Well, here I go with another contemporary YA book that I liked. I must be picking up a lot of good ones lately or something because wow! This book!
There’s been a trend in YA recently about writing believable characters with mental illnesses. I found myself falling in love with this book. I laughed out loud, I teared up, and I closed the book with such satisfaction, I didn’t want it to end. Not many books do that to me but I’m so glad this was one of them.
Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Release date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, realistic fiction, romance
Length: 352 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “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.”
My rating: 5/5 stars
“We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know.”
I have nothing bad to say about this book. Absolutely nothing. It spoke to me in so many ways. If you flashback to ten years ago when I was a 17-year-old struggling with depression and self-harm, this book would have been my lifesaver–a breath of fresh air in an otherwise very dark period of my life. Now as a 27-year old, it’s a raw, honest talk about mental illness, and not just in the way Vivi is, but in the way Jonah and his entire family is because they’re grieving in their own way.
“[Depression]…settles like a shadow over your body while you sleep, and it mutes every frequency into blankness, into fog. Everyone things you can’t laugh when you’re depressed, but I couldn’t cry either, because I couldn’t feel.”
Sure, at times, Vivi was annoying but that’s part of who she was. She was also creative, blunt, and sometimes, I wanted to be her. I wanted to have her wild and crazy optimism in the midst of swirling darkness. Her wild and sporadic ideas but her love for Jonah and his family was real. Jonah struggling to understand Vivi was real. Their relationship was made up of two broken people. Sometimes they understood each other and other times, they didn’t. They didn’t understand themselves as some points but that’s okay. They’re teenagers and sometimes, like in Jonah’s case, we need someone to look after us instead of looking after others.
“My dark days made me strong. Or maybe I already was strong, and they made me prove it… [He] already has his own grief, but he doesn’t understand what it feels like to waste away in a castle dungeon where you have been chained to crumbling walls. And, when the dragons close in, you think: Good. Let this be over.”
Lord’s writing is gorgeous poetry. Books like this make me love contemporary YA. Thank you for writing it. Thank you for writing honestly about depression because how Vivi felt was exactly how I felt when I was struggling. Vivi’s raw honesty about metal against her flesh because she wanted to feel that was me for 5 years of my life. I could cry tears of joy to thank you for writing this book, Emery. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.
So now to more of my favorite quotes!
“The scar runs like a pale river, crooked and winding down my arm, and I feel, as I always do, the desire to erase it. This is perhaps the only time I’ve been grateful for proof of my former desperation.”
“It turns out feeling cold blade slice into your flesh and then warm blood slopping onto the floor is actually infinitely worse than feeling nothing.”
“So what if I let these marks be passport stamps from where I’ve been–ones that don’t determine a damn things about where I’m going next?”
^ And that one is my all-time favorite quote from the book. Because your past should not determine how your future looks. You have the power to mold it and change it.
Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?