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Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Year Published: 2016

Genre: YA Fiction 
Pages: 341
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2017 Google Reading map)USA (CA)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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.

Review: I heard a bunch about this book so was really looking forward to reading it. It won the Schneider Family Book Award for books published in 2016. The Schneider Award is for a book about teens with disabilities and the disability in this book is mental illness. It is such an important topic and many of our teens are dealing with it in themselves or a family member.

Wow. I am not even sure where to begin with a review of this book. It is so good!

Vivi and Jonah alternate chapters telling their story, which is one of love, like, friendship, pain, grief, depression, and wonder. Yes, I laughed and I cried while reading this book. And I feel like I have a better sense of what it feels like to be bipolar. No, I don't totally "get it," but I have a bit more understanding. Jonah and his family are grieving, Vivi is on a wild ride. Together they begin to navigate how to feel again even though they are coming from different directions.

Each character in this book has an important role; even the small characters. They contribute in some way to our understanding of and appreciation for the issues at hand. How do you talk to someone who is sad? What if they are beyond sad? How do you keep up with someone on a manic high? And what do you do if it's all too much?

I read this book in one day and feel immersed in Vivi and Jonah's world. Their feelings and experiences are portrayed so well in this novel that I want everyone to go out and read it. And I want to talk to someone about it, but don't know anyone who has read it yet. I'll have to be patient.

Challenges for which this qualifies:

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