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!
After we finished reading the book, we had a little discussion about it via Twitter:
Then we moved onto writing our reviews!
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!
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