When We Collided by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury Children’s on April 5, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 344 – paperback, 352 – ebook & hardcover
Format Read: paperback
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Bloomsbury UK
Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.
Vivi and Jonah couldn’t be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi’s zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there’s something important Vivi hasn’t told him.
Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.
Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacted my views & opinions below.
“Maybe we were dying planets, Jonah, being drawn into the darkness. When we collided, we bounced each other back into orbit. And now we have to do that – we have to return to our own paths because that’s what we gave each other.”
This book was bursting with bittersweet truth, vivid descriptions, and otherworldly characters. It was such a beautiful read; basically, it was everything you’d expect from Emery Lord. The way Vivi’s depression and bipolar disorder were depicted was extremely heartfelt. Seriously, it took my breath away. The writing was absolutely stunning and artistic – I devoured this book, guys.
I’ve read quite a few books about mental illness and I was afraid this wouldn’t come off as authentic, but I needn’t have worried. I understand that this story is very close to Ms. Lord’s heart and she did manage to tell it in a very compelling manner. Both the main characters, Vivi and Jonah, are struggling… a lot. Vivi with her bipolar disorder and Jonah with his grief over his father’s death & having to take care of his siblings. Their dual narrative was amazing and really well-balanced. Vivi was so peculiar and extreme whereas Jonah was inherently normal and grounded. I do admit their relationship wasn’t very healthy and there was a bit of instalove, but I did go into this book expecting that. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t disappointed about how toxic they were to each other sometimes – I still shipped them. I didn’t see their relationship as far-fetched at all, like so many others before me did. The ending was perfect, in my opinion. It’s open-ended. There is hope – it’s a promise. I’m glad the author didn’t choose to just magically resolve everything with rainbows and unicorns.
Of course, Vivi and Jonah aren’t the only vibrant characters we’re introduced to. There’s also Jonah’s family of six. Naomi, Silas, Bekah, Isaac, Leah, and their absent grieving mother. The family dynamic was faintly reminiscent of My Life Next Door, which I absolutely loved. Trust me, there really aren’t enough big family books floating around. Each character introduced was memorable and vivid and they never felt like justsecondary characters to me. From Carrie (Vivi’s mom) to Officer Hayashi to Felix and Ellie, they were all connected to each other with a strong sense of community.
Another aspect of this book that I really liked was the writing. It was so floaty and artistic and imaginative, which made it very captivating to read. I literally couldn’t stop turning pages. It was hilarious and funny while still managing to tackle the darker scenes very wonderfully. The writing is what gave Vivi such a manic voice in the story and Jonah such a weighed-down voice. It was unquestionably magnificent.
I don’t think words alone can express how amazing this book truly was. It was heartfelt and moving with a touch of hilarity. It was meaningful, but that was also mixed with fun and humor. The characters were vivid & vibrant and their dynamic with each other is definitely unparalleled. I loved how this book talked about mental illness and its sincere depiction. This was one of my anticipated reads of 2016 and it did not disappoint. Yet again, Emery Lord has managed to wonderfully pull off an unconventional story with excellent storytelling. This may not be the book for everyone, but it is sure to make you fall in love with it – even a small teeny bit.
Rating: 4 fish