When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided by Emery Lord

Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Series: N/A
Pages: 352
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: April 5th 2016 

      “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.

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“I don’t mind being introduced to people’s skeletons firsthand, in person. I more than don’t mind it. I prefer to reach right into the closet and shake their bony hands and say hello for myself.”

Although Emery Lord’s When We Collided explores important subjects like mental health, I found it difficult to connect with the two main characters. When Vivi moves to Verona Cove, she has one thing on her mind: to have fun. Jonah has been struggling with family issues for months now. Ever since his father’s passing and the slow decline of his mother’s mental health, it has fallen upon him and his siblings to care for the younger kids in the family. Vivi blows in like a whirlwind, completely turning Jonah’s life upside down. Jonah has grown accustomed to the responsibility of caring for three young kids and even with his older siblings’ help, it isn’t easy. Meeting someone like Vivi, who isn’t turned off by the disorder in his world, seems almost too good to be true. For Vivi, a summer of fun turns into something more serious when she finds herself not only falling for Jonah, but also his entire family.

I could never figure out if Vivi’s bubbly personality was who she really was or if it was a face she put on for the rest of the world. Her confidence is admirable, but there were times when I just did not like the girl. She could be self-centered and vicious in her jealousy. There were moments while I was reading where it felt like it was Vivi’s world and everyone was just living in it. This became really frustrating, especially when so much of the narrative is focused on Jonah’s problems. It was difficult to swallow her never-ending enthusiasm and zest for life when Jonah was struggling to get by. Vivi has a tumultuous past that we get little glimpses of, but it isn’t until the end that we finally understand what she’s been going through. I think it would have served her character more for the revelations to have happened sooner. Jonah should have been a character to easily relate to and there were times where I felt for him and his circumstances. I loved his interactions with his siblings, especially the young Leah, but I do think the story veered away from these relationships as the story went on, which affected the way I related to him.

When We Collided explores mental health issues like depression and bipolar disorder, but not in as much depth as I would have liked. The story is pretty light in tone at the beginning of the novel and I kept waiting for that shift in tone where the issues both characters were dealing with would be forced to the forefront. This doesn’t happen until late in the story and I would have liked to have spent more time with the characters as the deal with these issues rather than running away from them.

Rating: 2/5

★★

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11 thoughts on “When We Collided by Emery Lord

  1. I didn’t like Emery Lord’s first book, but ended up really enjoying The Start of Me and You so I was looking forward to this one. I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on it, though, that made me hesitant. When I finally got it from the library I didn’t even make it through the first chapter. I still might give it another try someday, but I have a feeling I will share your opinion on it.

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  2. I have heard of this book though I haven’t read it yet.Its usually tough to get into a book if you don’t click with the characters.Im sorry this book didn’t meet your expectations.Great review though

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  3. With 352 pages, you would think there is room for the author to properly address “if Vivi’s bubbly personality was who she really was or…” instead of dragging this to the end. It also seems like the marriage between the seriousness and the levity were not very fluid and perhaps even jarring. Sorry this one didn’t work out, Alicia.

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  4. So sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this one more! I haven’t read it yet, but I did buy the Kindle version of it a while ago when it was on sale. It seems like everyone has mixed feelings about this book – either they really enjoyed it and thought it was powerful, or they didn’t really like it all that much. It does sound like an interesting read, but when you can’t connect with the characters, it can definitely ruin the story! I hope your next read is more enjoyable!

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  5. I was going to say this girl sounds bi-polar, and if that is the case, it should be out front in the book. Otherwise, the story comes off like a super positive peppy poster in a pediatrician’s office–like that “Hang In There” poster with the cat dangling on the tree branch. I wouldn’t want to read this book. It sounds too much like the boy’s life is dreary so the girl brings him happiness; however, he’s dealing with real-world issues, and those are the kind of books I like: one’s centered in reality. Even fantasy novels present real-world problems that characters must face.

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