Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

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.

Review: When We Collided by Emery LordWhen We Collided by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on April 5, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
AmazonThe Book Depository

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.

After two lovely, shippy, voicey Emery Lord books, all of her novels went on the CHRISTINA MUST HAS list. Yet, when it came time for When We Collided in the queue, I wasn’t sure. I mean, I’m on a business trip right now, and they are fucking exhausting and I really just wanted fluffy and/or cracky books, not things that would make me sad, and When We Collided seemed like it might. Spoiler: it did make me sad but it made me less sad than it made me happy. When We Collided has that voice voice VOICE and vibrancy and realness that is an Emery Lord novel. It’s tough subject matter but it goes down easy, and it’s beautiful.

Vivi puts the “manic” in “Manic Pixie Dream Girl.” Literally. Vivi comes to Verona Cove for the summer with her mom, all styled up like Marilyn Monroe. She’s wild, confident, sexy, fun, and entirely charming. She wins over every person she encounters, even the grumbly ones. Vivi’s all about doing things and having fun and living life to the fullest.

When We Collided has me thinking about MPDGs some more. I don’t often give too much thought to the manic part of the MPDG, but here it really drives home that all that frantic mystery and wildness is Vivi coming apart at the seams. I mean, she is all those things, but she’s sometimes not in charge of what she’s doing.

Though I’m calling Vivi an MPDG, she both is and isn’t, which is sort of the point. She is manic, for sure, and, if a John Green MC wandered by, he would definitely fall totally in love with her and never get to have her but be improved by her tragic ending or some shit. I love that Jonah is also a POV character but that he doesn’t see her as an MPDG but a person and that he doesn’t just pine or care for her when she’s being perfect and improbable. She appreciates that about him too, because boys always want certain things from her and Jonah mostly just wants her to be herself. I also like that they’re both changed by their relationship; in no way is she here just to develop Jonah, and the sort of open ending is perfect.

The characterization in When We Collided is on point. Seriously, I think the only time I’ve ever loved a massive family full of kids this much was My Life Next Door. The children are all so adorable like what even. Jonah’s so sweet with his siblings and so sweet in general. This is one of those books where heavy shit is going on but there’s love and happiness in so many scenes because life goes on. It’s so optimistic that way. And I love that Emery Lord wanted to write a mental health book that wasn’t completely gloom and doom while also not romanticizing the condition.

For those who have read the book or enjoy spoiling themselves on things, I want to talk about the ending. View Spoiler »

Lord put a tree branch in my eye with this book which was rather rude tbh but I’ll keep reading her books anyway despite her rude way of melting my hard heart. Like the rest of Lord’s novels, When We Collided is most excellent.

Favorite Quote:

Shit. She wasn’t supposed to know how much effort went into dinner. It was supposed to appear effortless. Like a feast at Hogwarts. Wait, no! I don’t want to be Dobby in this equation. Jesus.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif marilyn monroe kiss

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