Title: All Things New
Author: Lauren Miller
Artist: Stewart A. Williams
Publisher: Three Saints Press
Release date: 8/01/2017
Rating: 3.5 stars
Warnings: Vivid description of car accident & resulting injuries, hallucinations, prescription drug abuse, untreated panic disorder, casual usage of fascist language (once)
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 noticeable 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, but things go from bad to worse when she realizes she’s seeing bruises and scars on the people around her that no one else can see. She blames it on the accident, but as her body heals and the hallucinations continue, Jessa wonders if what she’s seeing could somehow have a deeper meaning. In her quest for answers, she falls for 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.
I enjoyed this book just fine until about the ¾ mark, when it went so spectacularly off the rails that I actually sat back and stared at it for a minute in awe/begrudging respect. I mean…if you’re going to spin your relatively good narrative on its heels and march it right into “oh no honey, what is u doing” territory (complete with irresponsible portrayal of teenage mental illness) at the last second, you might as well be quick about it, yes?
There’s really not much else I can say about this title without spoilers, and though I didn’t enjoy what happened to the plot, I’m not going to ruin it for potential readers who might want to find out for themselves. Marshall is one of the cutest love interests I can remember reading in YA m/f, so there is that as a positive point. If you’re a fan of the quirky boy + severely damaged girl trope, and you don’t mind late-in-the-story whiplash…*shrugs*…you could give this one a shot.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this title via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and truthful review.