Today, I’m talking about a book I read recently as an Advance Reader Copy (thanks Mel!) and it seriously took my heart, gave it love, and broke it. I’m talking about When We Collided by Emery Lord, out on April 5, 2016. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads shelf! Without further ado, here are my full thoughts on When We Collided.
If you thought you loved Emery Lord’s previous novels, get ready to have your mind blown because When We Collided is by far the best she’s written (I know, right?). Telling the simple story of the romance that blooms between Vivi and Jonah, Lord puts great effort into the exploration and care for her characters this time around. Readers will have their hearts filled to the brim with emotion by the end of this tale.
What I love so much about When We Collided is that Lord brought a new level of seriousness into her writing and it just seems like her writing has matured. Lord has turned her writing up a notch by digging deeper into her characters and really exploring them and understanding them until she knows them like the back of her hand. I think it’s evident that Lord is becoming a stronger writer with each new novel that is published, and I’m definitely happy for Lord for this constant improvement.
Yes, this is a romance novel. But there’s so much more than that. Personally, if you were to compare Lord’s books to a Dessen novel, the broad overview is very similar between them: love, family problems, and maybe some deep, dark thing that happens. There’s certainly a lot of overlap, but what I think Lord does better is the overall quality and development she puts into her stories.
I want to talk about the main female protagonist: Vivi. Vivi is a vibrant girl. At the beginning, she reminded me really heavily of Lola from Stephanie Perkins’ Lola and the Boy Next Door and that worried me a little bit, not because I don’t like Lola, but because I wasn’t seeing Vivi as her own separate character. But as the story went on, I saw Vivi as a crazier, more spontaneous girl, and she became her own person. We see the emotionally unstable Vivi as well, which I think Lord did a fantastic job of portraying. It’s mysterious because Vivi seems to have these two sides of her that are hidden yet present from the reader.
Tie her in with Jonah, the boy she falls for. Similar to how Vivi reminded me of a character from a different YA character, Jonah did as well. For me, Jonah felt like Garrett from Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door. Jonah takes responsibility for his many siblings, and after his father’s death, he must take care of them like a dad. He has this very mature persona that I instantly loved. Lord created this mellow and humble boy who truly didn’t realize how amazing he was. I saw through his Vivi’s eyes of course, but also through his perspective.
I don’t want to give away what happens throughout the story, but the way Lord weaves their lives together in the story is inspiring, realistic, and raw. I was not expecting the feels at the end, but there they were. I personally loved the way Lord ended the story between Vivi and Jonah; it was the right way.
I read Lord’s sophomore novel, The Start of Me and You at the start of this year, but I have to say that her third novel bypasses it. When We Collided has made it onto my list of favorites for 2015 for its story, written in a raw and organic yet beautiful manner. Vivi and Jonah will remain in my thoughts for a while.