Another check on my reading challenge, this one for “a book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author”.
I wasn’t sure exactly to know if an author fit this category as the challenge creator meant it to, but when I browsed the #diversebooks website, under the resource section there is a “where to find diverse books” tab. One of the items on that list is the ‘Schneider Family Book Award‘ that is award each year to an author/illustrator that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.
When We Collided is the 2017 winner in the Teen category, so it is my book of choice. Below is my review of the book, as posted to Goodreads…
“I don’t appreciate how often people hide their scars and doubts. Really, it’s not fair to people who are struggling, to go on believing that everyone else just has it totally together and never has one bad thought in their lives. Like, I know you people sometimes lie awake at night torturing yourself over the atrocities in this world and morality and meaning. I know you’re not just dreaming about riding a pink pony to your job as a cupcake taster.” – page 232
This main characters are either struggling with depression/bipolar or live with someone that does. But they find refuge in each other, just for the summer.
I like how the book was written where every other chapter changes the point of view so you see how both characters see the world.
Jonah and his older siblings have to take on more responsibility after their dad passes away and their mom goes into a depression. Vivi I feel is his chance to find a new normal after his father passed and the one who tells him its okay to live beyond his father’s death.
Vivi is a free-spirited girl who wants to live every moment to the fullest, but she doesn’t let the dark side of her life show, instead wanting to forget about it herself and pretend it isn’t there. In the end though, I think she realizes that it is a part of her, but that doesn’t have to mean she has to stop being her free-spirited self.
I admit, I cried by the end of the book, because I see myself and my husband in this book so much. I’m Vivi’s free-spirit and my husband is Jonah’s logical self, but at the same time, my husband is the one battling a mental health war in his body, trying to learn how to continue through live with it as Vivi was, while I’m Jonah who has to be the parent and take care of both of us it seems.
Definitely a book anyone should read, to help enforce the idea that mental health does not define the person, it is only one part of them.