Tuesday, April 5, 2016

When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided by Emery Lord
Release Date - April 5, 2016 (April 19, 2016 in Canada)
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House // Bloomsbury
Publisher Social Media - Twitter // Twitter
Pages - 352 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Emery Lord's books always make me feel something. Her novels have a heartbeat to them that instantly connects with your own. When We Collided is no exception. This, in fact, may be her most emotional novel yet. The love, and passion Emery put into this novel is evident in every single word and page.

Vivi is a character who defies and breaks stereotypes (looking at you Manic Pixie Dream Girl). At first glance you see her as one thing, but as the story deepens and you get to know this complex, messy, incredible character those preconceived notions are quickly proven wrong. She's more than just the girl with red lipstick that seems to be there only to further Jonah's story. She's so much more than that. She's inspiring, and frustrating. She's reckless, and fun, and wild. She loves fiercely, and lives her days fully. She's flawed and imperfect but that is what makes her shine. She quickly became one of my favourite characters simply because she's so nuanced, and well written.

Jonah is the definition of book boyfriend material. He is sweet, kind, and patient. While Vivi shines a little brighter, it's Jonah's loyalty and kindness that melts your heart. He is a good guy, and that is so refreshing when most of the romances in Young Adult contain worrisome elements. Jonah is the guy girls should want to be with. His family is just as easy to fall in love with and showcase Emery Lord's ability to write these entirely captivating background characters that make you want to beg for a story about them. It's a theme with her previous novels including incredible side characters as well.

There is a theme of claiming your days to this novel. I love this idea. When struggling with a mental illness you may not have control over everything, but what you do have control over is what it means for you and your life. In other words, how it defines you. You can seek support from family, friends and doctors. You can find solace in the little victories. The novel celebrates the fact that sometimes little victories are enough, and that they can be celebrated as much as the big ones. This novel advocates self care as a vital and necessary part to claiming your days. Whatever you need for yourself, and whatever makes you comfortable, happy, or strong is worthy of celebrating (even if the only thing that day happens to be the perfect shade of red lipstick).

There is a scene where a character says the following

"This is going to ruin a few days. It might make some weeks harder. A few hard weeks in a great, big life. You can do that. We can do that."

This is the crux of the entire way of how this novel looks at mental illness. It's sometimes tough, but the right support can make all the difference. The use of the word WE in that line stood out to me. WE can do that. It makes the point of how important support really is beautifully and subtly. 

The romance is the definition of #relationshipgoals. It's the stuff of romance movies. It makes you ache for this kind of love, and want to not settle for any It also feels realistic and plausible, which isn't always the case in Young Adult novels. The chemistry between Jonah and Vivi is undeniable. Their romance is one of inside jokes, past lives, late nights at the beach, surprises, and that dizzy head over heels feeling you get while first falling in love. Your mind and heart are both capable of leaping before you're ready and charting an unexpected (and sometimes messy) path. This novel perfectly captures how messy and encompassing both of these can be.

There is a realistic feel to this entire novel. The ending is perhaps my most favourite, simply because it feels honest. It feels true. Saying anything else would be too much of a spoiler, but Emery gives you the ending the story needs, regardless of what your heart might want.

Emery has written an emotionally touching and heartfelt read whose characters resonate deeply with you. It's the story of a boy and a girl and the summer they fall in love. Its the story of claiming your days. It also happens to be my favourite Emery Lord book to date. It made me want to find the perfect shade of red lipstick, take a few chances, and enjoy each and every day to the fullest that I can. My words are not nearly adequate enough to express my love for this novel so I'll simply conclude this by telling everyone to read it. Read it and fall in love with Vivi and Jonah's love story. Read it and becomes an Emery Lord fangirl for life.

1 comment:

  1. I really need to read Lord's books. I can see i'm missing out on a lot, especially this book and its realistic feel.

    Great review :)

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex


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