(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Also by this author: The Start of Me and You, The Names They Gave Us
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on April 7th 2016
Genres: Depression & Mental Illness, Family, Friendship, General, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Social Themes, Young Adult
Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.
Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.
I’m not sure what I can say about this story that hasn’t been said by other early reviewers. Lord writes an amazingly beautiful story that will have you swooning on one page, pulling your hair out on the next and crying your eyes out the page after that.
I loved that Lord provides a realistic portrayal of mental illness and all the challenges that it entails. On the other hand that is what made this a tougher read for me. This certainly wasn’t a story that I found myself breezing through, no matter how much Jonah had me wanting him to be pocket size so that I could carry him around and pull him out for hugs whenever I wanted to.
I have to admit that Vivi was a struggle for me to get a grasp on, and maybe that is intentional. I initially loved her personality, her vivaciousness, her vitality… but, as time went on I struggled to find that initial connection I had with her… at times I felt she was almost a caricature of this blond bombshell with the red lips who seems to be trying too hard. And like I said, maybe that was intentional because of her history, but at times I found myself having to put the story aside for a bit just to get a break from her.
I adored Jonah’s family… his brothers and sisters and the bonds between them… his restaurant family, and the town of Verona Cove were so fun to get to know and the summer setting was the best. As always, Lord creates characters you can’t help but love, they’re real, they’re messy and they’re people I would love to have in my real life.
The ending of this story is perfection and I loved it… and that’s honestly all I will say about that.
Fans of heavier contemporary are going to want to read this for sure… you will find romance, you will find some sadness, but it’s all leveled out with humor and sweet, sweet moments that only Emery Lord can deliver with her spectacular story telling.