Book Review // All Things New by Lauren Miller

Book Review // All Things New by Lauren MillerAll Things New by Lauren Miller
on June 6th 2017
Rating: four-half-stars
Buy: Hardback/Paperback|Kindle
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From the author of PARALLEL and FREE TO FALL comes a novel about brokenness and beauty and the healing power of hope.

Seventeen-year-old Jessa Gray 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 can no longer pretend that she's okay--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, but her anxiety only gets worse in the wake of the accident. That is, until she meets Marshall, a boy with a heart defect whose kindness and generous spirit 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 was a read I started on a whim – I wasn’t sure what it was about, but I clicked on it on my Kindle anyway and of the three books I had already tried, this is the one that stuck. And, actually, it was a pretty great read. I really liked Jessa’s voice and her friendship with Marshall and Hannah, who are twins. I liked how the book didn’t brush past Jessa’s mental illness – she wasn’t instantly cured, her anxiety didn’t just vanish, love did not heal the bad things in her life.

The novel starts with a bang – or, rather, with a car crash, as Jessa flees her boyfriend’s house (it may not have been his house, I forget) after finding out he’s also seeing another girl and ends up in a car crash, after another car runs a red light. After the crash, after recovering, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad – to give herself a fresh start. But ever since the accident she’s had hallucinations – visions of scars and bruises on people’s faces. That she knows aren’t there, and must be a representation of what *her* face looks like after being impaled by tons of glass when the windshield broke. I loved seeing everything Jessa had to overcome – she was so strong. I can’t say how I would react to the car crash or the hallucinations or the anxiety, but it wouldn’t be even half as strongly as Jessa.

There’s not a lot to say about All Things New, really. In the grand scheme of things, not a lot happens, although I did like seeing the differences between Marshall and Hannah. How Hannah felt like she had to strive for her scholarship whereas Marshall could kind of coast along with his life, due to his heart condition. But this was really about Jessa overcoming, or coping with, because like I said, she isn’t magically fixed in the end, her anxiety and other issues.

The ending for All Things New was a bit… out of the blue. It wasn’t a terrible ending by any means, but it kinda took a different turn than the book had otherwise been on. That’s all I’ll say about that. I would love a sequel, mind, because I felt like a lot was left up in the air, and I would love to catch up with Jessa, Hannah and Marshall again, maybe like a year down the road or something? There definitely left room there for Lauren to write about the trio again, maybe even something from Hannah’s perspective this time? IDK. I’d read it. I really enjoyed All Things Knew, it was a pretty intense read, but quick, too and it was so good I read it in one sitting.


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