Available now in bookshops nationwide.
When We Collided by Emery Lord is a gorgeous contemporary romance that deals with big issues like depression, financial issues and death but ties it in in an intelligent way between the two perspectives of the main characters; Vivi and Jonah. This immediately engaging novel tells the story of Vivi, a girl in love with life and everything about it, visiting small town Verona Cove, California. Then she meets Jonah, the third youngest of six children, who has more responsibility than most adults. When Jonah and Vivi discover they both have or story to tell or a darkness about them, their relationship becomes a struggle to remain stable.
The exceptional narration of Vivi by Lord is what drew me into this novel right away, she made Vivi such a unique character with a huge amount of depth. Because of Vivi, Lord was able to explore the themes of depression and death in skillful and compassionate way. As we read on, we discover that Vivi has bipolar disorder. Which means that Vivi can have sudden mood changes and depressive episodes, or thoughts of suicide. And Vivi hasn’t been taking her medication to prevent this, which means that the manic and depressive episodes are harder to stop, affecting her relationships with friends, family and Jonah.
I felt, however, that in describing the effects of bipolar disorder, Lord lacked a little confidence. She didn’t dive deep enough it the truly dark places Vivi went to, instead skimming the surface which left myself, as a reader, a bit underwhelmed.
The character of Jonah is such a gorgeous person, I found him very easy to relate to. To have that pressure of having to look after his younger siblings and his deceased father’s restaurant, Lord was able to show that Jonah is such an unwavering strong person, which was a great contrast to the character of Vivi, adding yet more magic to When We Collided.
I would recommend this beautiful book to anyone. When I first read this book I had no idea about what mental illness is like; this book gave me a better understanding of the frame of mind that accompanies bipolar disorder. It struck a real chord with me and once I had finished I was left almost shell-shocked. It took me several days to get over this masterpiece.
Reviewed by Dana Foster
As part of the A & U Ambassador Programme
When We Collided
by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC