on April 7th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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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.
Welcome to Happy Indulgence’s stop on the When We Collided blog tour! Today we’ll be bringing to you a fun top ten list that Emery Lord has kindly put together, but first let’s kick this off with my review of the book.
I love a good book about mental illness and this novel was undoubtedly a great book about mental illness. It deals very nicely with grief, depression and bipolar disorder. It doesn’t shy away from the ugly sides of mental illness and really takes care to showcase the effects of depression and mania on not only the individual but those around them. I thought the bipolar aspects of the book were handled very well, and it was accurately represented. Because I have a psychology background, I tend to automatically diagnose people (a bad habit that I haven’t managed to break)… and the fact that I diagnosed Vivi with bipolar disorder before it was even revealed in the book speaks to how accurately represented the disorder was, in my opinion. There was a nice balance of depression and mania, and the cycling through the two, which is characteristic of bipolar disorder. I enjoyed how nicely and respectfully it was handled, and how real it all felt. I also appreciated that the novel highlighted that mental illnesses manifest in different ways in different people, and nobody’s experience is the same.
Even the constellations can see us now: we are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know.
When We Collided is definitely more of a character-driven story. It doesn’t have much of a plot, or at least much of a memorable plot. It was really the characters and how much I enjoyed reading about them that pushed me through the book in just one sitting. Vivi is very confident and quirky and does a lot of really interesting things that I wish that I had the courage to do. She orders down the menu every time she visits the diner, so that she can try everything. However, there were times when she was just too quirky for my liking and it became a little bit difficult to connect with her. There were also times when she was selfish, unpredictable and impulsive, as a result of the bipolar disorder, and it was hard to like her. However, I thought she was a great main character and I enjoyed reading about her story, especially because I could never be the person she is or do the things that she does. I absolutely loved Jonah in this book. He was selfless, kind, sensitive and a fantastic cook. If you love reading about food in books, When We Collided will make you incredibly happy and hungry. I loved his passion for food and that he cared so deeply for his family and the wellbeing of his siblings; care, which manifested in the form of him making sure that they were properly fed with his delicious food. I also really enjoyed Jonah’s big family. Big families really appeal to me in contemporary fiction, and Jonah’s family was no exception. His younger siblings were funny and adorable, and I just loved them so much!
I also really liked the romance in this novel. It did start off a little bit too quickly and insta-lovey, but I liked how it progressed. Vivi and Jonah really supported and helped each other through their respective struggles, Vivi for Jonah at the beginning and Jonah for Vivi at the end. I thought they were great together and complemented each other well. I liked that the romance wasn’t all-consuming and that it wasn’t a ‘love cures all’ kind of story. There were some things that I wished had turned out differently, but I’m pretty happy with how the romance played out.
This was a really good mental illness novel with some fun and relatable characters. It explored bipolar disorder and depression very well, in my opinion, and was realistic but also hopeful in tone. Most importantly, if you love reading about boys who can cook, this is the novel for you!
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for sending a review copy of the book!
Top Ten Moments from When We Collided that I’d Like to Experience
Emery Lord, author of When We Collided, was kind enough to put together a list of ten moments from the novel that she’d like to experience:
- Riding a Vespa while wearing butterfly wings (although I did once ride a Vespa while wearing a marching band hat complete with a plume, a cheerleader skirt, and a football jersey). ((It was Halloween. I went as an American football game.))
- Standing at the bow of a lighthouse
- A beautiful outdoor dinner party
- I would enjoy any party that involved showing up dressed as my favorite animal
- Being able to paint—I’m hoping to take a class this year!
- I would really like Vivi’s eclectic collection of vintage and handmade clothes
- I’d love to be able to cook like Jonah
- Or just eat the food Jonah cooks
- Streaking down the shore at a nighttime bonfire (but I would NEVER, haha)
- But mostly, I’d love to live in a coastal town like Verona Cove
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