Book Review- All Things New

Sunday, 20 August 2017
Title: All Things New
Author: Lauren Miller
Published: 1st August 2017
Pages: 328
Genre: YA, Contemporary

Rating: 3/5

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. -Goodreads

I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley and Three Saints Press in return for an honest review.
I'm quite undecided about how I feel about this novel, there were elements I really liked, but I also disliked it too, so I thought a 3/5 rating was a fair rating, although I may change this. 
This novel is about Jessa, a teenager who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, who after being involved in a car crash moves from LA to Colorado to live with her Dad. There she meets a boy called Marshall.
First off I thought this was a very well written portrayal of anxiety, it was realistic and also descriptive so it could be imagined by even those who don't suffer from anxiety. I really appreciated this, it gives readers a character they can relate to, and definitely brings more attention to anxiety and panic attacks. 
Miller's writing is emotive and descriptive, it allows us to feel exactly what Jessa is experiencing. Miller's writing is easy to read and as such the novel is a quick read.
However, I was slightly disappointed by a number of elements of this novel. I thought the character of Jessa was annoying to read, and some of her actions were bizarrely out of character. The way she treated her dad was one of these instances. It felt clunky and weirdly out of character.
Another thing that disappointed me about this novel was the romance itself. It felt a little forced to me, and seemed like it came out of no where, although I do love Marshall as a character. He was funny and charming and very caring, so I did enjoy reading about him!! However, I kind of hated the way that Jessa got a boyfriend which helped her to deal with her mental health. I hate when the author tries to write a boyfriend into a story as some sort of 'cure'. 
But my main disappointment with this novel was the Christian/religious undercurrent that suddenly appeared in the novel. There was no mention of this in the blurb, but it becomes very strong towards the end of the novel. This might be a slight *spoiler* but angels start to play a part in the novel, and the way it's written it seems to suggest that Jessa was helped by the angels, and God. This suggested to me that the author is suggesting that you need religion to help/save yourself from mental health problems. This is disappointing to me, in a YA novel, especially when there is no warning in the blurb.
Overall, I gave this novel 3/5 stars, it was a fairly accurate portrayal of anxiety, but it had disappointing themes which weren't made obvious, and could've been triggering to some readers. 


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