ARC Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Title: When We Collided 
Author: Emery Lord

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication status: available now in paperback


'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.


Firstly I would like to thank Bloomsbury for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review.
When I first read the synopsis, I knew When We Collided was going to have so much more substance than your average 'holiday romance'. 

The very first impressive element of the book was the pure depth of the writing. Right of the bat, Emery's eloquent and elaborately detailed descriptions were captivating. The only word to describe it is simply gorgeous. Even the most mundane objects- such as the tree in the very beginning- feel almost whimsical. (And if you've read this, you'll understand why it held so much importance to the character development and really tied all the threads of each element of the story together in a nice,neat bow.) 

From the synopsis, we are aware that the main aspect of the story is that it is driven by a romantic relationship. However, this did not have the suffocating feel of a novel totally centred on teenage love, a lot of other relationships are also explored, including a refreshingly strong family presence throughout which was really lovely to read, and certainly promoted the importance of the family unit in the difficult teen years,

I can honestly say that in previous reading experiences I don't usually tend to value the use of multiple narrators. I find that I form a connection with one character a lot more than the other, or sometimes struggle to appreciate either narrative voice. However, in this case, Jonah and Vivi were so wildly different yet so inexplicably similar that their discovery of themselves and each other was a delight to read throughout the entire book. Actually, It would have impaired the story for it to have been written from a single perspective, as this take allowed us to really spend time with both characters. I feel as if I have experienced the books with three mindsets- Vivi's, Jonah's, and my own. 

Emery embodied my favourite writing attribute of all time. 'Show,don't tell.' Small hints and suggestion allowed for things to be implied rather than stated, allowing us as readers to piece together the clues themselves. This was particularly used to tackle aspects of the story in which other characters weren't aware of as well as us readers, so the slow and subtle unmasking of some elements of the narrative really helped me to feel involved and welcomed into the story as I anticipated 'the big reveal.'

I would like to say that I do not consider this book to be a novel about Mental Illness. Instead, I like to perceive it as a book following beautiful people who just so happen to have Mental Health issues. The real beauty of this book is not the overcoming of barriers, or incredibly deep, medicinal love, but the people. Through gorgeous and very touching quotes, Emery portrays an entire world of hope, not just for her characters, but for all of us too.

Beautiful, ground-breaking and incredibly human.
5/5 stars.

Happy Reading, Love from



  1. I'm so glad you loved it! It was truly beautiful - the contrast between the two narrators made it all the better, I loved both with my whole heart (albeit if I was totally honest, Jonah took the bigger part)... (Without getting spoilery) what did you think of the ending??? Great post!

    1. I think the characters definitely juxtaposed eachother, and it made for a really refreshing read. I think I loved both characters for totally different reasons so it's really hard to choose a favourite! I did have a soft spot for Leah though...

      I think the ending was perfect. I'm aware it might be an unpopular opinion but I think it was a kind of beautiful closure to the book.

      Thank you for taking time to comment!

      Zara x