Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Blog Tour: When We Collided by Emery Lord {Review+Guest Post}

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Welcome to my stop on the When We Collided blog tour hosted by Bloomsbury!
Today I am excited to share my review as well as Emery's music inspiration for the book!

When We Collided
   by: Emery Lord

Publication Date: Apr. 5, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Physical ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 352 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N

Seventeen year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he is not. With a mother lost in a deep bout of depression, Jonah and his five siblings struggle to keep up their home and the restaurant their dad left behind. But at the start of summer, a second change rolls in: Vivi Alexander, the new girl in town. 

Vivi is in love with life. Charming and unfiltered, she refuses to be held down by the medicine she’s told should make her feel better. After meeting Jonah, she slides into the Daniels’ household seamlessly, winning over each sibling with her imagination and gameness. But it’s not long before Vivi’s zest for life begins to falter. Soon her adventurousness becomes all-out danger-seeking. 

Through each high and low, Vivi and Jonah’s love is put to the test . . . but what happens when love simply isn’t enough?

Where do I even begin? I am still reeling over the fact that I cried through the end of this one. I can count on both hands how many times a book has made me cry. When We Collided was THAT powerful and while I felt the ending was perfect for the book and that things had to happen the way they did, it was definitely bittersweet at the same time. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with Jonah Daniels and his family just like Vivi did.
Vivi was one heck of a main character. She was definitely a lot to take in, but I enjoyed her overall. Her vibrant, enthusiastic personality was contagious and I love how she made an impression on everyone she met. The Daniels family is desperately trying to hold themselves together after the loss of their father and my heart ached for every one of them. Vivi bursts into their lives, bringing color to their world of gray. However, like the blurb says, Vivi definitely has her highs and lows and she could act extremely immature and self centered at times. I understood it, but it still hurt my heart because it affects her relationship with Jonah. And that boy needs all the good in his life he can get. I do love that Vivi let Jonah be himself. She doesn't push or force him to talk everything out. There's a simplicity there that just works for them.
It's hard to discuss Jonah and Vivi's relationship without giving spoilers and I definitely don't want to do that because this is a book you have to experience for yourself. I will say that it was a crazy, beautiful love that brought healing, adventure and introspection. Jonah and Vivi learn a lot in this book and they grow because of these particular experiences. What I loved most of all was how realistic this book was. Lord does a brilliant job of capturing that youthful, whimsical feel and the emotion that bleeds from these pages is so potent that it literally took my breath away at times.
When We Collided is an emotional, beautiful book, but it is also messy and raw and REAL. These characters have to deal with issues such as mental illness and depression, as well as navigate the feelings of their own hearts and the reality in which they find themselves. Life isn't a fairy tale with a fairy tale ending. Life is uncertain. We have no way of predicting where it will take us or where we'll find ourselves years from now. But you only get one. So make it count.
"We are the reckless, we are the wild youth, chasing visions of our futures...." - from Youth's Daughter (one of Emery's playlist songs)
I am such a huge music lover and I know Emery is as well, so naturally I asked her to do a guest post featuring some tunes! Take it away Emery!
This is great because my music for Vivi and Jonah was SO important while writing! Here’s the most bare bones version of my playlist:
Pointless Beauty – Ben Lee
This is my Chapter 1 song. What’s the point of speculation? I want to feel it in my hands is the most Viv line ever.
Once There Was a Hushpuppy – Beasts of the Southern Wild soundtrack
This song sounds like the book feels to me. There’s longing in the string section, then this beautiful triumph in the brass line, the steady heartbeat thump of the percussion.
Dead Hearts – Stars
I find this track hauntingly beautiful. It has this simple, energetic guitar line punctuated with piano. It felt like a summer night to me. 

Moth’s Wings – Passion Pit
My husband knew exactly what I was working on if he could hear this song coming out of my headphones.
Blue Skies – Noah and the Whale
Blue skies are coming, but I know that it’s hard is basically the thesis of this book.
Youth – Daughter
This song makes me ache, and I listened to it a lot while writing Viv scenes.
Staralfur – Sigur Ros
I listened to a lot of joyous Sigur Ros songs while writing—Inni mer syngur vitleysingur, Vid spilum endalaust, Hoppipolla, but this one—from the Life Aquatic soundtrack—sounds like wonder to me.
Feels Like the End – Mikky Ekko
I must have listened to this 100 times while writing/editing Chapter 27.
Even the Darkness Has Arms – The Barr Brothers
I found this song before it was officially recorded for an album—a YouTube video of a live performance that I played on loop. The title line (Even the darkness has arms / but it ain’t got you. Baby, I have it, and I have you too) feels so much like the experience of both dealing with grief/depression AND loving someone.
Until We Get There – Lucius
This is the song that plays in my head in the last chapter. I heard it on New Girl, and I was like: Oh my God—that’s what the end sounds like, that’s IT.
Thank you Emery! I obviously have some new music to check out myself!

Emery Lord is the author of Open Road Summer and The Start of Me and You. She lives in a pink row house in Cincinnati, with a husband, two rescue dogs, and a closet full of impractical shoes. Visit her online at www.emerylord.com and on Twitter at @emerylord.

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  1. I know a ton of people love this author and I have been meaning to read her forever. This book sounds heartbreaking but so good. Awesome review and I loved the guest post.

  2. I was surprised by how much I liked this one given Vivi's personality and the ending. It really was an emotional read and it definitely felt real to me too.
    I'm really pleased to hear you enjoyed it, Jess!

  3. Aw, I am glad this was such a beautiful and emotional book!

  4. I've been on the fence on this one and I don't know why -- just doesn't appeal to me. But now I keep seeing amazing reviews so I need to re-think this one. Great review Jessica!

  5. Fantastic review Jessica, it really has made me want to read this one STAT!


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