Author: Emery Lord
Publication Date: April 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Vivi is in love. With life and the world and love itself. She meets Jonah at Verona Cove, California where he is trying to navigate new waters after a sad event has changed his family forever. Vivi and Jonah test each other again and again as each of them pushes and pulls and falls apart.
It’s so easy to love this book. From the first page, Vivi’s narration pulls the reader in, step by step until you’re sure you are actually Jonah because you can feel her pull too. She is lively and beautiful and sassy and strong. And she is maybe not making some good choices. Jonah is used to taking care of his family. With his father passed away, his mother not getting out of bed, it’s up to him and his two oldest siblings to take care of the remaining little kids. When he meets Vivi, his world is thrown back into color. Technicolor. And he’s not sure how he ever lived without her.
Both characters are so beautifully written, their flaws and insecurities loud and complex, it’s so easy to fall into Verona Cove where Vivi leaves a message scrawled on trees and Jonah cooks elaborate dinners and whips up fantastic baked goods. And the best part is how authentic their voices are. Vivi’s full and loud and dreamy while Jonah is more down to earth and sad. This is a lovely bittersweet love story that is silly and heartbreaking and lovely. So, so lovely.
It’s not just Vivi and Jonah who I fell in love with either. Jonah’s little sister Leah is so sweet and his childhood friend Ellie is a breath of fresh air in a melancholy world. The secondary characters come alive just as much as Jonah and Vivi and Lord does a wonderful job breathing life into this small coastal town. From everything to the grumpy local cop and the motherly waitress, every character is distinct and natural.
I don’t want to give too much away with the plot, but it’s love and it’s hurt not just with each other but also with themselves. Lord’s writing touches upon some sensitive and dramatic points that will allow the reader to watch the whirlwind of this particular mental illness story, and hope somehow the pieces can be picked up after the collision.
Overall, When We Collided is a sure bet that any contemporary YA fan will adore.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy