Lit Love Book Review: When We Collided

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

When We Collided on Amazon

A Lit Love Book Review brought to you by my love of books. All opinions are my own, this post is not sponsored, and I don't get any compensation from any of these links.

The Basics:

Emery Lord's beautifully authentic novel, When We Collided, follows the story of Vivi, a bipolar teen in love with everything around her, and Jonah, a grieving son caring for his family. Thrown into the colorful and chaotic world Vivi inhabits, Jonah learns to open his eyes and his heart to the love and the heartbreak of his own world. As they spend their summer together, Vivi slowly spins farther and farther from reality. In the end she learns just what she is willing to give up of herself and her world to stay in the real world.

Why you wouldn't think to pick it up:

Novels about characters with mental health can be heavy and depressing, but When We Collided is neither. It's a buyant depiction of the reality of mental health issues that we each may deal with in at least a small way.

Why you should pick it up:

Emery Lord's depiction of both Bipolar Disorder and medical depression are incredibly realistic. Her charaters are real, vivid, and completely endearing. The lessons and themes of the book are applicable to each of us as members of a broken humanity, not just those who have a title and diagnosis.

The great:

The glittering gem of the novel is the genuine and unique voices Lord gives to her characters. Vivi's enthusiasm for life and vibrant spirit are present in each page written from her viewpoint. I immediately fell in love with her as a character and wanted to be her best friend in real life. 

Jonah's character is equally real and possibly just as damaged, just in a more common way. I immediately connected to his devotion to his family and could see a little bit of myself in each step of his path through grief.

The not so great:

I honestly couldn't find any criticism for When We Collided. I often find that little things in a story can pop me out of my suspension of reality and keep me from really immersing in the story. But that was far from the case with this book. Do be aware that there are a few scenes of sexuality between the two characters, I appreciated that they were not explicit and that both the positive and negative effects of such a lifestyle were addressed in the book, which I find to be pretty rare.

A Snippet:

"I don't know if you've ever sprawled out in a wide-open field and stared up at the blue sky and felt the planet humming all around you, but that's what my days feel like here."

"Jonah looks at me like I'm absolutely off my rocker. Or maybe it's a look of amazement, like I'm a whole galaxy, glittering and vast and uncharted..."

The Verdict:

I picked this one up at the library, like I do all my books. I read a lot of books lately and only purchase books I want to keep and reread for years. But after checking it out twice in just a few months, it has officially earned a spot on my bookshelves. It definitely stands out in excellence, not just in YA fiction, but in all the books I've read for a long time.

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