Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WHEN WE COLLIDED BY EMERY LORD - BOOK REVIEW

I've only read one other book by Emery Lord and I enjoyed it but I had heard a lot about this one and I had high expectations. I wasn't sure it would live up to the hype, but luckily, I think I liked this one more than The Start of Me and You.


Hello everyone!

 I am back with another book review, today it is When We Collided by Emery Lord.


The story follows sixteen-year-olds Vivi and Jonah. Jonah and his family are reeling from the sudden death of his father six months ago. He left behind six children and a wife whose grieve has shut her down. With his two older siblings, Jonah takes care of his three younger ones. Vivi needed to get away. So she and her mom rented a house out on Verona Cove. But she has her own dark past, despite her usually cheerful attitude. The two become inseparable, but space and time might be what both of them need to heal.

Let's start with Vivi's character first. This isn't really a spoiler because she takes medication, but Vivi has bipolar disorder. I haven't read a lot of books with a character with bipolar disorder nor do I know a lot about it generally, so I cannot really speak to the validity of Lord's portrayal. I will say, however, that I am split on how I feel about Vivi's character. When the book starts, we don't know about her bipolar disorder, but just from the way she was acting and talking, something felt off about her character. Then more things come to light and I began to understand why her character was that way. But I struggle with how much of her character is based on someone with bipolar disorder, and how much of it is manic pixie dream girl. Because she is quirky and peppy and mysterious. She is everything I think of when I think of MPDG. BUT, I don't know enough about bipolar disorder to say for a fact that she is acting accurately to that.

I didn't have a problem with her personality or character, I still liked her, but I know some people are sticklers when it comes to that sort of thing.

Next, Jonah. I actually really liked Jonah. Some people say that he lets Vivi take control and he just aimlessly follows her around. I definitely understand how that could be seen but I personally disagree. I think he stands up for himself when he needs to and any time he lets her push him around, it's because he is in love with her and is just kind of that drunk-in-love puppy that follows her around. I do think Lord did a good job of making Jonah his own person with his own free will. I think part of it was getting swept up into the force that is Vivi and sometimes he couldn't resist.

I really loved the first half of this book - I was giddy right alongside the characters. I thought the relationship was developing really well and I was loving where the story was going and then it took a turn. We started getting into Vivi's illness. Now, I want to make very clear that I have no problems with mental illnesses, in books or otherwise. But I think adding it to the romance was a critical error. I was perfectly content basking in the glow of their connection. I know that this is a deeper contemporary and I really appreciate that; I just think that having a romance and a whole mental illness explanation and backstory might have been more than this book could handle.

I think overall the positives outweigh the negatives. I really loved Lord's writing style, it was different from her other book I'd read but I adored it. It wasn't quite lyrical but it had a sort of ravishing quality that I couldn't get enough of.

Overall, I did enjoy this book despite the issues I had with it and would highly recommend!