Release: 7th April 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Mental Health
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"Seventeen year old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he's not. Now Jonah must numbly take care of his family as they reel from their tragedy. Cue next change: Vivi Alexander, new girl in town.
Vivi is in love with life. A gorgeous and unfiltered hurricane of thoughts and feelings. She seems like she's from another planet as she transforms Jonah's family and changes his life. But there are always consequences when worlds collide."
Emery Lord is fast becoming one of my favourite contemporary authors. I’ve fallen hard for her vivid and vibrant characters and her beautiful way with words that wrap around my emotions and tug hard. I’ve read and enjoyed all three of her books and am so glad she’s now published in the UK.
When We Collided is told in alternate chapters between our two main characters Vivi and Jonah. Vivi is spending the summer in Jonah’s hometown Verona Cove, she’s a burst of bright light in this small summer beach town and quiet, sweet Jonah is drawn to her like a moth to a flame. Vivi bursts into Jonah’s life like a whirlwind picking up his large and lovable family who hit rock bottom when they lost their dad. Suddenly Jonah’s grey world is once again bright with colour but sometimes those who burn the brightest have a tendency to burn out. Vivi’s life is far from the colourful portrait she paints it to be and she’s hiding her own darkness from Jonah. But Jonah has lived in the dark and knows that letting in love means letting in light.
Vivi and Jonah are two very different characters but I loved them both equally. Jonah comes from a large and close family; he’s incredibly grounded and has been trying to fill in his dad’s shoes both at home and at his restaurant since his death. Vivi comes from a single parent family; she’s wild, free and incredibly artistic. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly and the result is a sweet one that has you craving more.
Despite their differences they have one thing in common – they both live with mental illness. Jonah’s mum’s grief has slowly slipped into depression and Vivi is struggling to accept her bipolar. I loved how honestly this book represented both living with a mental illness and loving someone with a mental illness. It has some really positive messages on how best to support someone with a mental illness and most importantly, how to support yourself.
I absolutely adored everything about this book. It balanced the light and dark in life so beautifully creating a fun summer read that carries an important message. It’s a real emotional rollercoaster that made me goofy-grin at the cuteness and get teary eyed when the characters hit their lows. When We Collided is one of the standout contemporary reads of this year and is an unmissable treat for anyone who likes their book boys cute, their heroines strong and their stories powerful.