Thursday, July 9, 2015

Collide - J.C. Hannigan

Harlow Jones has a troubled past, and a questionable future. Surrounded by death, tragedy, and intrigue, she is forced to mature long before her time. Plagued by anxiety and depression, she hides her inner turmoil with spite and sarcasm. Her thick skin is impenetrable. That is…until she becomes involved with her grade 12 English teacher.

Elizabeth's Review

3.5 stars

Review copy provided by author

I finished Collide this morning (July 4th) and I have to admit that I am kind of glad that the craziness of getting ready to have a house full of guests kept me from sitting down to write the review until now. The reason I am glad I had to wait to write the review is that I am still honestly a little conflicted about Collide.
Why am I conflicted? Mainly because the book covers subject matter that I have a hard time with, material that would normally be on the “I don’t think so…” list. Curiosity (and book club) had me digging in to see what Collide is all about and I discovered that I enjoyed a book that also made me uncomfortable.
Collide focuses on Harlow who definitely enjoys stirring things up and has had more than her fair share of troubles. I liked Harlow, but really struggled with understanding her Mother. I don’t get how someone nearly 40 could be so completely clueless about what her 17 year old daughter is doing. Add in how she was blindsided by some of Harlow’s previous struggles and hardly reacted, I just don’t get her and felt bad for Harlow.
Given Harlow’s history and the situation with her mother, I completely understood her attraction to Iain. What I did not get was Iain’s attraction to Harlow. I struggle with the idea of a man nearly 30 actively pursuing a relationship with a high school student. One of the quotes in the book is “You love who you love” and even if that is true I don’t get why he couldn’t wait until she graduated to take things beyond the student/teacher relationship. There are lots of things about Iain that didn’t click with me and I would have loved to have seen this story from his point of view.
Collide is incredibly well written and thought provoking. It covers several hard topics from a young woman’s standpoint. I didn’t always understand the motivations of characters around Harlow, but she did resonate with me as a strong person. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next for Harlow.

Where to find Collide:

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