When We Collide by A.L. Jackson

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5 STARS!!! This astoundingly beautiful book won’t leave you indifferent. It’s so deep and heart breaking that just refuses to abandon your heart. I never knew AL Jackson before this, but she definitely gained a new fan. I simply loved it.

When we collide is a story that talks about love and how it isn’t supposed to be (or feel), with the worst possible scenario. It confronts us with topics like abuse, domestic violence and terror. The book is a journey of emotions and it’s nearly impossible to put it down. Even though your heart aches, you just crave to know more.

The book is told from alternating the point of view of William and Maggie. Their story starts almost 6 years ago, and so the chapters bring us back and forth from the starting point to the present. At the beginning this is a little confusing, but after a while everything starts to make sense.

“I don’t know how to stop loving you.”

It was interesting to know that the so-called perfect life that Will had it wasn’t like that at all. That caught my attention right from the beginning. In fact, that was the main question that lingered in my mind throughout the book. What had happened with Maggie that left him so deeply marked? I just couldn’t comprehend how he could be so affected by her presence after all the years that had passed.

“I loved her. Oh God… I loved her. She was everything, ripped me apart and made me whole.”

Maggie’s story was absolutely tragic. Every piece of additional information that we discovered from it was worse than the last. I really didn’t understand her actions at all. I just couldn’t believe how she was making permanent a life of suffering. How could she pass from one house with domestic violence to another one? Everything related to her was awfully miserable, and Will’s life was inevitable dragged to it. I know I blamed her a lot because of her choices, and the way she ruined his life. But later, I realized that she wasn’t the only one living with fear. Will’s actions also were inspired with fear, like all the times he didn’t approach to her.

After the truth came out, I could finally understand how awful their breakup was and the reasons she had to stay. Still, I wouldn’t react as she did, but I can’t possibly imagine how she must have felt. Troy denigrated Maggie to the lowest, making her feel completely worthless and ashamed of herself. And I must admit that I am absolutely happy about his death. Truth be told, I wish Will could’ve killed him sooner.

I have to say though, there were some things that didn’t work or just bothered me. First of all, the fact that Maggie was so young really disturbed me. She was barely in her twenties and already had exceeded her quota of traumatic experiences. How could it be that her life was so messed up at that early age? I just don’t know. Secondly, William’s sister in law was insufferable. I really hated the way she reacted to him when he was back. The problems with his family do not concern her. And I didn’t buy their reconciliation either. I don’t like her. What I also didn’t like was Will’s mother’s reaction when she hears about his alleged grandson. I would’ve expected that she didn’t doubt him. Lastly, there is Maggie. I already said that I didn’t understand the way she acted. But some of the decisions she made were merely stupid. Everyone thought that Troy was a nice guy. How couldn’t you prove them wrong and make them help you? How you couldn’t escape when he was at work? How much do you need to tolerate in order to take control of your life? Her lack of action was sadly disappointing and made me suffer terribly.

“Make me remember what it feels like to be loved.”

All things considered, this is a great book.  The ending was simply perfect. I couldn’t have asked something better. With Troy gone, Will and Maggie could finally have their happy ending. When We Collide really left a mark on my heart. I absolutely recommend it.

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