When We Collided by Emery Lord
Page Count: 344
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 hearts
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.
My Thoughts and Review:
Just like every other book, I did my research before purchasing the novel, and from what I gathered, this book was considered to be a phenomenal love story with a powerful message about mental illness. I was definitely able to see how Emery Lord weaved the tough topics into When We Collided but as for the love story, I think it could’ve been better.
When We Collided is about two characters named Vivi and Jonah. Vivi recently moved to Verona Cove-a tiny town in the sunny state of California-with her mom for the summer, leaving behind her home in Seattle. She can be described with a million adjectives but to me she seems ambitious, creative, wild, and free-spirited. She is quite a unique character and it really shows through her personality, action, and sense of style. On the other hand, Jonah-who is a local in Verona Cove-is a sweet and caring guy with the passion for cooking. They first meet when Jonah takes her little sister to the pottery shop where Vivi works at. The two both have personal issues that are quite heavy topics; Vivi has to live life as a girl with bipolar disorder, while Jonah has to take care of his family with the help of his two older siblings, as his father had recently passed away and his mom is still living the aftereffects of her husband’s death.
There were both some good things as well as some bad about this novel, but let’s start off with what went well because you probably want to hear that first.
The writing in this book was spectacular. It had a poetic feel to it at times, especially when the author incorporated some metaphors and similes in the pages. Not only that, but the flow of the book was also very smooth. Everything was described down to the last little detail, and I really appreciated that aspect of this book because it allowed me to create an image of the scene in my head.
“The morning sun has edged past the horizon line, casting shadows of the leaves like lace on the sidewalk. Flowers burst throughout every inch of the town- fuchsia rose crawling over trellises, forsythia blazing like yellow fireworks.”
Aside from the amazing writing though, I also admired the independent side of the protagonist Vivi. She liked to do things on her own and didn’t always lean on others.
“Gotta go! Got a whole big world to see, and a whole big world that needs to see me, too, and I can’t be held back…”
The minor characters in this book were also really lovable, especially Jonah’s little sister Leah. She was just a cute little ray of sunshine that no one could resist.
I liked that this book wasn’t just another love story because it did include some heavier topics that aren’t always seen in novels. From depression, bipolar disorder, to family issues, there was a lot captured in these three hundred and forty-four pages of writing.
Now onto the lower points in this novel. I felt as though Vivi and Jonah fell for each other too quickly though. I am a total cliche story lover so I’m perfectly fine with reading about characters who have a love at first sight kind of connection, but Vivi was literally invited to Jonah’s house by the thirtieth page. I just didn’t really feel the connection between them until the very last couple chapters. Although they did have fights which made their relationship seem more realistic, they were often too dramatized for my liking. Vivi got jealous way too easily and she just seemed to create unnecessary problems in the relationship.
Speaking of Vivi, I know she has a disorder but that can’t be her explanation for everything. I don’t mean to sound uneducated about mental illnesses or anything but she just got on my nerves so bad. She was a hypocrite, an extremely jealous girlfriend, and quite annoying to be honest. For example, Jonah has known this girl named Ellie since he was a kid and then Vivi automatically just thinks he’s flirting with her after seeing them talk to one another.
“What do you care what I do, anyway? You’re so busy flirting with Ellie.”
She gets all jealous when Jonah talks to Ellie but then she goes around taking pictures with random people without any thought of how Jonah might feel! It wouldn’t be that bad if she weren’t dressed in only her undergarments!
“I find Vivi posting for a picture with someone I don’t even recognize. Wearing just her bra and underwear.”
Their relationship was just odd overall, like when the two got mad at each other but instead of apologizing they kissed?!
I was also dissatisfied with how Emery Lord didn’t wrap up the entire story. There were still some questions I had lingering in my mind after the last page. I would put the questions here but I feel like I might spoil the story somehow so I won’t.
Another thing is that I was really expecting to fall head over heels for Jonah. I thought he would be super charming and overall adorable but he just wasn’t what I expected. Sure he was caring and cute, but there wasn’t that much to him that my heart could grasp onto.
To wrap it up, the book was still quite enjoyable even though there were some things that weren’t up to par. The end really hit me in the feels as there were tears streaming down my face. I’m not saying it’s a sad ending, it’s just that my emotions are all whacked up after reading so many YA contemporaries. Although it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be, I still think people should give this book a try. I will definitely have to read some more of Emery Lord’s books because despite the fact that this wasn’t one of my favorites, I still like the author’s writing style.
Have you read this novel or any other books from Emery Lord before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!