{Review} WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord

O P E N I N G   L I N E:

  I KNEW I WAS IN LOVE WITH Verona Cove on the first day, but I waited until the seventh day to commit. After one week here, I'm carving my name into a tree in the center of town. It's way harder than you might think, digging a pocketknife into ancient bark. Eleven letters have taken me hours, or it felt like that, anyway. Fortunately, before the sun rises, no one polices Irving Park--or anywhere, really. I'm pretty sure the worst crime Verona Cove has ever seen is someone dropping a napkin. The napkin dropper tried to chase it, I bet, but the wind swept it up, and eventually, somewhere, the napkin became litter.
  And besides, I'd actually enjoy getting caught--clearly, since I implicated myself in jagged lines forever etched into a tree older than any of the 3,051 people in this town: Vivi was here.

(pg. 1, US ARC edition)

“Even the constellations can see us now: we are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know.” 


Do you love reading books that take place during the summer....well, during the summer? What about books that take place, in part, before, during, and after the Fourth of July? Books about people on vacation while you yourself are--wait for it--on vacation? With summer well under way, WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord is a perfect book to pick up if you want something that embraces the season!

Emery Lord is one of the few contemporary authors who automatically goes onto my TBR list, even if I know nothing about the book. Her writing is absolutely beautiful and lyrical and heart-felt. Her third book, WHEN WE COLLIDED, deals with more serious issues than either OPEN ROAD SUMMER or THE START OF ME AND YOU did. Like Reagan in ORS, Vivi is a character that can be hard for readers to embrace and like in the beginning. Her personality is wild and vivacious, with a mix of old-fashioned that creates a very unique soul. As the book progresses, there's so much more that makes up Vivi. While I can have trouble enjoying books when I don't fall for a character right away, Emery Lord always makes me care. She's great at developing strong characters, at delving into the messy strings of their hearts, at showing us what makes them tick the way they do.

Vivi is on summer vacation in Verona Cove, but she doesn't expect her experience to be a life-changing one. She's escaped from her past and the things she's done, and she's ready to move on. When she runs into a local guy named Jonah, their summers both change irrevocably, and neither will ever be the same again.

WHEN WE COLLIDED deals with so many issues in an honest, unflinching way that feels very natural. Jonah is suffering from the loss of his father and having to "be the parent" of his younger siblings since his mother is too depressed to leave her room. (Bonus: I really loved all the scenes with his siblings!!! I wish more books had crazy, sprawling family dynamics!) Vivi (SPOILER ALERT) is bi-polar, but she doesn't want to be, and she doesn't always take her meds because then she can't "feel." But this also causes her personality to be more extreme, and sometimes she feels bigger than life. 

This is a book about life, about summer, about one day at a time. It's about falling in love, about moving on, about discovering yourself. It has all the themes you want when you're reading contemporary, especially at this time of year!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

So listen...all my notes about this book were stored on my phone when its motherboard died and I lost everything. I read this a few months ago, and just don't remember the way I should....which is part of why this book took so long to review.

With that being said, it's definitely a book for older teens, not younger ones, due to language and romantic situations. It also deals with bi-polar disorder, which isn't easy for everyone to read.

I'm really sorry!!!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

There is this really cool, canvas-like feel to the cover that not many books have! It works because Vivi is an artist. This cover is quite literally a canvas tarnished by splattered, messy paint, and it's so perfect in its imperfection. 

In the following picture, not only do you get a closeup look of the texture, you also get to see Vivi's signature!!! She's always carving or writing "Vivi was here" somewhere (As you can see in the above-quoted opening lines of the novel!), so adding this as an Easter egg was an awesome bonus when I saw the finished copy!!!

Thank you to Alexa Loves Books for getting this picture
for me when I couldn't!!!!!!!!

Speaking of art, the painted effect continues with each chapter heading:

I really love this book's design!!!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Emery Lord
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Received: For Review

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.