When We Collided by Emery Lord
Published April 5, 2015 by Bloomsbury
Source: the publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 5 stars
From the blurb: Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.
I love the cover of When We Collided by Emery Lord, and in a way the characters are like the cover, they'll jump out at you and stick with you throughout the story, as well as afterwards.
This applies to Vivi in particular, she is bright, bubbly, vivacious, and demands your attention. She's come to Verona Cove for the summer with her artist mother. She's left behind what happened in Seattle, including her best friends Ruby and Amala, but she's not going to think about them. She's going to enjoy her summer and is already in love with the small beach side town. She's making her mark, carving or writing "Vivi was here" wherever she goes and has already acquired a job at the local pottery and art shop. It's here she meets Jonah and his little sister Leah.
Jonah doesn't quite leap off the page, but he is just as engaging. His father, former chef, died of a heart attack and while their mother deals with depression, he and his older brother and sister look after their three younger siblings. Vivi brings a much needed injection of fun and spontaneity into all their lives, and Jonah gives Vivi a distraction.
The pacing in this story was perfect, Vivi is dealing with the discovery that she has bi polar disorder and has stopped taking some of her medication. The speed of her story gains momentum quickly as she becomes more manic each day. Her emotions were palpable, I could feel her sense of exhilaration and urgency and it only made her more real.
Jonah's side of the story is more steady but his fear of the future and his sense of hopelessness made it easy to empathise with the feeling that his life was slipping away and out of his control.
When We Collided is such a beautiful love story, and a realistic look at how people deal with different aspects of mental illness, whether personally or as a family member or friend. The ending was perfect to me, sad and sweet, but realistic too.
Thank you to Bloomsbury for my review copy via Netgalley.
This is such an eye-catching cover and perfectly suits the story. I used white nail polish for the base and acrylic paint for the paint streaks and splotches.