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.
In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.
3 “personal taste” stars
5 “featuring psychological problems” stars
OK don’t shoot the messenger please but this reading has been a deception for me. I was on holiday when I came across this book with a pretty cover and high praise from USA today “A beautifully wrought portrait of bipolar disorder and depression …Full, compassionate and achingly vibrant”.
So of course I had to read it.
My main problem with the book was Viv’s personality. I really have a hard time connecting with characters behaving erratically or buoyantly. Constant whirlwind. I had the same difficulties with Finch from All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and yet I ended adoring this book.
Here though the magic did not work on me.
Second issue I have with the book: the love between Jonah and Viv did not feel real to me. They did things together, Viv helped Jonah throughout his ordeals and they cared for each other but … I guess Viv acting so careless sometimes and flirting somehow with other guys and just coming too forcefully on Jonah made me disbelieve their feelings.
Now all that is being said I have to praise Emery Lord for the excellent job she’s done describing bipolar disorder. Viv’s behavior really embodied perfectly how people suffering from this disorder must act when they’re on a high. Their mind and their body want things they would not normally want. They can behave recklessly, dangerously even just to be horrified later. I honestly think Emery Lord helped us seeing these people in another light.
“She has no idea. She was there, but she has no idea how scary it got-like my brain, my body, my whole life was on fast-forward and I couldn’t push stop or even pause. How low it got after, living with what happened. And then how numb. How much I missed feeling music in my bones.”
Jonah is one of these characters you can’t help rooting for. He is seventeen and bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. Since his father’s death he is taking care of the three younger in the family taking turn with his two other siblings. He also works at his dad’s restaurant trying to keep it afloat and having money running in the family. His mom is buried under grief and rarely leaves her room leaving the older kids to care for the younger ones.
Jonah is aged before his time. He is an incredibly strong character always thinking about his siblings before his own needs. A caretaker, a protector he often forgets his own wants and needs.
When Vivi barrels cheerfully in his life he is overwhelmed and awed. She is the breath of fresh air he needs. She never judges. She never asks questions about his parents. She simply is present and always a whirlwind of ideas, joy and cheerfulness.
“I need a Vividay, which is a holiday, only better.”
Vivi will knock Jonah on his behind, take him hostage and hos whole family will happily follow suite.
She will help this distraught family to have one of their best summers and bring some joy back.
For that I’m grateful to Vivi as Jonah and his family needed some brightness so much in their lives.
Now as the time goes on Vivi’s behavior is not only buoyant and eccentric but borders on dangerous. She is prone to reckless behaviors and takes risks, more and more risks. She wants to feel. She is invincible.
I think Emery Lord did an excellent job in:
-creating moving and colorful side characters;
-depicting mental problems and all that it entails for people suffering from said problems but also for their friends and family;
-creating a tight knit and moving family
“How weird do you think our family is, on a scale of one to ten? “ “One hundred, “ she says simply. “But good weird.”
-showing love or friendship does not only show when it’s good but also when it’s bad.
“Why should you even come here? She asked.” “Because I’ve been having a hard time since before the day we met. She never walked away from me because of it. Her feelings weren’t contingent on how easy or hard it was to be in my life. She doesn’t have to be sunny for me. That’s not how it works.”
-featuring heavy topics such as grief.
Sadly this book was just not for me. Would I recommend it? Yes if you don’t have the same issues with eccentric and erratic characters that I have. Will I read other books by Emery Lord? Certainly!
Have you read this book? Did you envoy it?
Amazon buy link -> http://amzn.to/2jeyDoN
Goodreads link -> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25663637
Thank you for reading!