When We Collided, Emery Lord

Saturday, January 13, 2018

For those of you who are new to my blog, it's probably important to know that I am a literacy coach at a high school in the south suburbs of Chicago. As a result, I find myself reading A LOT of young adult novels in an attempt to stay current on trends in YA, and to identify books we could add to the curriculum to supplement what we already offer. If you are a lover of YA fiction, you will definitely find inspiration for your to-read list here at Book Addict Reviews.

One of my favorite YA novels I read over my recent winter break was When We Collided by Emery year old should have to shoulder. Viv helps bring Jonah and his family out of their gray despair, and Jonah provides a stabilizing influence for Viv, at least for a while. Their love story spins out over the course of a summer, one that brings big changes to both of them.
Lord. It tells the story of two teens, Viv and Jonah, who unexpectedly find each other at exactly the right time. Jonah's family is dealing with the death of his father and his mother's subsequent depression. Viv arrives in the small seaside town where Jonah lives with her mother and a brand-new mental health diagnosis. Viv has a zest for life that is infectious and often reckless. Jonah is a rock for his family, taking on responsibilities that no 16

This novel explores themes of family, love, loss and mental illness with tender yet ultimately hopeful care. The brokenness of both Jonah and Viv actually makes them more, rather than less, beautiful as human beings. While mental illness has been a more frequent theme of YA books of late, Lord really focuses less on diagnosis or treatment and more on the kind of strength and perseverance it takes to live day in and day out with depression or bipolar disorder. She seems to really understand that rather than being a sign of weakness, living with a mental illness and having the quality of life that you want is a sign of incredible endurance.

I think this novel would be great to use for high school literature circles, or as part of a unit on mental health or coping with loss. Both Jonah and Viv experience the loss of a father, though in very different ways. Jonah knew and loved his father, and is constantly being struck by things that remind him of his father's exuberance, wisdom, and humor. Viv feels deeply the loss of a father she never had, the man who provided the genetic material for her existence but who has never been a part of her life. There are many youth who would be able to relate to the type of loss Jonah and Viv feel, and that could lead to some interesting discussions in a classroom setting. I'd definitely recommend this book for inclusion in any high school classroom library!

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