Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury
Released 7th April 2016
344 Pages

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.


When We Collided was one of those books that I picked up on a whim. I was at Comic Con in London and saw the Bloomsbury stall. Obviously being a book lover I had to have a look and When We Collided just jumped out at me. I think I was taken in by the cover, the colours are gorgeous and the title screamed out to me and also the blurb didn’t give much away, but I knew it was something I would be interested in reading.

Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California all his life and throughout that time only one thing has changed; his father is no longer with him. Reeling from the tragic loss Jonah must pull together for the sake of his family. One summer he meets the unique Vivi Alexander, the new girl in town. A girl full of unfiltered thoughts and feelings who starts to transform his life. That is until secrets come out when their worlds collide.

I am going to be honest here, I really didn’t like this book at all. Which is a shame as I really thought I was going too. Looks can be deceiving, however. There were times when I really felt like giving up and just putting it to one side, it was that hard to get into. I hated the Instalove between Jonah and Vivi, it just seemed too fake? I hate that love at first sight thing in most books I read but in this one it was more prominent. Also, for a romance I didn’t really feel the love between Jonah and Vivi. I felt like it was rather forced and made to seem too dreamlike. The plot didn’t seem to go anywhere and was rather predictable. I knew what was going to happen before it had even happened. I want to be left guessing when reading.

Vivi, well I couldn’t stand her as a character. Towards the end of the book you get the reason why she acts the way she does which is due to her bipolar, but it still doesn’t help her case. She was too out there, too annoying and just pretty damn irritating. I felt like she was an attention-seeker who needed all attention on her at all times. Also the way she spoke, in my opinion, certainly isn’t the way a normal seventeen year old girl would speak. I did a little bit of research into bipolar disorder after reading this book and her behaviour throughout the book didn’t seem like a clear representation. I also hated the way she treated Jonah. She seemed to pick him up and drop him whenever she felt like and as he was too ‘infatuated’ with her seemed to go along with it. I felt like Jonah was being used and that Vivi was manipulating his feelings. 

The only thing that made this book somewhat readable was the Daniels family. I fell for them straight away, especially Leah! Their feelings of loss and tragedy really did resonate with me and I was left feeling sorry for them on many occasions. I did, at one point, nearly cry. Seeing Jonah try and bring them all together was heartbreaking at times and I really did just want to make it all better for then. The emotion in that family was unreal.

Overall, I was really disappointed in When We Collided. I wanted to like it, I really did but I just couldn’t. The plot was predictable, the instalove was sickening and Vivi as a character should’ve been toned down just slightly. It’s a shame as I usually like most YA Fiction that I read.


Author Bio

Emery Lord is a 20-something Midwestern girl who writes stories about high school and best friends and weird families and the crushes fluttery and so painfully awkward you could implode.  

She lives in Cincinnati in a 100 year-old pink row house with a scientist, a one-eyed beagle, and a dog named Winston Churchill.

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