I walk into Barnes & Noble retail bookstore and spy an ivory hardcover book with bold writing and multi-colored paint splatters. It is hard to ignore. I make a beeline straight to the shelf it sits on, pick it up and read the blurbs on the back cover.
- "This is more than a love story."
- "Gut-wrenchingly authentic."
- "Filled with raw, descriptive truths."
At this point, I am convinced this is a book I should read. I visited the bookstore to purchase a small stack of books to read on my road trip to Chicago. Nothing too heavy of a plot but definitely interesting and cover-in-public friendly. I didn't expect to pick a book that would stay with me long after my train ride. Oh, what a story When We Collided is!
"With all her professed gratitude, my mom must understand that we're doing her job." ~ pg. 20
Jonah is a 17-year-old forced into being an adult. His father passed away six months ago and his mother is grieving hard. Jonah, along with his two older siblings, help take care of the household and the "littles," his three younger siblings. Certainly not the life a 17-year-old wishes to live.
"You wish for a boy to spend the summer with, and instead life gives you his whole beautiful family." ~ pg. 78
Vivi is a 16-year-old spending her summer in Verona Cove with her mom. The change of scenery is just what she needs after a fallout with friends back home. She wants to forget the reason behind the S-shaped scar on her arm that she covers with bangles. Everyone sees her as this vibrant girl; meanwhile Vivi is trying to accept what bipolar II disorder is to her.
Neither of them expected a summer that would change their teenage lives when they collided. I agree with the blurbs above. When We Collided may be fiction but it holds powerful truths. It is a romance like no other. It is far from a traditional perfect love story. The characters are deeply flawed, messy and complex. The writing is A1. The alternating chapters and points of view, which I usually strongly dislike, flow naturally. The ending triggered real tears; that hardly happens to me!
I could gush about this book forever and a day. Just know that Vivi and Jonah are two young adult fictional characters that will always have a place in my bookish heart; Vivi was indeed here.
Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Published: April 2016
Challenge: Popsugar—The First Book I See in a Bookstore