. Boa parte do tempo, toda a tensão só existe na cabeça da protagonista, que simplesmente não escuta seus amigos. Pura tortura de ler em algumas passagens.

Eu até entendo alguns dramas super fabricados, como o familiar drama do que não foi dito. Tudo acontece por falta de comunicação, e se resolve quando as cartas são colocadas na mesa. Não gosto, mas entendo, realmente tem gente assim e rola uma certa fixação por esse tipo de enredo. Porém, não consigo entender a graça do drama que só existe na imaginação da protagonista, e que nem chega a ser pelo fato do problema não ser ventilado, porque ele é.

Depois de um super acerto e um super erro, não sei o que fazer com a autora. Talvez eu só tope ler outra coisa dela se for muito bem recomendada.
Profile Image for Lizzie.
688 reviews94 followers
June 25, 2016
I love YA books, but I do have to admit, sadly, that “kissing” is not my best genre as a reader these days. Although saying so simultaneously brings to mind both “ the golden gates of childhood had forever closed behind them ,” and Fred Savage:

Is this a kissing book?

Yes, kind of! This is a kissing book, and it’s funny and there’s good characters, and a culture war to boot. Perfect fun.

Jules, the most dedicated editor of a high school paper one has ever seen outside of Paris Geller, gets blindsided in senior year by an upstart video news project of which she does not approve. Worse, her boyfriend starts working with them, a punishable offense, and pretty soon the news teams are at war.

I liked this because not only is it a cute beat-down of new media/old media’s real-world rivalry, but a prank war also brings back whiffs of Frankie Landau-Banks, which is a thing 100% of us want at all times from all books. I presume. If that’s hyperbole, let’s not speak for a little while. Particularly, I liked here that it gets escalated by both sides, that both Jules and Alex needle each other in their competition for scoops. Jules might be acting ridiculously quite often, and blowing things out of proportion from the get-go, but soon enough it’s much more than a misunderstanding driving them apart. It is war.

However, a helpful lesson learnable from multiple Amy Spalding books: do not date somebody without telling your best friend! Your best friend will be sad. Here, at least, Jules insists on a “secret relationship” due to the war! but, although she’s our narrator, we see everyone telling her: Jules! No one takes this “war” as seriously as you do. Rein it in, Jules. But Jules doesn’t. She keeps going until it blows up big time.

But that’s where Jules’s vulnerability lies, and if you care about her character you’ll care about her wacked sense of judgment where her responsibilities are concerned. We get a bit of backstory that assists us in piecing this girl together; her parents (two moms) went to lots of what she assumes was trouble in order to have and raise her, something Jules feels guilt about. She over-commits to perfection. In particular, there is a good slice of senior year college application angst, which is my #1 favorite.

Side note: this author’s books always have the very best parents in YA. Both the adult and teen characters are always great. It’s a nice touch, for this old fart who’s too lame for lots of kissing books. <3
Profile Image for Jordan (The Heart of a Book Blogger).
336 reviews107 followers
March 8, 2016
This review and more can be found at The Heart of a Book Blogger.

Do you ever just get in those moods where you just need a cute, silly, and fun story to read? That’s the kind of mood I was in when I read The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) and it was the perfect answer for me. The New Guy is a light, fun, and charming read, and it fits perfectly into the romcom genre.

Jules is the overachieving high school student. She’s focused on starting her senior year off right by becoming editor of the school’s newspaper and applying to her dream Ivy League school. However, her plan goes off course when she’s just given the editor position since half the newspaper staff quit to work for TALON, the school’s new tv announcement program. To go along with that, the new guy at school is interested in her and she has no idea about what to do with that.

I really enjoyed the rivalry between the newspaper staff and tv crew. I thought it was a fun addition to the story. Even though the rest of the school doesn’t really care, the newspaper is important to Jules and she isn’t going to let go of it without a fight. I loved how determined she was when it came to her passions, something which I can relate to. Did she make some mistakes? Yes. Did she learn from them? Yes, and that’s the great thing. So she made a mistake (okay, multiple mistakes), but everyone makes mistakes. What matters is if she grows from the mistakes and decides to try to do better the next time, which she does.

Even though this story seems focused on romance from the synopsis, it’s not. The New Guy is a coming of age story. While the parts with Alex were cute, they were not the focus. To be honest, I do kind of wish there had been more interaction between Alex and Jules. Their quick relationship was instant-love-y, but it wasn’t unbearable. They definitely had the cute, adorkable romance going on for them.

Overall, I was surprised by how fun The New Guy was and how much I enjoyed the humor and cute silliness. I recommend this to some who loves romcoms, and I look forward to reading Amy Spalding’s other novel, Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys).

*This ARC was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.*
Profile Image for Tina.
320 reviews79 followers
June 1, 2016
Disclosure: I received a copy from the author/publisher, in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my review in any shape or form.

The New Guy and other senior year distractions was definitely different. The primary focus was print and visual media. I totally loved the idea that this was not the classic cliché of a cheerleader. We’re seeing how important print and visual media is in our every day life and I really liked that about the book.

The main characters in this book are Jules and Alex Powell. Jules has the ultimate goal of going to Brown. She’s worked extremely hard, she spends most of her free time studying or volunteering and adding activities that will look great with her application. She’s been waiting for her senior year because this is the year she is hoping to become editor of the school newspaper. This is very important to Jules. It’s really what defines the story.

Alex Powell is the need kid in school who was once in a boy band. He’s also caught Jules eye and is ruining her focus (but in a good way). I think Alex was my favorite character in the whole story. He’s not present a whole lot but the few times we hear from him, I personally really enjoyed and wished we could’ve had the story told through his perspective as well.

I really enjoyed the writing, it was cute and fluffy and a bit over the top. It was a fast read that I ironically did not finish in a short amount of time. It took me a little over a month to finish this and I’m not sure why. I kept putting it down then coming back to it. Then putting it down. I blame reading slumps. If I hadn’t been in a reading slump, I could have finished this in a day.

What really made this novel for me was the fact that it focused on the newspaper and broadcasting. I’ve never read books where this was the primary focus in high school because let’s face it every high school contemporary novel we read is about cheerleaders and football players. It was nice to have the “nerds” be center stage. I also really loved the idea that Jules parents were lesbian. I thought that brought a unique perspective to the story.

Overall, I thought Jules was a bit dramatic for my taste but I did understand her action. I enjoyed the writing and look forward to reading more from Amy Spalding.
Profile Image for Jess (the cozy reader).
653 reviews42 followers
February 24, 2016
Big thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC copy for review.

When I got approved for this book on NetGalley, I was incredibly happy. This seemed like the perfect light hearted YA novel I needed to get me out of my recent reading slump. It certainly did the trick, but I was also pleasantly surprised by how charming and funny it was.

"I missed how much you blush," Alex says.
"That's the worst thing about me!"
"Nah." He grins some more. "Doughnuts?"
"Your obsessed with doughnuts," I say. ~ Alex and Julia

Our main narrator, Jules is smart, ambitious, and a high achiever when it comes to school. I liked that she was dedicated and went after what she wanted when it came to her goals. Jules also volunteers at dog rescue facility, which I think is just awesome, especially being an animal lover myself. I was also glad to see she had a great relationship with her mom and Darcy because you don't see that a lot in books to often, as well as the diversity. I can't forget her good friend, Sadie, who was Jules' own personal cheerleader of sorts.

Then we have Alex, the new student at school. He also happens to be a former member of a boy band. I thought he was very down to earth and incredibly sweet, especially when it came to his relationship with Jules. Now the romance between Jules and Alex both adorably awkward and cute. I enjoyed seeing Alex's straight forwardness with his feelings for Jules and not to mention his persistence, where as Jules was more reluctant at first. It was sweet to see them walking the dogs together at the Dog Rescue Facility. There was some drama that ensued with Jules's misjudgment and mistakes were made, but lessons are learned and there is forgiveness and understanding between the characters. Everything does work out in end.
Profile Image for Maren.
593 reviews34 followers
July 1, 2016
2.5 stars round to 3
I won an ARC of this book from The Novl.

I was so excited when I won a copy of this book from The Novl’s Boy Band March Madness Contest. The book sounded like a really cute, fun read. However it turned out not to be the book for me. Within the first few chapters, the main character annoyed me so much that I wanted to just stop. But I decided to continue on because I thought surely there must be a point where she learns from her behavior. She just seemed like she had a giant stick up her butt and everything in her life needed to be absolutely perfect. And the high school drama was just so over the top. When she starts hanging out with Alex, she started to loosen up a bit and I started enjoying the story more. Overall I just did not enjoy this story as much as I would have liked. There was nothing special about this book.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews50 followers
April 5, 2016
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

A year ago, I was fortunate to receive a review copy of the beautiful, memorable debut novel by Amy Spalding: Kissing Ted Callahan. I was mesmerized by the plot, and how music spoke to the author and the characters of the story, bringing all musical lovers together into a story that had a bittersweet, but fluffy ending. A year later, I discovered that Spalding is going to release another bittersweet, funky story of her own that I knew I'll enjoy just the same as the one with Ted Callahan, or even more, possibly. My fingers smacked my phone screen when I requested it for review, and voila: THIS WAS THE PERFECT PLANE READ THAT A GIRL COULD ASK FOR. Being able to perfectly relate to a main character is difficult, difficult for many authors to conquer because at the same time, they don't want their characters to seem boring and bland. (Not that readers are boring and bland! I hope you all know what I secretly, inwardly am trying to say).

The New Guy was focused on so many concepts and themes. This was not just about Jules' romance with a pop-star-turned-ordinary-teenager. Amy Spalding played with modern, diverse issues that YA fiction needs more of. Jules has two moms, which plays an interesting role into how she seeks help with her relationship problems with Alex. She also has big dreams (as I do) to get into Brown University and be able to conquer the world. She becomes the editor-in-chief for her school newspaper, which turns into a battle once a weekly podcast on the school's televisions begins by her mortal enemy, Natalie. Just when things could not get worse, there is a romance to worry about, impressing her teachers for good letters of recommendation, and friendship-related issues that she needs to keep in mind in order to save her friendship with her best friend. Sounds like every teenager, right? Just kidding, everyone is different! I do kind of see myself in this chick. Overachievers rule!

There were little to no issues with this book. I fell in love with the story from its first page, which I had begun the night before an airplane trip back home from my relaxing vacation. I had a night flight, and finished it in one sitting. Everyone on the plane was sleeping, while my row was the only one with the light on. (Okay. That's a little over-exaggeration). I know that a book is good when I'm that addicted to it. Jules especially captivated me with her sweet, innocent but wicked voice. Wicked as in amusing, of course. She and Alex made a perfect power couple, and I love how Amy Spalding always incorporates music culture into her stories. I can tell that she is a HUGE fan of boybands. That's adorable! Spalding adds that extra quirk into contemporary fiction that many authors do not have; the lyrics to the songs that she makes up are hilariously catchy!

Alex was such a hottie. Although his and Jules' relationship seemed rushed and very instant-ty, I am a big fan of Julex, or Ales, or whatever ship name you decide to pair the two with. They instantly clicked, bonding over dog walking and the cute things in life. That's a kind of man I need. Another fictional boyfriend to add to the list? I do think so.

In a rush, here are fifty reasons why (I wish), eight reasons why The New Guy would be perfect for you:

•This could help persuade you and cure your senioritis. Not that I know what that feels like.

•Jules has the quirkiest attitude ever. A reader cannot help but adore her personality and life mottos!

•It is a chick-lit, but encounters so many more YA issues that need to be explained. A hint of LGBTQ, a hint of gorgeous friendships, a hint of music... this is absolutely stunning.

•It gives you a perspective of what it's like to be an overachiever and have dreams... without procrastination. Jules' life shows that you could make time for everything at any time. It's crazy.

•Alex and Jules' relationship is so, so sweet. They go on and off within the story, for reasons that make sense. They are a strong, power couple.

•The humour! I had so many laugh-out-loud moments with this story, which doesn't happen often.

•The pacing. I read this in a jiffy and I cannot help but yearn for it again. Who knows? Maybe once my TBR pile weakens (NEVER. BEA IS COMING) I'll give it a go again! It's too good.

•I say it's good. You know, you should all trust me some more.

I think that I have more than enough convinced you to buy this. IT'S RELEASE DAY, GET YOUR BUTTS MOVING. *giggles*
Profile Image for Alyssa.
632 reviews594 followers
April 15, 2016
The thing with THE NEW GUY is that it sounds hilarious, and while I can’t deny it had its funny moments, most of them were just too cheesy or unbelievable, making me cringe instead of laugh. I actually felt secondhand embarrassment for the dialogue and characters’ actions.

The actual plot of the novel revolves around the main character, Jules, and her former-star-sometimes-boyfriend, Alex, and how they sort of end up on opposite sides of a newspaper vs. new media war. Unfortunately this aspect doesn’t even come into play until about 30%, meaning that up until that point, the book focuses on the romance between the two characters.

Speaking of the romance, what was that romance. From the very first meeting, it’s obvious that the characters are into each other. While I wouldn’t quite call it insta-love, it was definitely random and had no basis. So that 30% was full of awkward moments and almost every single person around the main character saying that he’s totally into her. Not to mention they were on and off again enough times to make your head spin, and broke up for really stupid reasons.

While I do enjoy contemporary novels, the one thing I don’t miss is the drama and angst, especially in a high school setting. I would almost consider this a Middle Grade novel if not for a few random moments like when the character mentions that one particular day would be a good day to have sex. What? What?

Jules makes it easy to understand the reasoning behind her actions and her motives, but I felt totally disconnected from her. As a character, she lacks a background and story, although she has a unique voice that is easy to relate to. She is also one of those naive, inexperienced characters that can’t understand why a guy would like her. Actually, no explanation was ever really given why a former star would like her. The side characters have even less depth, and very little backstory.

I would recommend this book to contemporary lovers that don’t mind revisiting the dramatic antics of high school with a few jokes in between.
Profile Image for Natalie (Never trust a duck).
264 reviews170 followers
February 28, 2016
Thank you Novl for the ARC in exchange for a review!!!!

Jules is the MC, and she’s got her heart set on journalism, so naturally, she’s obsessed with the fact of becoming editor-in-chief. And in comes Alex, the boy from a one-hit-wonder boy band that disbanded (I thought it was punny too) a few years back. Jules may have gaped a little bit upon first meeting him. I may have as well.

Alex was the major redeeming factor of this book. CAN SOMEONE SAY SWOONWORTHY? Because he was. Gosh, he’s adorable. What he did to set Jules off was not the best move, but since he’s so cute I’m gonna let it pass.

But Jules, let’s talk about Jules. She’s……definitely written as a high school character which is GREAT, but she’s also characterized as somewhat insufferable. She’s completely obsessed with the paper, and while I get that, I do, it made her seem like a bad friend at some points.

The plot was not the most intriguing thing, but for a novel like this, it was believable.

This book definitely lived up to a YA rom-com. It was funny, I admit, some of Jules inner dialogue had me cracking up because she was me in those instances. And like I said before, Alex and Jules got me swooning, which is a good sign from the start.

It was a good start as my first Amy Spalding book. I’ll definitely look to see what else she comes out with!!

Happy Reading!!!
Profile Image for Marochka.
845 reviews
May 17, 2017
Брррр... Ну и глупая книга. Наивная и скучная. Героиня ужасно нудная, но первые процентов 90% книги она мне казалась нормальной, точнее обычной. Девочка как девочка.
Зато в конце она себя так повела, что я решила, что она сумасшедшая. Пересказала подруге сюжет, и она полностью со мной согласилась. Во избежание спойлеров, писать сюда не буду, в чем дело, но... не читайте. Не. Читайте.
Когда я собралась читать эту книгу, на гудридс еще не было рейтинга. Она только вышла. Сейчас там рейтинг 3.3. Полностью оправданный. Скучно, банально, неадекватно.
Герой... вот честно: ни рыба ни мясо. Вроде как известный певец из бойзбенда, но он совершенно никакой. Ни характера, ни интересов. До тошноты положительный и наивный. Вообще по книге его сложно назвать персонажем. Он как будто приложение героини с первых же страниц. Она им, как хочет, вертит, делает, что хочет. Он не умеет водить машину, и как будто приклеен к ней. Просто реально приложение для реализации героини. Ни мыслей своих, ни интересов, ничего. Никогда еще не встречала такого "ниочемного" героя в книгах. Что есть, что нет.
Героиня зато готова задавить своей индивидуальностью всех и идти по головам. С одной стороны, это неплохо, но на фоне этого парня и других персонажей, это к концу дико раздражало.
В общем, еще раз: не читайте.
Profile Image for Melissa.
744 reviews133 followers
March 9, 2016
I'll be the first to admit that I've never been the biggest fan of boy bands - the last one that I really listened to was New Kids on the Block (before they became NKOTB), so the back story for Alex - the new guy that Jules finds so distracting - of a ex-member of a one-hit wonder boy band didn't wow me. But, in spite of this, The New Guy (And Other Senior Year Distractions) did grab my attention and caused me to spend the large part of one day and the morning of the next, glued to its pages and Amy Spalding's writing.

Anyone who has been über focused on school, a large number of extracurriculars, and their future...only to have their attention taken away by a guy and an old rival's new media venture will love this one.

Incidentally, I think there's a great comparison that can be made between Paris Geller and Rory Gilmore's rivalry if one of them had been the editor of the school newspaper and the other had been the editor/founder of a new media equivalent.
Profile Image for E. Kottaras.
Author 2 books96 followers
November 5, 2016
Amy Spalding is one of my favorite writers, period. I loved her most recent book, THE NEW GUY - besides the fact that there's a former boy band love interest (I mean, how awesome), Jules is a fantastic narrator who must figure out how to navigate the unexpected complications of her senior year - a new (secret) boyfriend, a rival "news" organization that's seeking to undermine her beloved school newspaper, and the near loss of her best friend, who's tired of Jules's many distractions. Spalding writes characters that I feel like I *know* - they are real and relatable. Like all of Spalding's novels, I couldn't put this one down. She has the best voice - full of both humor and heart - and no matter what she writes, I will read it.
Profile Image for Amy .
2,691 reviews
March 17, 2016
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars!

I'm just going to keep this review short and sweet. I thought this book was a super cute, fun read. It was very easy to get into and I finished it in one sitting. The New Guy reminded me a lot of what it was like to be in high school and young love. I thought the characters were fun and entertaining, even if they did frustrate me at times. This is the perfect YA romance. It's sweet, funny and just overall a good read. This is my first book by this author and I look forward to checking out more from her in the future

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Myndi .
1,363 reviews50 followers
July 14, 2019
This was a cute book, but there were so many important themes kind of hidden within. I love that we can get teens to read this type of book and hopefully learn something about others and themselves while doing so.

First idea in the book that really struck me, was how Jules did not find anything wrong, embarrassing, or weird about having two moms. In fact, it took well into the second chapter (I think) before I even realized her parents weren't male and female.

The next theme in the book that I enjoyed, was how important Jules found her schooling and preparing for the future. Not that every teen needs this inspiration, and not that it should be the be all end all, but I do think some teens would benefit from having someone like this as an example. She was a very driven character and I admired that.

That being said, there was also the lesson of not letting one idea or goal be your only focus and how as you grow you need to be well rounded with many varied interests. Including social ones. As a mother, I wouldn't want my kids to think that the only important thing in life is getting good grades or getting into a good school. I want them to focus on nurturing friendships, learning how to interact with people on a social level, and have multiple interests that could shape their lives.

All in all, it was a very good book and I look forward to reading more from this author, as this was my first by her.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,374 reviews233 followers
July 2, 2019
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I thought this was a fun look at what happens, when a very driven young woman becomes a little sidetracked by. Jules had plans. She was going to be editor of the school paper and earn her way into Brown. She had no time for drama, but it found her, in the form direct competition for the newspaper and a wonderful new student named Alex.

Things I loved:
• Jules' family, her moms were awesome, and it was always nice being at home with them.
• The dog walking
• Alex, he was so sweet and endearing and genuine, and it really annoyed me what Jules KEPT doing to him.
• The romance, when we were in the Jules and Alex bubble
• All the newspaper and broadcast stuff was interesting, and I loved the characters' passion for it.
• The revenge plots were pretty funny, most of the time.

What I wished? I wish Alex and Jules' romance hadn't suffered due to all the drama, because I really adored those two together, but it was still a fun read, and I was happy with where everyone ended up.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 224 reviews

Join the discussion

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.