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When We Collided by Emery Lord

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: When We Collided
     Author: Emery Lord
     Genre: Contemporary
     Publisher: Bloomsbury
     Publishing Date: April 5th, 2016

          - Depiction of mental illness 
          - Characters - all multifaceted, and unique, with character development
          - Writing style - everything flowed very well, conveyed ideas excellently 
          -  Key messages - love doesn't cure all

    Things that could have been better:
         - Nothing, honestly. 

Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon |

Initial Thoughts

I actually picked up this book because I had heard many great reviews of it from other bloggers. Plus, that cover is gorgeous as well - very pretty! 

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

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.
Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world. 

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures. 

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.


I loved the way that Lord depicted mental illness in When We Collided. It was really honest, it was emotional, it made me really understand what it might be like to be diagnosed with a mental illness. With standout writing, and honest words, Emery Lord touched upon something that can be very difficult to describe. 
"Depression, it settles like a shadow over your body while you sleep, and it mutes every frequency into blankness, into fog. Everyone thinks you can't laugh when you're depressed, but I couldn't cry either, because I couldn't feel." (pg88)
I never really understood some symptoms in mental illness, but reading Lord's words, some symptoms, some of the implications, made more sense to me, and I understood everything a lot more. 
The characters were such a charm too. With such developed characters, I could all but imagine an actual small town where these characters actually live. Although I didn't love all of them, I appreciated how multi-faceted they all were. From Jonah, the boy who is left to raise his younger siblings with some of his other siblings, to the tornado that is Vivi, we got a sense of who they were. At times I wanted to smack Vivi for how ridicuous she was being at times - but I got that this was how she was, this was what the mental illness was doing to her - my frustration just enhanced the reading experience for me, and made her more real and human for it. I loved watching the characters grow and develop, along with our understanding of who the characters are. 
The relationship between Jonah and Vivi was definitely very instalovey. But it was a good instalove. I could see a spark between them, with Vivi's unapologetic brightness and Jonah's quiet strength. Although some people would say that the romance depicted in here was just lust and that Lord tried to show that romance could cure all (which we all know, isn't the case), I thought it was the opposite - Lord made a great case for teenage romance, and she/he showed that romance was in fact, not a cure all, with the ending she/he constructed, where Jonah and Vivi break up. To me, this break up signified that love cannot cure all, that mental illness cannot be cured by love and romantic relationships only - which I thought was a very good message to perpetuate. 

Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a book that focuses on mental health, has real and emotion-charged characters, When We Collided is for you. I thought that no book could top Highly Illogical Behaviour, but When We Collided more than surpassed my expectations and has set a new bar for books that focus on mental health. I'm definitely buying my own copy of this book - I borrowed it out from the library, and I NEED my own copy. `


This is based off my Goodreads review, which ranks the book by its characters, plot, writing style and entertainment value. 

Thoughts in a Phrase 

Human and real. 

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