Parents' Guide to

When We Collided

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Heartfelt summer romance explores mental illness and grief.

When We Collided Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+


This title has:

Educational value
Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (7 ):

This novel may seem like a typical summer romance, but it's actually a substantive if uneven exploration of how two seemingly broken teens fall in love despite their struggles. Although it provides two points of view, it's Vivi's story that brings it to life, however reckless and risky her decisions might be to most readers. The portrayal of her mania hits all the symptoms on a checklist, but occasionally she's depicted as a bit too stereotypically magical to seem genuine. And the romance suffers, albeit intentionally, from her self-absorbed need to do everything she wants whenever she wants it -- including physical intimacy. Balancing Vivi's lack of impulse control is sweet, practical, perpetually concerned Jonah, who falls hard for this "whirling dervish" of a girl but knows deep down that there's something a little too much, too intensely hot or cold, about Vivi's behavior.

One of the best aspects of When We Collided is Lord's depiction of Jonah's large, six-sibling family. While Vivi is an only child (of which there are a disproportionate number in young adult literature), the Daniels clan is three teens/young adults (Jonah is the third child) and three kids under the age of 11. The love and chaos and energy the siblings bring to the story are much more authentic than Vivi's ability to fix (or fix up) everything and everyone around her except herself. Instead, she hurts herself by not accepting her diagnosis. Well written and emotional, When We Collided is a worthy read that proves a great conversation starter, but the love story feels too rushed, too much like "instalove," to prove as memorable as Lord's first two romances.

Book Details

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