Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: April 5, 2014
Format Read: ARC
Rating: Two stars
Description from Goodreads: Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power to save or destroy them.
Vivi and Johan 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.
Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.
I received an ARC of WHEN WE COLLIDED, and was over the moon excited for it. I hadn't read any of Lord's books yet (I'd heard many good things), and since I do enjoy books about mental illness, I thought that this would easily be a high star read. Apparently I was wrong.
Immediately, from the first scene he appeared, I fell in love with Jonah. He's the mature and responsible guy, a big brother to a quiver full of siblings whose parents have pretty much checked out of their lives, and he's of the more reserved type. Vivi is Jonah's immediate counterpart-- loud and bubbly and colorful and carefree-- and their summer romance ensues shortly after the first couple chapters.
I didn't like the way Jonah and Vivi meshed. Most of the book consisted of them being together, hanging out, but I didn't enjoy their dynamic. It felt off, and lopsided, and wrong. To me, Vivi was very clingy, both physically and emotionally, and she was always THERE. The amount of scenes, after the two met, that showed either Jonah or Vivi doing things on their own, discovering more of who they are, were very limited. And when it comes to character development, there were subtle changes, but nothing in terms of "Wow, they started here, and now they're there. They've grown so much.".
It's also Vivi as a character that I didn't like. She was just too much for me-- too much makeup and sass and boisterousness and too out there. It's hard to explain without you having read the book.
As for the plot, I felt like it was too scattered. It led one way, and then swerved another, and then about three quarters of the way through the book, all of these new plot devices started popping up, especially with Vivi, and I got to where I was incredibly annoyed with the storyline, along with Vivi as a character.
This book was just not for me. I didn't enjoy it, and the only thing I found enjoyable was the scenes with Jonah and his family, and the scenes with one of the secondary characters that got very little page time. I would give it two stars, and wonder how other readers liked WHEN WE COLLIDED, especially in comparison to her other books.