“When We Collided” by Emery Lord (2016)
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Page Length: 352 pages (hardcover edition)
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.
When We Collided is a contemporary novel with a boy meets girl story. The story is set in the summertime in a beautiful, quaint, and small seaside town called Verona Cove. The detail used to describe Verona Cove makes it seem like a relaxing getaway and it definitely sounds like a place I’d want to visit.
My first impressions of Vivi, one of the main characters, is that she is a bright and bubbly girl who says what’s on her mind. She’s somewhat of an extrovert who wants to get the most out of the “Verona experience” since she’s used to traveling all the time and is only in town for the summer. Under the surface, it’s clear that Vivi deals with depression, among some other issues which are brought to light later on in the story.
On the other hand, Jonah is a quieter person. He’s the”man” of the house (6 siblings) who takes care of the younger brothers and sisters. He feels heavy responsibility because his mom is suffering from depression after his father’s death. He struggles with all the duties that fall upon him while wanting to live life like a normal teenager.
Despite Jonah and Vivi being complete opposites of each other, there is an instant attraction between the two. Both characters are dealing with the loss of a parent figure, as well as many personal struggles. Their meeting somehow helps each other to heal their scars.
When We Collided feels very realistic and I like the way it explored grief, depression, family, and mental illness. I think why I and so many other readers enjoyed this novel so much is because of the way the characters are written. Even though Jonah and Vivi are teenagers they are shown in a mature light as they tackle life’s obstacles. The book is beautifully written, Vivi’s and Jonah’s stories are heart wrenching and real. It was an emotional book that had me in tears at some points of the story.
I also appreciated how the novel promotes awareness of mental illness. Vivi and Jonah act a support system for each together before they become each other’s romantic counterparts. I never felt like Lord was trying to romanticize mental illness like some of the previous contemporary novels I have read.
The only negative thing that I have to say about this book is that I would have liked to seen more back stories and insight into the supporting characters. I was really intrigued by them and wanted to learn more about them.
This novel had me hooked from page one. And even though its marked as a romance, the book is so much more than that. It’s story about overcoming obstacles, first love, and growing up.