April 4, 2016

Messy, Throbbing Hearts • When We Collided

When We Collided book cover
After having read and loved two novels from Emery Lord, I was really looking forward to whatever she would be releasing next, because I knew I was going to love it. I was not, admittedly, prepared for When We Collided. This book completely bowled me over, friends, and in the very best way! It is such an Emery Lord story, at least in terms of writing style and the way her characters – these new friends for us readers – are brought to life. But, yet again, it’s also a very different story from her previous work, thanks to the unique plot and circumstances. I really loved it, and there’s no doubt in my mind that many of you will too.

When We Collided tells the story of two teenagers as they experience a life-changing summer. Vivi is determined to have a magical summer of freedom in the picturesque little coastal town she and her mother are currently in; she’s confident that everything is okay now, that she is okay now. Early into the summer, she meets Jonah. Jonah is struggling to balance his responsibilities, particularly working at the family restaurant and filling the parental gap left behind by his parents. To him, Vivi is unexpected, vibrant and just what he needs; to her, Jonah is stable and kind and patient and what she needs. Together, these two have a summer that neither will ever forget.

I know I’ve made this novel sound like a teen drama. While it does feature teens with their fair share of personal drama, it is also, simply, more than that. There’s such complexity to both Vivi and Jonah, both of whom are strong, admirable teens who are dealing with difficult situations best they can. Apart from falling head over heels in love with both of these characters (flaws and all), I fell in love with their summer – where they spent it, what they did, who else was in their orbit. Everything was just painted with such vivid strokes with each word, and it leapt off the page in a way that made this story completely immersive. 

If I haven’t made it clear, When We Collided is an incredible story. (It makes her three for three with books when it comes to this reader!) If you are craving a contemporary young adult novel that will introduce you to amazing new characters and reel you in with an emotional, complex, unputdownable tale, then look no further. When We Collided is the story for you.

When We Collided by Emery Lord
Other Books by the Author: Open Road Summer, The Start of Me and You
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's | Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Source: ARC from the publisher (Thanks!)

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.


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