*I received a free copy of All Things New from Three Saints Press via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *All Things New by Lauren Miller
Published by Three Saints Press on 1 August 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Jessa has always felt broken inside, but she’s gotten very good at hiding it. No one at school knows about the panic attacks, the therapy that didn't help, the meds that haven’t worked. But when a severe accident leaves her with a brain injury and visible scars, Jessa’s efforts to convince the world that she’s okay finally crumble—now she looks as shattered as she feels.
Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, where she meets Marshall, a boy whose kindness and generous heart slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world—a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.
ALL THINGS NEW is a love story about perception and truth, physical and emotional pain, and the messy, complicated people we are behind the masks we put on for the world, perfect for fans of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.
All Things New deals with a character who has suffered from panic attacks ever since her parents’ divorce.
All Things New is an important book, as it deals with panic and mental disorders in teenagers. There were some aspects of the book that I found extremely good, and others I could have done without.
The ‘angel’ aspect did not work for me. Nor did the fact that the psychiatrists in this book were all smirking, pill-pushing individuals. I also think I would have liked it more if the group therapy was actually group therapy, not a group of teens just sharing among themselves, without adult supervision.
Also, it seems more than a little flimsy to me that ‘love’ can help Jessa get better – this could be a problem for people who do suffer from panic attacks.
I did appreciate the fact that there are parents present in All Things New. It’s important sometimes to see responsible family situations.
Jessa had some techniques to deal with her panic attacks, but not all of them helped. After a car accident, she moved to her dad’s place in Colorado, to get away from everything that had made things difficult to her.
Hannah is Jessa’s new best friend. A music prodigy who is stressed out, and sad about taking second-seat to her brother’s illness.
Marshall is Hannah’s brother. He has a hole in his heart, and is strangely happy about that.
Writing style :
First person present tense from Hannah’s perspective, but with third person present tense when the spotlight is on other characters. The dialogues were rapid, and made getting to know the characters easier.
I was a bit frustrated, to be honest. All Things New could have been a great story about teens who struggle with mental illnesses, but it felt like it didn’t take mental illness seriously.
On a clear day, you can see past downtown and almost all the way to the beach from here. But tonight the sky is muddy with haze. The skyline looks as if someone has wiped parts of it away, the buildings fading into a brown blur, the furthest ones totally out of sight. It’s eerie.
Every part of me aches. My brain feels to big for my skull. I shuffle toward the bathroom. There is a towel hanging over the mirror, tucked in tight at the sides. Its presence there, the fact that someone felt the need to hang it, sucks the air from my chest.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: