When We Collided by Emery Lord is such a gem of a novel that I’m not even sure where to begin. It addresses the awkwardness of first love, the stigma surrounding mental health, and the amazing thing that is the human connection.
Jonah and Vivi meet in the idyllic seaside town of Verona Cove and fall so quickly and so hopelessly that neither of them can stop it — nor do they want to, anyway.
Jonah’s trying to keep his large, slightly broken family unit going on a daily basis, taking on adult responsibilities he was never prepared for. Vivi’s running away from her demons, trying to maintain control of her own emotions, when she runs right into Jonah.
Jonah and Vivi — where do I begin? They’re possibly the most lovably awkward and endearing couple in the young adult genre.
“But life surprises you. It tells you to close your eyes and blow out the candles, and then sometimes smashes your face into the cake before you can even make a wish.”
– When We Collided
They made me smile, raise my eyebrows, and crack up in equal measure. Of course, some tears were thrown in there; it’s inevitable with this kind of love story.
Emery’s style reminds me of Sarah Dessen and Colleen Hoover, in the sense that every experience and emotion with these characters feels so sharp and real, yet also manages to be so sweet and perfect that it’s almost painful.
You can’t help but fall for Vivi and Jonah, immerse yourself in their unconventional love story — and wonder if it’s meant to last.
And if it doesn’t, does that mean it was never meant to be?