Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord.

Title – When We Collided
Author – Emery Lord
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 344 pages
Publication Date – April 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury Children’s
ISBN – 9781408870082
My Rating – ★★★/5

Jonah has lived in the same small town all his life and only one thing has changed – his dad died six months ago. While he’s still reeling from his dad’s death, Jonah and his two older siblings have had to step into take care of the family.

Then he meets Vivi, the new girl in town. She’s in love with life. Vivi is a hurricane of unfiltered thoughts and feelings. But she manages to help Jonah’s family and changes his life.

I received a copy of When We Collided from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review. I don’t read a lot of contemporaries but this one sounded good when I read the synopsis.

I’m going to admit that I thought it was obvious what was going on with Vivi very early in the book. I don’t know if it was because I’ve read a few books with mental illness in them Clr2N4nUsAASwswlately or the “signs” were there but for me, it was obvious. I don’t think mental illness gets talked about enough and there are too many people that suffer in silence where there is so much help out there.

I’m a very introverted person and just reading Vivi’s highs were a little too much for me. I
don’t know how someone can handle going from that kind of high to such lows so fast. It must be horrible. I didn’t have anything against Vivi, but being an introverted person it was just a lot.  I’m not sure if Vivi realised what was going on, the highs, lows and anger.. But Jonah clearly didn’t notice until it was too late.

Things have been tough in Jonah’s family since his dad died. What I don’t understand is why they (the older siblings) didn’t actually try to help their mother, not just pretend like everything was normal like she’ll wake up one day and just go back to the person she was… Obviously it was more than just grief. Depression isn’t a dirty word, it needs to be talked about. Just because you can’t see that a person is suffering doesn’t mean they aren’t and it’s “all in their head” and they just need to “suck it up.” Saying those things to people with depression or mental illness doesn’t help and it just makes things so much worse. No one should be ashamed to talk about depression and mental illness.

I liked that Vivi and Jonah’s relationship didn’t feel forced, even though Vivi was determined to “have him.” Vivi definitely helped Jonah and his family. But I think Vivi, through a horrible accident, manages to save herself too. She’d been through a horrible time back home and avoided the subject for months, which didn’t help. I was glad that it wasn’t boy meets girl, finds out girl is going through something and through the power of his love he saves her. Ugh, no. The end of this felt real and wasn’t a fairy tale ending. I liked that it felt honest and was the right thing for both Vivi and Jonah, even if he didn’t think so.

I really liked When We Collided and I’ll definitely be looking out for Emery’s next book.

*Thank you Allen and Unwin New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

Have you read When We Collided? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments.

– Aimee.

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