Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

25663637When We Collided

Author: Emery Lord

Publication Date: April 5, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Mental Health

Goodreads Description:

We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.

  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Emery Lord has a knack for writing contemporary novels that leave me speechless. She did it with The Start of Me and You and she’s done it again with When We Collided. I’m going to try my best to articulate my thoughts on it. The blurb doesn’t tell you much about the book, so there might be a few minor spoilers. I’ll try not to give anything away. So, here I go…

When We Collided is more than just a love story. It’s the story of two teenagers trying to survive what life has dealt them. Both are dealing with depression and mental health issues. Jonah is dealing with his dad’s death and his mother’s subsequent depression. He and his older siblings are struggling to care for their younger siblings. Vivi has just been diagnosed with a mental illness and is running from her past mistakes. When Vivi moves to Jonah’s small town, they each find something they need in each other. For Jonah, it’s acceptance and light. For Vivi, it’s a chance to help someone and feel normal.

When We Collided was perfect. It was told in two distinct points of view: Vivi and Jonah’s. The two view points perfectly set the mood and flow of the book. One Chapter, Vivi would be in a whirlwind and I would feel pumped up. The next chapter, Jonah would be calm and rational and I would feel relaxed. Seriously, the transition in moods was amazing. And exhausting! But in a good way, of course!

I loved the small town summer feel of the setting. It was the perfect backdrop for all of the characters. It made for a great sense of community and support when Vivi and Jonah needed it.

Vivi was exactly like being around someone in the stage of a manic episode. (I can say this having been around someone in a manic episode. I’ve even reacted like Vivi’s mother with the “Have you taken your medication today?” question.) Her enthusiasm and excitement were contagious. It took real talent for Emery Lord to portray Vivi so vividly. I loved her, but I was so worried for her all of the time.

Without Jonah, this book would have completely exhausted me. Even though he was going through his own tough times, his perspective calmed me. I could understand how his presence helped calm Vivi, too. Jonah’s struggles were different from Vivi’s, but they too felt real. So many kids out there are taking care of their siblings due to mental health issues, drug issues, work issues, etc.

As for Jonah and Vivi’s relationship, it burnt bright. It was easy to see what attracted them to each other. I loved how their entire relationship played out.

When We Collided was so touching and I really couldn’t find anything I would want to change about it. I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult contemporary romances or books revolving around mental health issues.

I guess I wasn’t so speechless after all! 😉

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