Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.
Vivi and Jonah 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.– Goodreads
This book is openly going to be hard for me to review. I read it for a buddy read with my bookbff and ended up devouring it when I didn’t mean to. I read this during a point when I was dealing with my own anxiety and ultimately my own grief. During my read of When We Collided I lost my aunt and ultimately didn’t grief because denial is my middle name. I’m saying all of this because When We Collided was the right book at the right time. I bonded with Vivi and Jonah and will probably be offended when people say the characters are too much and didn’t work. I feel the same about Isla and The Happily Ever After because I feel Isla to my bones. Same with Vivi and Jonah. I feel them to my core. I understand their pain.
Vivi is a force of nature who comes into a coastal California town and changes everyone around her. What no one knows is that Vivi is fighting her own demons — which she deals with daily. It is clear from the beginning of the book that Vivi is unique and does not fit into whatever box you try to put her in. Including the labels that have been given to her.
“I keep thinking that I’m a different Vivi than I was just days ago, and I don’t know how to be the new version.”--pg 223 ARC
Then we have Jonah. Jonah’s father has recently died, his mother is falling apart and Jonah is trying to keep his shit together. Between his older siblings and himself they are trying to take care of the family and keep them all together.
“I want to tell her that I will with six heartbroken people, one of whom is catatonic. That kind of heartbreak smells like the aftermath of a car wreck, like hot metal. Oil. The chalky powder released by airbags.” –pg 149 ARC
What Lord did, which is no surprise to me, was pull the reader into a heart wrenching story of grief, love, but also finding yourself. This is one of those rare books that I saw myself in. Not just parts of me. But the sum of me. I saw that girl throughout When We Collided. The girl who debates taking her meds. The girl who loves food and the girl who is annoyed at her mother but still at the end of the day loves her mother with all of her heart. I even wanted to live in the beautiful Verona Cover.
When We Collided burrowed a hole into my cold bitter black heart to the point I’m very protective of it, Viv and Jonah. Both of whom would probably tell me they don’t need me. That they’re doing fine.