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 …
A fierce and beautiful love story with a difference, When We Collided will thrill fans of All the Bright Places and I’ll Give You the Sun.
(Synopsis from Goodreads)
What’s it about?
First off some main info:
Author: Emery Lord
Title: When We Collided
Published: April 7th, 2016 (First Published April 5th, 2016)
Series: Standalone Novel
Version: Bloomsbury Children’s Paperback (344 Pages)
Would I recommend it: Yes, but if you are sensitive to topics concerning mental health you might want to be cautious!
Rating: 4 Stars
In this review I will not mention who has what mental illness because I think that this could be seen as a spoiler if you were able to get around them so far!
If you have already read this book, know that I am aware of the mental illnesses and why certain people act a certain way!
WOW! That was my very first thought when I finished this book (along with some tears)! This book gave me so many impressions and I am going to admit right here that I did go back and forth between loving and (not quite) hating this book! There were so many different topics, situations, moods and such made into one book and I believe that if that is the case you can’t have one single opinion on a book. Also the lessons this book teaches are so important and also show that you can work through anything, you just have to start working through it! The author’s note at the end of the book also made the point to mention how important it is to seek help and let people help you deal with your problems, and I think it is vital for authors to talk about these issues themselves without the barrier of having a character do it!
This book is definitely character driven and contains incredible character development, that I haven’t seen in many books so far! In this novel the story seems secondary and I don’t mind that for a change, as the story is an instrument to emphasize on the main characters’ issues, their healing process and their characters in general. Due to this the story is kept quite simple and if it wasn’t for the extraordinary characters it would just be a light summer romance story with slight turbulences, but even though this was the case the story was not predictable at all! I loved that! There was not one thing that I knew would happen except for the rough outline – Of course that’s thanks to the characters as well!
The author has a really great writing style and she is able to put each character’s personality into their POV’s. Talking about those, it’s very great that we don’t only get to read Vivi’s thoughts and the way she sees the world but Jonah’s as well and therefore how the outside world reacts to Vivi and her character, how they perceive her!
Finally let’s talk about the characters! I guess I should start with the easier one of the two leads – Jonah! Jonah is a very calm, caring, and loving teenage boy. Despite his age he does a lot for his family, he holds them together, works in his late father’s restaurant, and seems to be carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders! Even with all these problems in tow Jonah is still just a normal teenage guy who wants to put himself first every once in a while, but doesn’t, because he is cares too much for his family, and feels a little obligated, to not help them get through their grief. Jonah is at a point in his life where he feels stuck, like he’s not able to change the situation his family is in, like he doesn’t have control over his life anymore, but still he loves his family more than anything and I admire that about him – sometimes you have to be selfish though! I continuously liked him throughout the book and having him as a character was very pleasant and calming when you also read about / “as” someone like Vivi!
Vivi…Vivi is something else! I loved her, then I hated her, I thought she was a whore, then I felt sorry for her! So, my first impression of Vivi was this loud, lively, a little hyper girl, who is in love with life and tries to live it to the fullest! I admired a lot of her qualities, most of all probably her confidence and, as I said, her love for life and her willingness to learn new things all the time! Reading about her interacting with others was just delightful and lovely, especially seeing how easily she fell in love with Jonah’s family!. At first I thought she was totally awesome and, even though she was a little too hyper for me at times, I fell in love with her personality, but things change! As the story progressed my feelings towards her changed. The way she sometimes treated others was unacceptable to me. Her selfishness, especially towards her concerned mother and Jonah, made me hate her at times! In addition her actions and her past make her seem a little whorish every now and then – sorry to say that – and it seems like she got around a lot so far and thinks of Jonah accordingly…. Only sometimes of course, but still, I feel protective of ma boi! As the novel went on a lot of things happened that kept on making me change my opinion on Vivi and as an important aspect about her character was revealed I started to understand why she was like that. It also made me think. To me “Vivi” is a made up character to an extend. She chooses who she wants to be and then ignores anything that would stop her from being that person, even if it defines her!
Another character that left an great impression was Ellie! She is such a sweet girl and I enjoyed every single scene she was in, she’s so amazing 😄
I can definitely recommend this story if you want a summer story that’s a little different! I really enjoyed reading the novel even the parts I mentioned above, when I didn’t like one of the leads, because I always loved at least one person!