WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord {Joint Review}

Peyton & Holly

Today I have a very exciting book review to share: a joint review of Emery Lord’s When We Collided with Peyton @ A Bookish Mess. I’ve never done a joint review before, so here goes nothing!

DISCUSSION

After we finished reading the book, we had a little discussion about it via Twitter:

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Then we moved onto writing our reviews!

PEYTON’S REVIEW

When We CollidedThis was my first novel from this author and I have to say… ALL THE FEELS! I will be going back and reading her previously published, as well as future novels that she publishes! When We Collided is written with a tone that I am not very familiar with reading. I thought it would throw me off, or be a bit of a challenge to get into, but I fell completely in love with everything about it. I can let you know, right off the bat, that my favorite thing about this novel is that is written as a Dual POV. Nothing makes me happier as a reader than to be able to see the story from both points of view!
Jonah has 100% won my heart. Hands down, no questions asked. He is different from the normal Alpha males I am used to reading about, but I think that is one of the main reasons as to why I love him so hardcore. Aside from being funny, loyal to a fault, humble and gracious – Jonah is a fan-freaking-tastic cook. (be still my beating heart!) #WINNING!
ViVi is a bit of a touchy subject for me. While part of me liked her because she felt insanely REAL – imperfections and all… another part of me spent the good majority of the book asking myself again and again how I could possibly like this girl! Then.. I understood her. She is a stark contrast to everything that Jonah is – but it is who SHE is. While some people are easy to love, others are sort of an acquired taste. ViVi has a strong, in your face kind of way about her.. a tough pill to swallow so to speak. Underneath it all, she is just like you and I.
Going into this novel I was unsure how the author was going to handle touching on serious subjects.. such as bi-polar disorder.. I think she hands down – without a doubt, knocked this out of the part. It was so graciously written with enough caution that you didn’t feel any kind of opinion was being forced on you, but with enough care and depth we as readers could understand the character just a little better.
Heads up though! The ending threw me for a loop! I didn’t see it coming in any kind of fashion, but the book wouldn’t be what it is without this! Kind of a MUST HAVE, but a WISH IT WASN’T THERE kinda thing! The secondary characters in this story are amazing. The dynamic of the family was so well written that I felt like I was with them – experiencing the very same things that they were.. That this could be any family right down the street from me. Emery Lord really knows how to tug at the heart.. and write a novel that makes you feel as though she KNOWS something about your life.. and just throws it in there to connect you again and again! If you are a lover of YA.. This book is for you!
Rating: 4/5 stars

MY REVIEW

Wow. Little did I know when I began reading Emery Lord’s When We Collided that I was embarking on an emotional rollercoaster, a journey of ups and downs and endless winding curves. I expected a light, summery read, but what I got instead was so much more. There are an abundance of reasons why I enjoyed this book immensely, but here are just a few:

+ The idyllic beach town setting. I’m a sucker for good settings, and Verona Cove is the perfect beach town for a summery novel. It’s quaint, the locals are an eclectic bunch, and the scenery is gorgeous.

+ Dual perspectives. The chapters alternate between Vivi and Jonah’s point of views, which adds a lot of depth to the story. Not only does it force you to look at the story from a different perspective (literally and figuratively), but it also allows you to better understand what is actually happening.

+ The emphasis on family dynamics. I love stories about families, and this one is no exception. The many flaws of the Jonah’s big family (6 kids!!!) highlight the fact that no family is perfect in real life. Each sibling has a unique, multifaceted personality that grows and changes throughout the course of the novel. Besides Jonah, my favorite sibling is probably Leah– she’s so bubbly and adorable!

+ The approach to discussing mental illness. When I eventually realized what was going on, I honestly had no idea how the topic would be handled. However, I think that the subject of mental illness is approached with care, respect, and sensitivity in this novel. Emery Lord includes a thoughtful note towards the end of the book explaining how mental illness was portrayed in When We Collided and ways that those who are struggling can seek help. I don’t think any fictional portrayal of mental illness will ever be perfect, but in my opinion Lord handles it very well.

+ JONAH. I must have thing for fictional guys named Jonah (Jonah Griggs from Jellicoe Road, anyone?) because I absolutely adored him! He’s sweet, funny, kind, responsible, loyal, and would do anything for his family. He’s also an amazing cook– what else could you possibly want in a book boyfriend?

+ The ending. I was completely surprised by the ending, but in a positive way. (I actually gasped out loud in shock!) It was incredibly heartbreaking and emotional, but I feel as though the story couldn’t have properly ended in any other way.

My only complaint might be a little controversial: I didn’t like Vivi for a good portion of the novel. Her personality is overwhelmingly HUGE. I understand that she has a mental illness, but that doesn’t mean that her personality cannot be critiqued. She is an overpowering character, especially when compared to the reserved, mature Jonah. Her outrageously boisterous personality makes their relationship seem almost forced, as though it is bordering more on “insta-love” than an actual substantial relationship.

Overall, When We Collided turned out to be a moving, eye-opening, and adorable summer read. I became completely invested in the characters and their stories, making it a difficult book to put down. It might not have been what I was originally expecting, but I’m so happy that it ended up being even better than I initially anticipated. I’ll definitely have to check out Emery Lord’s other books!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely! Especially for someone looking for a meaningful, unique, summery YA read.

A big thank you to Peyton for doing this joint review with me! It was a blast! 🙂 Click here to check out our joint review on her blog!

What are your thoughts on this novel? Have any recommendations for other books by Emery Lord? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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13 thoughts on “WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord {Joint Review}

    1. Same!! 🙂 I’ll have to read some of Emery Lord’s other books, because this one was so good! I like how we both gave it the same rating too haha 🙂

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  1. I absolutely love your little discussion that you posted from your phone. It’s such a unique way to complement a review, and it’s something that I’ve never seen before! Anyway, I just loved it.

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