When We Collided by Emery Lord
Pages – 344
Released – 7th April 2016
Publisher – Bloomsbury Children’s
Genre – Young Adult, Contemporary and Romance
Rating – 3.5/5
Jonah Daniels is seventeen-year-old who has lived in Verona Cove in California for his entire life. In that time only one thing has changed; his father is no longer alive. Due to this Jonah now has to take care of his large family.
Vivi Alexander is the new girl in town. She is a gorgeous girl who is in love with life. Vivi is about to transform Jonah’s family and change his life.
This is a contemporary read with a girl meets boy narrative. It is set during summer in the small yet quaint seaside town of Verona Cove.
The narrative is told from both Jonah and Vivi’s perspectives, each chapter alternating between the two. I really enjoyed this chapter form not only because you get to see both characters viewpoints but it also shows the story in two very different lights.
Both Vivi and Jonah face challenges throughout the book. Jonah has the responsibility of looking after his three younger siblings along with the help of his two older siblings after the sudden death of this father. He takes on this responsibility because their mother has been tired, unresponsive, depressed and unable to take care of her own family. I think Jonah’s story is heartbreaking, dealing with loss and all that he wants is for his family to feel whole again. Emery Lord beautifully tells the story and feelings of grief and loss through Jonah’s story.
Vivi’s story I feel is also told beautifully. Her struggle with bipolar disease is one that has a big impact. She is shown as an extrovert, who loves life which makes everyone around her want to be in her orbit. I really enjoyed her vivacious personality. But the highs and lows and sudden changes in Vivi’s personality are shocking and do make an impact.
The characters helping one another through their problems and caring for one another is heartwarming. Separately, I think both of these characters and their story arcs carry powerful and strong messages.
However, I wanted to learn more about the other characters in this book. I would have liked if there had been a little bit more development of Vivi’s friends and her life back home. Also in terms of the romance throughout this book, it was an enjoyable love story. But I feel that the romance progressed too quickly and just didn’t feel right. Maybe it was meant to feel this way. I just feel that it could have been developed slower and had a better effect on the reader.
Overall, this book has a lot of good moments that outweigh the occasional problems. I feel that this book will be loved by many and I am glad that it is spreading a message about mental illness to a wider audience.