Thursday, 31 March 2016

When We Collided - Review

Book Review:
Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 7th April 2016

I received an early copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

"We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know"

I don't want to say too much about the premise of this book, but I'll give you a little insight on what it's about. When we collided follows two protagonists by the name of Vivi and Jonah. It's safe to say, that these two teenagers are completely different: Vivi craves adventure and living life to the fullest, whereas Jonah is more reserved and uses all of his time to look after his family. Meeting these two characters, you wouldn't associate one with the other, they're polar opposites, but when their lives collide (see what I did there) everything thing seems to lock into place.

I was quite sceptical going into this book after hearing that it deals with a mental illness. I normally find that when reading a book that deals with mental health, the topic is glossed over and kept quite tame. It's never realistic enough. This book however, could possibly be one of the best portrayals of a mental illness that I have ever read. It dealt with the topic very maturely and realistically.

Every character is going through their own personal struggles and fighting their own demons, but they fight through it with the help of their loved ones. And I admire that immensely.

My favourite character and the one I admired the most was Jonah. From the start, we can see that Jonah is living a hard life. He's only seventeen, yet he carries the burden of looking after and providing for his siblings. He has essentially put his own life on hold, so that his brothers and sisters can have have everything they want and need in life. When Vivi bounces into his life, she encourages him to break out of his shell and start living for himself like a normal teenager and although we did see him embrace his life much more, he still continued to put his family and even Vivi's joy before his own. There's this one quote that comes from Vivi which I think describes Jonah perfectly,
"All this pain in his life, all this care he doles out to everyone else. And yet he still cracks his broken heart open even wider - wide enough to fit me too."
He's such a sweetheart.

Now moving onto Vivi. I found her chapters quite difficult to read at times. Not because I didn't enjoy them, but because they were very intense. Through Jonah's pov we see Vivi acting carefree and just embracing life and seeing the good in everything, but in Vivi's pov we see the truth. She tries her hardest to not let her disorder consume her after feeling flat and unaware for so long, yet these little snippets come out of when her actions catch up to her and we can see that she's struggling. As Jonah's life was improving, Vivi's was slowly crumbling around her. It broke my heart.

Both Jonah and Vivi are complex well-developed characters and their relationship was no different. The journey that they went through together was both beautiful and bittersweet. Both of their lives were shattering around them, but with the help of each other, they managed to build each other up again. The book didn't end exactly how I wanted it to, but it really did not bother me all that much, because when you really think about it, it works. It's realistic.
This book will stay with me for quite a long time, it would be quite difficult to forget such a powerful book. I laughed. I cried. I fell in love.

The YA genre needs more books like When We Collided. They are incredibly brilliant for teaching people about mental health if they do not know much about it themselves.
So, if you haven't ordered this book yet, do yourself a favour and go buy it.

This was my first book by Emery Lord, but it certainly won't be my last.

4 Stars


  1. Great review. Eeep! So excited to get my hands on this book. I've heard only positive things x

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. X