When We Collided by Emery Lord
Jonah is grieving the loss of his father, a larger-than-life presence and breadwinner in his large, close-knit family. His mother stays in her bedroom all the time, and Jonah feels the weight of his family’s security on his shoulders.
Then he meets Vivi – a light, fun, spunky girl who draws him out. Vivi immediately becomes part of Jonah’s family, and she and Jonah fall deeply in love. But Vivi has secrets and scars of her own. Will their love be able to face the seriousness of the situations they both find themselves in?
Jonah – His dedication to his family is incredible. He cares about his siblings and mother deeply, and is trying to hold everything together (even when he’s in way over his head). His sense of duty and responsibility to his family is admirable, even if it makes it harder for him to ask for help.
As we discuss in the podcast, one of our favorite parts of this book is the exploration of issues not often talked about (especially around depression and bipolar disorder). Here’s one of my favorite lines that speaks to that
“Why? Because you once told me you aren’t afraid of the dark places. I’m not, either, Vivi. You know that.”
Fun Author Fact
I’m interested in Emery’s views on feminism and how they’ve evolved over time. In a 2014 interview on HelloGiggles, Emery Lord discussed her views on feminism in teen novels.
“My main goal is to write fully-formed, flawed girls. It’s hard for me to watch female characters who are struggling criticized as “whiny” or those who cry as “dramatic.” C’mon! They’re human. And in YA, they’re teens! So, I’m going to try to keep writing complicated girls as a means toward what I think is the most important thing: empathy.”
I think Vivi definitely lives up to this – while she’s definitely flawed, is very clear why she has the challenges that she does, and you really empathize with both her and Jonah throughout the book.
Is this worth a book hangover?
Yes! This book a “fun summer romance” with deeper meaning. We both really enjoyed this book and recommend it!
Read These Next
For another story about teen romance with deeper meaning, check out My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (our book chat here). Aysel is certain about one thing: she is ready to die. She just needs to decide how. While looking through online forums, she finds FrozenRobot, another teen looking for a suicide partner. FrozenRobot is perfect – he’s local, her age, and ready to kill himself. But as Aysel and FrozenRobot start to spend time together, she starts to see another side of him. Suddenly, she’s not sure she’s making the right decision.
Post Author: Anisha
Anisha loves books, Gilmore Girls, and her Kuerig. She’s been reading mainstream YA since she was actually a young adult, and Jess is helping her expand her horizons with more diverse, interesting books from newer authors.