Saturday Discussion – When We Collided

Synopsis: We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.

Eden: I power read this book right before we discussed it. It’s why you’ll see that I have a lot to say. I think this was a good book. It was interesting and it hit on a lot of really serious issues with mental health. I could relate to it on some levels. I could understand the sadness in Jonah’s mother and the frustration that Jonah felt. I think Emory Lord is a wonderful writer. There were scenes that I felt I could genuinely see and actually felt a little disappointed that I wasn’t witnessing it in person. 3/5 stars for When We Collided.

Caitlynn: I really enjoyed this book. Everything about it just felt right for me. The way that Lord works different mental illnesses through the different characters. I truly enjoyed that every character served a purpose in the story. There wasn’t a single thing I would change about this book to make it any better, 4/5 stars

Jenn: I really enjoyed this book. A lot more than I thought I would. It handled mental illness in a way that is not typical in YA. The characters were lush and fully created and they all had a purpose. They all brought something to the table. I also liked that Lord acknowledges there variety of mental illnesses and how they may look different when different people experience them. I gave it a 3.5/5 stars. Retrospectively speaking I am wondering why I didn’t give it a higher star rating since I enjoyed it. But, I’m going to trust my first instinct. Definitely give it a read!

DISCUSSION & SPOILERS AHEAD: If you haven’t read When We Collided and plan to read it, it would be best not to read anymore.

Eden: What did you guys think of When We Collided?

Jenn: I liked it.

Caitlynn: I liked it as well.

Jenn: I would give it 3.5 stars.

Eden: I think the portrayal of man depression was well done.

Caitlynn: I agree. Especially after reading All The Brightest Places it was just much better.

Eden: What I took from it was that Emory Lord knows mania. Like I went into this book knowing nothing about it so the first couple of pages I was just like, “This chick acts manic as hell,” and then she’s throwing her pills into the ocean and I was like, “Oh well that’s because she is manic.”

Jenn: I like that you start in this place with this character that you’re unsure if its her or the mental illness and then at the end you get a better idea that this is not who this person was. You go through the book thinking you know this character and you get to the end to and realize there is a good chunk of the book that wasn’t them and it gives the book a totally different effect.

Eden: The fixation. Her fixation on numbers was so spot on. I was so impressed with Emory Lord’s ability to write mania so well.

Caitlynn: I loved that the book didn’t just become a book about teenagers having sex. Like it’s heavily implied but we never had full chapters of it and it was really nice.

Eden: It wasn’t a pivotal part of the story and I liked that she could recognize that. I read the authors note at the end and she says, “This is more of a love story than anything else,” and I actually understand that. It’s a love story but it’s also a story about growing up.

Jenn: It offered varying views on different mental illnesses. Usually they’re covered with blanket illnesses that don’t explicitly mean anything. Depression is often just seen as people who are just sad. Or they want to kill themselves. When it’s so much more than that and it looks so much different from everypody and nobody reacts to it the same. So we had different instances of Vivi’s and Jonah’s and his mothers and Diego’s. She made it into something that wasn’t unusual.

Eden: I appreciated that Vivi’s suicide attempts weren’t because she was so sad she decided she wanted to die. It was because she was so manic she didn’t think she could get hurt. The first time, cutting her wrist, she just thought she would be able to feel something. The second time she literally thought she was flying. Thats such a major distinction to make between just depression and mania.

Caitlynn: It was so appreciated that every character in the book had something to do with the story. Not a single character was just an auxiliary character that had nothing to do with the story.

Eden: Like Caitlynn said about the characters. I came into this expecting to hate his family. Do you guys remember how much I hated the siblings in Lady Midnight? That wasn’t the case here. I loved every single one of Jonah’s siblings. They were all so different but so incredible. They’re interactions were so much like a siblings interaction.

Eden: Also I didn’t just dislike characters because they annoyed me. Like I wasn’t a huge fan of Vivi because of some of her ideals. It wasn’t because I just thouht it was stupid writing. I genuinely just disagreed with her views. The same went for Jonah. Like when he was at the beach and Vivi wanted to go skinny dipping, his reaction actually angered me but that’s because that’s who he is.

Jenn: At that part I was so conflicted because on one hand he doesn’t have the right to say anything but at the same time I understand his concern about her. Like, on one hand this isn’t the person I met a week ago and on the other you barely even know these people.

Eden: The writing was beautiful though. The lighthouse scene was beautiful.

Caitlynn: That was honestly my favorite scene in the entire book.


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