When We Collided by Emery Lord
Also by this author: Open Road Summer
Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Read in: January 2021
Reading Challenges: 2021 COYER Seasons, 2021 GoodReads
Source: Personal Collection
Add to: Goodreads
Seventeen year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he is not. With a mother lost in a deep bout of depression, Jonah and his five siblings struggle to keep up their home and the restaurant their dad left behind. But at the start of summer, a second change rolls in: Vivi Alexander, the new girl in town.
Vivi is in love with life. Charming and unfiltered, she refuses to be held down by the medicine she's told should make her feel better. After meeting Jonah, she slides into the Daniels' household seamlessly, winning over each sibling with her imagination and gameness. But it's not long before Vivi's zest for life begins to falter. Soon her adventurousness becomes all-out danger-seeking.
Through each high and low, Vivi and Jonah's love is put to the test . . . but what happens when love simply isn't enough? - via GoodReads
I read When We Collided by Emery Lord because the prompt to read an Emery Lord book came up on my Monopoly rolls in December. I picked When We Collided because it was a standalone. I’m trying to finish more series before starting new ones.
I really enjoyed this book. The pacing really worked. I don’t mean that it was a fast paced book or that it was a nice slow paced read. The pacing was perfect for what Lord wanted to discuss. It had a tempo that was very slow at times and then would pick up tremendously and feel like too much.
It was easy to identify with Jonah because I just didn’t know what to expect. He clearly had the same issue. There’s a bit of a mystery to Vivi’s past. As a reader I knew we were going to come to that event. I expected it to be explosive when we got there. I wasn’t wrong. I honestly was expecting something far worse but that doesn’t mean that what happened was going to be easy for anyone involved.
I can’t express how much joy these characters brought me. I loved the Daniels family. I loved how they stood together to keep their family whole when it was falling apart. I hated that they had to do it but I loved them for how they managed.
I loved Vivi. I knew something was up with her right from the beginning and I don’t think Lord was trying to hide it. She wanted us to know something wasn’t quite right. We know Vivi is tossing some sort of medication into the sea fairly early on. People don’t usually toss out vitamins so it was clear something was going on with Vivi.
When We Collided by Emery Lord does a great job of showing the ugly side of untreated mental illness without shaming the person who has a mental illness. That is a big distinction. Lord shows us how tough it is for the person who has the illness and for the family and friends around them.
Lord also shows readers what having a wonderful support system in place can do for a person. It was uncomfortable experiencing a manic episode through a character’s perspective but I think it was an important conversation. It was great to read a story that was unafraid to take me through some dark stuff and still give me hope.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2021 COYER Seasons
- 2021 GoodReads