Category/Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 4/9/13
Source: Received from author for review
Phoenix Harper never imagined her life would come to this: A life not worth living anymore.
After a failed suicide attempt, Phoenix is sent to be observed at a local psychiatric hospital. There she meets Braeden Harris, a hospital aide with his own haunting past.
Not long after their first encounter, they feel an unexplainable pull towards one another. Will fate bring them together, or will outside forces tear them apart?
A Brand New Ending begins with our heroine Phoenix jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge to commit suicide. We don't know why, but you can tell by the depth of the despair that shows through the writing that something has damaged this young girl. She is so done with life, and feels so alone that this is the only way out for her. I am definitely not an expert in mental health, but I thought this was a very honest depiction of depression and a suicide attempt and the aftermath that goes with it when a person survives. It wasn't pretty, or too sugar coated, but it wasn't so heavy that I felt a huge emotional weight on me while I was reading.
The story really picks up with Phoenix waking up in the hospital after and a new viewpoint comes in in the form of Braeden. He has his own demons, as most of our book boyfriends tend to, but he is trying to make his life better by going to school to be a doctor like his father (which is surprising, because at first it is implied that he really doesn't like his dad, but he really does? So that confused me) and he works at the mental hospital that Phoenix is taken to. He is definitely a normal 21 year old guy so he goes out and does what they normally do. That brought the story more complications for later, but also moved the pace along in a way that different things were happening other than them staring at one another across her room while he was changing her sheets, or him laying awake at night dealing with his demons while not clueing us in on what they were.
Obviously a patient/employee relationship is a lot taboo, and frowned upon (and generally illegal in 99.9% of situations, especially involving a situation such as this) but I was incredibly glad that at least Phoenix is over 18. (I am slowly becoming my mother, my apologies). For me their story is fast but not annoyingly rushed, and even to me that logic doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Maybe it seems like the progression of a relationship between kindred spirits? There are many days at first after she gets there that while she is aware of his presence, and he is of hers, that they don't even talk. I was glad that it doesn't seem like she jumped too quickly through her recovery too. She back slides because of Braeden and she doesn't even know why she cares.
The catalyst for her suicide is finally revealed, and it made me so sad for her. Her parents are worse than crap, and her mother's inability to be a good parent caused a lot of heartbreak pre and post suicide attempt. This was also heart-wrenchingly realistic, probably even more so than the suicide attempt aftermath.
There are a few things that seem unrealistic for what I thought was a completely realistic story. Her hospital roommate's seeming psychic abilities, being the main one. If you see hints of things like this throughout that might be confusing at first...hold out. All will be revealed in the end, and then while even the ending was surprising it didn't completely derail the story like a few other books I've read have that attempted this ending.
Overall, I really liked A Brand New Ending and think the cover is a great one to judge it by (I am becoming a cover snob, it is truly a sickness)! There is a lot of things going on that you have to suspend reality sometimes enough to remember it is indeed a book and not real people. Writing and editing was good, and overall it is a well put together story. I personally appreciate that so much it is not even funny! Happy reading everyone!
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