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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[…] When We Collided by Emery Lord – Bloomsbury (Our review) […]
Nick also really liked this one so I had to go buy the audiobook. I hope to fit it in my list for this month because I can't wait to read it. So happy you liked it too Jenna!
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Yay! I hope you enjoy this one too Nereyda. I'm keen to hear what you think of the audiobook.
Thanks for commenting as always, Zoe. I'm so happy that I managed to put this one on your radar! I really enjoyed this one a lot. It had fantastic and complex characters, even though I didn't always like Vivi. I definitely loved how mental illness was portrayed in this book and that it was so well written!
ooh so glad you loved this because it's been on my wishlist forever. I adore the paperback. the hardcover is a little boring tbh. I've been hearing Jonah is a fabulous chef & super dreamy, so I've been automatically drawn to him. btw, great Halloween costume! and awesome review, jenna!
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Omg Jonah is just the best cook. As I was reading the book, I kept thinking "FEED MEEEEEEE". I like this UK paperback edition because the colours are super vibrant and really pops out but I also like the US hardcover. Hehe the top ten list was actually put together by Emery Lord but I thought the same thing about her Halloween costume. I wish I could come up with spectacular ideas like that one!
I am so glad you liked this one so much Jenna! I am glad that this portrayed bipolar disorder and depression accurately and thoroughly and that it didn't shy away from the harsh realities of mental illness. Definitely going to have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3
This book is on my shopping list for tomorrow's bookstore jaunt. And while I'm wary of books that deal with mental illness, I know enough about Lord at least keep an open mind. So glad you enjoyed it.
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Yay. I'm super glad to hear that! It's by no means the best mental illness book I've ever read, but I thought it was done really well and now I'm really excited to try something else by Emery Lord!
I glad to hear that there was a accurate representation of bipolar disorder, thanks for your insight as a psychologist. I haven’t read anything by Emily Lord, though I’ve heard so much about her books. All my friends highly recommend this author to me. I like character-driven books, and I don’t mind non-existent plot if the author writes interesting multidimensional characters. Also Jonah sounds like a wonderful hero; I have a soft spot for guys who can cook. Great review, as always!
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Oh man, I love boys who can cook SO MUCH. Jonah was especially exciting to read about because you could feel his passion for food. I haven't read anything else by Emery Lord but after reading When We Collided, I'm super keen to pick up The Start of Me and You, which I've hear nothing but good things about. Her characters are on point and her writing is quite beautiful!
I'm glad you enjoyed this book! I've heard a lot of praise for it recently, and I really want to read it. Usually I'm not a massive fan of contemporary, but it sounds like a very important book, especially because it explores bipolar disorder so well and portrays it so accurately. I love reading about food in books, too! I really enjoy character driven novels too if they're done well, which this one seems like it is.
Great review, and thank you for sharing the author interview too! 😀
Denise | The Bibliolater
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This was a really quick read so I'd recommend giving it a go even though contemporary isn't your thing. Even though it explores some pretty heavy topics, there were lots of funny and exciting moments that were a lot of fun to read about. And yes, FOOD <3
Beautiful review Jenna! I love the sound of When We Collided with how it accurately represents bipolar disorder. It's fascinating to hear from your perspective that it was presented really well, particularly with Vivi being a bit unlikable in certain ways. I love the view from a big family too and the food in the novel! It sounds adorable! I'll have to keep an eye out for this book in the store!
The food in this book will have you salivating, Jeann! The characters were so well done in this novel and, even though Vivi wasn't the most likable person, I could see what Emery Lord was trying to do with her characters. It's also a really fun and adventurous novel too.
I've read and enjoyed The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord and I really enjoyed it so I have high hopes for this one! I'm glad it doesn't shy away from tough topics and deals with them well. The romance sounds like it could have started off a bit better but as long as it develops well it should be okay! Nice review 🙂
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I haven't read The Start of Me and You yet but I really want to now! Emery Lord's writing is exquisite! I added The Start of Me and You to my book depository wishlist before it even came out… and it's still sitting in my wishlist. I really need to pick it up now!
BOYS WHO CAN COOK <3 <3 <3 I need a Jonah in my life tbh. And actually, for me the romance was the LEAST interesting part of the book – I loved how mental illness was portrayed. And I just loved Jonah, basically. Jonahhhhh <3
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Yeah I could have done without the romance as well but I did enjoy it. Jonah was the standout for me in this book too!! Just everything about him was amazing. FEED US, JONAH.
I really loved this one too Jenna and it tackled the mental illness and grief aspects with respect and was beautifully written. The Daniels family were so lovely, banding together to care for their family when their mother was no longer capable. Vivi's character was so incredibly charming, but it was her vulnerability that really drew me to her. I can't wait to hunt down some of her other titles. Wonderful review poppet <3 <3
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I'm glad you enjoyed this one too, Kelly! I love reading about big families so much and Jonah's family was amazing with how they took care of each other. I totally want to be part of the family too (just so that Jonah can feed me too). I can't wait to read more from Emery Lord too. I'll have to pick up The Start of Me and You now!