(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by March Forth Productions, Incorporated on June 6th 2017
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’m so sad that I didn’t love this book more because I absolutely love Miller’s other books.
Jessa has had panic attacks for years since her father and mother split and her father moved to LA. She’s never felt like she fit in at her school and the only person she really considers her friend is the boyfriend who she’s losing because she won’t sleep with him. While at a party, she finds out he’s been cheating on her and she takes off. While driving home, she’s struggling to keep her panic attack at bay when she is hit by another vehicle. Her injuries are severe, a brain injury and scars all along the side of her face and now she feels her outside matches how she feels on the inside.
I can’t pinpoint what exactly didn’t work for me, but if I had to pick something I think it would be that I struggled with connecting with Jessa as a character. I hated that she never got to confront the douche ex-boyfriend… Like HATED HATED. I wanted her to have that, to have him know that she knew. Instead, she just never, ever talks to him again and he doesn’t make any effort to talk to her after she moves either. So this friendship and relationship just… Poof. Done and over.
What saved this book for me was Marshall if I’m being honest. He was a bright ray of sunshine and this story desperately needed it. Where the other characters and story lines were so heavy and angsty, he brought a bit of lightness and levity to the story and I just really loved his outlook on everything.
I always think that mental health is important to discuss… we need to keep it front and center so I commend Miller for writing this story, and I liked that there were elements to this that you never really know exactly what happened (i.e. the guy in the white coat). Overall, this was an emotional read, filled with positive elements but I struggled to really click with the characters, which I desperately need to fall in love with a book.