All Things New by Lauren Miller

Setting: California and Colorado
Genre: Teen Fiction
Publisher: Three Saints Press
Release Date: August 1, 2017

At 17, Jessa Gray's had enough experience with panic attacks and anxiety disorder that she could write a book. She's lost a number of friends due to it. Her boyfriend was the only solid in her life, but she overhears him cheating on her and her world falls apart.

If that's not enough for this teen to handle, on the drive home, in the middle of a panic attack, an SUV runs a red light and crashes into her. She's left with many broken bones, brain swelling, and lots of scars. She's also left with a condition where she's unable to form pictures in her head, and everyone she encounters has scars and burns across their face that aren't really there. When her dad asks if she'd like to move to Colorado to live with him for a while, she jumps at the chance.

In Colorado, she's befriended by twin siblings, Hannah and Marshall. Hannah's very serious and dedicated to her music, while Marshall is her polar opposite. Marshall is a little goofy, very charming, and living life to the fullest despite having a hole in his heart. He's also exactly what Jessa seems to need to spur her into facing her issues.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Oh, how I sympathized with Jessa. I was older when my first panic attack hit, but my son wasn't. He was about her age. I saw pieces of both of us in her character. If you don't understand panic attacks and/or anxiety disorder, read All Things New. Lauren Miller paints a very genuine, very real look into anxiety.

When I first read the description, I had an idea of where things would go. I was pleasantly surprised. It took a few twists that I didn't see. Some of the situations were easy to predict, but others were not. I ended up enthusiastically watching Jessa grow and learn with each hurdle she faced.

RTR's Bottom Line

With a touch of romance and a very emotional look at mental illness, All Things New caught my interest and held it from start to finish. If you're looking for a strong heroine who never sees herself as strong, don't miss this book.


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