Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

Posted April 19, 2016 in Review / 10 Comments

Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided

by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on April 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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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.

Romance Well Written Young Adult


I was hesitant to begin reading When We Collided.  Oh, I sought this book out as soon as I finished reading Ms. Lord’s The Start of Me and You. I had to have more of her writing and storytelling.  But I was deathly afraid of being disappointed and let down; that somehow this next book by Ms. Lord wouldn’t be as good as The Start of Me and You.  On top of that, I kept getting flashbacks of a movie with Drew Barrymore and Batman’s sidekick, Robin, when I read the synopsis and reviews.  So I avoided it all together…

And then the reviews started coming.  I just couldn’t ignore it anymore.  This book would be important to me, I just knew it.  What an emotionally draining read this story turned out to be.

I could not put this book down… nor could I stop thinking about it.


Jonah and Vivi are two very different people and their lives are about to crash together in a sweet romance.  Vivi has just moved to a small coastal town in Northern California for the summer.  She finds a job at a paint-it-yourself pottery place.  It’s here that she meets the last type of guy she’d ever be interested in dating, chino-wearing Jonah.

Jonah is there to treat his little sister, Leah, to some painting and Vivi charms the pants off the shy little girl.  Next thing you know, Leah is inviting Vivi over to Jonah’s house for dinner and play dates.  Jonah’s huge family is not exactly in the position to entertain guests but for his littlest sister’s happiness, he’ll work it out.

Ms. Lord did a fantastic job of developing two completely different characters dealing with two completely types of depression.  Jonah and his family are dealing with grief from their father’s sudden death a year ago.  Vivi is escaping from some sort of mess she made back home between her and her best friends.


I don’t want to spoil too much about the book.  But it’s so haaarrrd…

*said in best whiny voice*.


When Vivi is on the page, it is exhausting to read her POV.  As the story goes on, Vivi’s normalcy becomes more and more elusive to both herself, to Jonah, and to the reader.  Something is wrong but we’re not sure what.

If mental health doesn’t touch your life or you have no idea about it, it could look completely UNREAL when it’s written on the page. That’s what was amazing about Ms. Lord’s book – she made it real.

[pullquote]But what I mean is, depression, it settles like a shadow over your body while you sleep, and it mutes every frequency into blankness, into a fog.  Everyone thinks you can’t laugh when you’re depressed, but I couldn’t cry either, because I couldn’t feel.”[/pullquote]


That is the most REAL description of depression I’ve ever seen, outside of my own (but this isn’t about me).  I know Ms. Lord gets it, just by reading this book.

I’m diagnosed with depression, and I approve of this message, errr… book.

Just a few last thoughts…

Yournormal2 heaisn'teasy


About Emery Lord

Emery Lord

Emery Lord is a 20-something Midwestern girl who writes stories about high school and best friends and weird families and the crushes that make you feel combustibly alive and also more awkward than you thought was possible. If you're not sure how to pronounce Emery, try slurring the name "Emily," and that will get you really close.

She lives in Cincinnati in a 100 year-old pink row house with her BFF/husband, a closet full of dresses, and lots of books. If karaoke-ing in grocery store aisles or guzzling coffee while impulse shopping were illegal, Emery would be writing her overemotional YA books from jail. Also, she makes up words sometimes. Like combustibly.




About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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10 responses to “Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

  1. I’m so pleased you liked this one! I knew how this one ended so I was veerrry hesitant to read it, but I still gave it a shot because I love Emery Lord’s writing so much. I’m really glad I did because I feel like I learned so much about bipolar disorder. My knowledge of any mental health illness is flimsy, so I loved that I could learn something from this. I agree that Vivi was super hard as a character.
    I loved the wonderful Jonah! <3
    Lovely review, Kristin!
    Nick recently posted…Review: The Wedding Pact by Katee Robert

    • OMG, the ending… Ya know, the entire time, I knew that’s how it HAD to end. I wanted that ending and normally I can’t handle those endings… hence my HEA quote at the end. We named our blogs so well, didn’t we 😉 And Jonah… I should have talked more about him… Breakfast at Tiffany’s?? WOW!!

    • I think YOU’D like it either way. And it’s not too long. Just be prepared to want to throttle Vivi a few times. Jonah was so endearing…

  2. You’re exactly right – everyone has their own ‘normal.’ I really want to read this one! I’ve heard great things too and it just sounds like a wonderful, well-down novel. I also like that it focuses on depression and captures it so well. I suffer from depression/anxiety, so it’s always intriguing to find books that touch on the subject(s).

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Dirty by Kylie Scott Release Day Blitz

    • I just SAW that last Sunday!! YOU would love this book b/c it’s such an accurate story that you can SEE the accident unfolding in front of you. It adds to the tension. Depression and anxiety are soooo closely linked – my Aunt treats both – I totally feel for you!! My depression is hereditary 🙁