Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Seventeen year old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he's not. Now Jonah must numbly take care of his family as they reel from their tragedy. Cue next change: Vivi Alexander, new girl in town.I don't have a great track record with rating many YA contemporaries five stars. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe it's because I didn't really discover the YA genre until I was already an adult and so the often teenage issues just don't resonate with me anymore. I'm not sure. Then again, I certainly remember being a teenager experiencing the same issues, but I've yet to read a young adult contemporary that really speaks to my soul, you know?
Vivi is in love with life. A gorgeous and unfiltered hurricane of thoughts and feelings. She seems like she's from another planet as she transforms Jonah's family and changes his life. But there are always consequences when worlds collide…
Anyway, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed When We Collided despite the character of Vivi. Vivi struggles with mental illness and she was the most unlikeable character EVER. Her crazy, over-the-top antics and limitless energy just made my introvert soul cringe. Definitely not my kind of person at all. I understand why she was so insufferable because of her struggles with mental illness, but still, I just didn't like her at all and that affected my enjoyment of the book.
Poor sweet Jonah. Unsurprisingly, I really loved him. He is a guy who can cook and this book is littered with mouth-watering descriptions of food. The book follows a split narrative between Jonah and Vivi, with Vivi's chapters seeming to go on forever. Overall, I think the story was simple but enjoyable enough. It didn't exactly make me burn with the desire to pick it back up when I had to put it down, if it was any longer I'm not sure I would have persevered though.
The ending was perfect and highly realistic. I tend to take umbrage with 'happily ever after' type stories where characters stay together forever in perfect harmony. I added a star just for the ending alone. I think When We Collided would suit people who love YA contemporary or want to read a realistic portrayal of mental illness. I also believe this is an #ownvoices books which is a plus.