Book Review: When We Collided

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When We Collided by Emery Lord

2.5/5

First of all, let me just say: I have read three books in five days and it’s such a rush! I read this one in one day, a sci-fi book the day before, and a graphic novel today. I also started reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore this morning and if I finish it on Monday, I may throw a party.

Okay, on to reviewing this book. The 2.5 stars means I was stuck between “it was okay” and “I liked it.” That pretty much sums up my opinion. I went into reading this book knowing that it would be a quick, light-hearted summer read. And it was, kind of. The story switches perspectives between Vivi and Noah, two high schoolers who have had their share of tragedy. It’s set in a fictional California beach town, Verona Cove. Vivi is there vacationing with her artist mother and Jonah is struggling under the weight of caring for his younger siblings after his father’s death and his mother’s subsequent depression.

Parts of the book that I liked: Love was not this all-consuming, soulmate thing. We love and we move on and we love again. Great stuff. Also, I found the beginning of Viv’s mental breakdown to be very realistic.

I just don’t know. Also, there were a lot of one-dimensional characters that I wished were more defined. The male protagonist, Jonah Daniels’ whole family were really interesting but we never got to know more about them besides one character trait each and that they were sad over their father’s death. Another issue was the set-up of plot-points. There is a point early on in the novel when Ivi purchases a type of motorcycle and you just know what’s going to happen, and of course, it does.

I guess this is my final thought: Vivi suffers from mental illness. (Spoiler alert because I don’t think the reader is meant to know one of these going in) Vivi has depression and is bipolar. And her not taking her medications starts her on a downward spiral and she is unkind to the people who love her. It is real and ugly and for the most part, Lord writes Vivi’s frantic actions and words and increasingly disconnected inner dialogue really well. But the overall presentation of the romance and the neat ending do not fit with the story of issues of mental health, and that’s what left me feeling less than thrilled with the book.

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July and August TBR List

Here we go again (I realize that I’m a bit late for July so I’m sharing my combined July and August TBR lists):

  1. When We Collided by Emery Lord (Illumicrate box)
  2. Hot Dog Taste Test by Lisa Hanawalt (Landfall Freight Box)
  3. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  4. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  5. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  6. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Wolf
  7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  8. Captain America, Masculinity, and Violence: The Evolution of a National Icon by
  9. Whatever graphic novel Landfall Freight sends for July

I love reading, and I’m so thrilled because I’ve read two books in two days and it’s such an accomplishment. I would love to keep up the pace, but sometimes all a girl wants is to lie down and marathon some Buffy with her boyfriend. And that’s okay. But books are awesome and I have to try to read as many before I die.

Here are all the books I’m reading during the last week of July and all of August. I tried to keep the summaries spoiler-free and short.

When We Collided is a YA contemporary novel that follows to people who meet and fall in love over the course of a summer. It was book chosen for Illumicrate‘s last quarterly box and I’m excited to enjoy it this summer.

Hot Dog Taste Test is a graphic novel that pokes fun and rips apart pop culture and our current obsession with food and how to market ourselves in relation to food (ex. stylized photos on Instagram of our hip breakfast). Part screwball, part social commentary, all hilarious.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a a contemporary novel about a bookstore during the Great Recession. I don’t know anything else and I’m kinda digging the no spoilers, so that’s all you get for now.

Wolf by Wolf is YA historical fiction/science fiction. It takes place in an alternate reality where the Axis and Imperial Japan rule the world and it follows Yael, a death camp survivor and her plan to kill Hitler.

An Ember in the Ashes is the first book in a planned trilogy. It is an epic YA fantasy novel that follows the female protagonist’s journey to save her brother in a tyrannical society.

A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay that argues for a literal and figurative space for women in literature. I read excerpts in high school and I’ve been feeling a need to complete it.

 

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite genres: a gothic romance.

Captain America, Masculinity, and Violence: The Evolution of a National Icon is a nonfiction book that analyses the every evolving Captain America and connects superhero traits to a shifting patriarchal view of what it is to be a man. I stumbled into this while hanging out at my boyfriend’s campus and I’m obsessed.

There is no fantasy on this list and that is killing me a little so I may read Queen of Shadows which is the latest book in Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. Or Cindi Williams Chima’s The Demon King. Yes, reward lots of reading with fantasy. Sounds great.

(For those of you who haven’t been following along, I was an English major in college and so I read A LOT of classics and “important” books that I loved and then my first year out of college I read EVERY contemporary novel that was published that year, and now I’m obsessed with fantasy and sci-fi. I’m reading Asimov’s Foundations Series and Neil Stephenson, and every book Sarah J. Maas has wrote and this summer is my attempt to diversify my reading a bit).

Also, I haven’t been doing too well with actually reviewing the books. I’m either working or reading and I know I need to get better with that so I’m going to try. This Sunday I’m going to post a few reviews and I’m going to figure out how that will look. Stay tuned.

**Question** When I’m not reading I like to binge-watch a bunch of Netflix. I’m into genre shows at the moment. I just finished Stranger Things and I freakin’ loved it. Let me know if you’re watching it or any shows I should be watching.