Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

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Summary:

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.

Review:

What first drew me to this book was the cover, which is so so beautiful, so I couldn’t help buying it to add to my collection. Well, it turned out to be so much more than a pretty cover; this book meant so much to me, and it gave me so much. It will be one of those books that stays with you long after you’ve finished it.

“How weird do you think our family is, on a scale of one to ten?” “One hundred,” she says simply. “But good weird.” Most days, I feel like I’m barely holding it together. But if my littlest sister can believe that her life is good despite having no dad and a ghost of a mom, then it’s worth it. Good weird. I know it doesn’t sound like much. But it’s enough.

Jonah, oh sweet Jonah. Jonah is everyone’s dream guy. But aside from that he’s a great brother. Since his father died, and his mom closed herself off in her room grieving, he’s had to take care of his little brother and sisters, with the help of the older ones. Big family, big troubles, but so much love. I adore reading about big families, and reading about this one struggling, but still being so close and so strong really was something else. They, of course, have their moments, but those only made it feel the more real.

You wouldn’t believe the things I’d do to get this world-weary boy to smile like that. Today, it took a Slip ‘N Slide, and tomorrow will be something different. Oh, my, do I have plans. I’m going to spend my whole summer changing the expressions on Jonah Daniels’s face.

In comes Vivi. Vivi is a hurricane of a girl, she slides into Jonah and his family’s life and turns it upside down. She’s so full of life and joy, and this need to just do something. She’s confident and beautiful. But eventually it all spirals into something more, something scary. This book deals with mental illnesses in such an honest way, with such strength and acceptance. It’s not tragic, and that’s what made it so important to me. It showed how, eventually, there will be more beautiful days for everyone, even after those really dark ones.

I know this feeling. I also know that emotions come from the brain. So why do people feel real aches in their chests? Why does it feel like we carry every feeling in our cores?

I’ve seen some people complaining about the romance, saying it was insta-love; but I honestly don’t feel like that. It’s such an unconventional love story, because Vivi is just this unique character who lives everything unconventionally. She’s like a unicorn into the wild, as Jonah says at some point. She barrels into these people’s life and claims her place with them. There are no I-love-yous, or similar, till very late into the book. It felt all very natural and unbelievably cute to me.

I don’t care that I missed the sunrise, because I’d much rather make one of my own.

Then ending, which was stunning and felt just right, made me so emotional, almost as much as the author’s note. This is a book beautifully written, with words dripping with feelings and love.

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