Tuesday, June 13, 2017

All Things New

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, and this post contains affiliate links for which I may earn a commission from; all thoughts and opinions are my own.*

I know I haven't been posting too many reviews lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading! I promise I'll have quite a few reviews for you soon ranging from adult reads, some elementary reads and some YA books like this one, I've been all over the map! A little something for everyone.

All Things New - Lauren Miller 

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.

I finished this one in just one sitting, it's a relatively fast read at just over 300 pages or so. The book features Jessa, who is an anxious 17 year old. She's dating Wren, she's at a party she doesn't totally want to be at because of her anxiety and panic disorder (Wren is really the only person she's comfortable with and she's grown dependent on him.) and she's about to discover that Wren has been cheating on her.... and everyone knows it. This leads her to a devastating accident which leads her to with a fairly severe brain injury but even more noticeable facial scars. Knowing she can't face going back to her school knowing that she's the laughing stock after the incident at the party and now her disfigured face, she moves to Colorado to be with her father, who left years early after her parents divorced (the source of her anxiety and panic disorder). She begins school at an alternative school for kids with varying issues and soon makes friends with Hannah and Marshall, twins with their own issues. Hannah is obsessively practicing piano to get into a prestigious school and Marshall has a heart malformation that requires a risky surgery that he isn't sure he wants to have. But Jessa soon learns that while her exterior is healing, she needs to heal her interior and get to source of her anxiety versus running away from the things that hurt.

This one was just "meh" for me. I'll give this one 3/5 stars. It didn't blow me away, it's one I'll likely forget about down the road? Jessa is your typical teenager full of angst, she's rude to her dad, she is anxious almost to an outrageous point. (I'll never understand the argument of anyone who thinks when their parents divorce it means they've been abandoned and it means they are destined to not be loved ever, I just really will never get it. I just.. I can't understand it and I say that as a kid with divorced parents. And not just that, but a dad who left and literally never talked/saw me ever again- he actually DID abandon me so if anyone could use that argument, I legitimately could. Ha!) I can see how teens would enjoy this book, I liked the romance between Jessa and Marshall, I thought they would make a cute couple, and I kind of wanted to see more of that develop. The ending felt so abrupt. What happens with Hannah? What happens with Marshall? If nothing else some kind of epilogue would have been nice maybe? I do appreciate that I'm seeing more and more books focusing on mental health and mental health in teens because it is such an important topic and I don't want anyone, especially teens, to feel any kind of shame in reaching out for help if and when they need it.

I have to say, this is my first book I've read by Lauren Miller but I liked it enough that I would read more by her. I enjoyed her style of writing. My eleven year old is reading the book now because she has an anxiety disorder and struggles working through it and she wanted to read it so we'll see what she thinks!

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