Thursday, March 3, 2016

Book Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided
By Emery Lord
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Source: Netgalley 
Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

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.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.

The moment I opened Emery's first book Open Road Summer, I was a goner. Since then, I have looked forward to every one of her new releases, but her last one just wasn't as good as her debut. When I saw When We Collided, though, it sounded like a promising YA romance with lots and lots of emotion. 

Vivi is as vibrant as they come and she owns her quirk like no other. When she meets Jonah, a boy who is her complete opposite, she not only falls for him but also his loving and broken family. When Jonah's father died, his family was devastated and his mom hasn't been able to return to the real world, leaving the older siblings, including Jonah, to care for the younger ones. Vivi comes barreling into their lives bringing her sunshine and hope, but Vivi's vibrant lights starts burning out of control and Jonah doesn't know what to do. Little does he know, Vivi's life isn't as bright as it seems and she needs to learn how to heal herself before she can start healing anyone else. 

When I started this book, I was not a fan of Vivi. At all. The things she said seemed so fake and I couldn't picture any teenager saying the things she said or acting the way she did. She seemed so juvenile and I pictured a 12-year-old in her place with her eccentric outlook and crazy style. It also seemed kind of insta-lovey and I didn't really feel the connection between her and Jonah. I stuck with the story, though, and as we got to learn more about the real Vivi, I started to become invested in their characters and couldn't let the story go. 

After we got over the vibrant, happy-go-lucky Vivi that everyone else saw and instead saw the real Vivi, this book came alive. I personally don't know anyone with a mental illness, but Vivi was so misunderstood and she didn't know how to cope with her own illness. Poor Jonah had no idea what to do when Vivi started changing while he was also trying to deal with how or if he should help his own mother who was also dealing with her own mental and emotional battles. This book deals with a very heavy topic that is very misunderstood. I don't even know if I understand it that well myself, but I think Emery Lord depicted Vivi's situation beautifully and I fell in love with Vivi's character in the end. 

While this book had a rocky start for me, sticking it out until the end definitely payed off. I was able to enjoy a very complex story about a very complex young girl. I still am not a big fan of the romance and didn't really buy it in the story, but Vivi's journey with her mental illness touched my heart and I couldn't put this one down until the end.

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