Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review for Collide by Megan Hart

Ever since falling off a jungle gym as a child, Emmaline has had bouts of disorientation, fugue states.  Up until her recent introduction to 70's blue movie acting icon and artist Johnny Dellasandro, the episodes were very infrequent, but they suddenly take over her life and the line between dream and reality becomes blurred.  As Emmaline continues to spend time with Johnny will she ever be able to live a real life with real emotions or will the dream become her reality in this intriguing story with no easy answers.

This is an intriguing story full of intense emotions and hot sexual interludes.  Through Hart's writing the reader becomes easily sucked into the time of now and time during the 70's.  Emmaline's only sign that she's entering a fugue state is the smell of oranges, but the traveling back and forth is still very seamless through the incredibly accurate descriptions.  Emmaline is just as confused as us as to what's happening to her and is scared.  She fears for her health and for the loss of independence these recurring episodes mean.  I felt truly sorry for her and understood how this disability could lead to loss of independence which is her greatest fear.  I liked her for her desire to remain independent, but felt that her initial attraction to Johnny was immature.  It was based on very superficial qualities and is like what teens have towards boy bands when putting up their posters.  As she became truly involved with Johnny though, their relationship did become a bit more equal which made me hopeful for their future.

Johnny is seen as the proverbial older man who doesn't want to be with Emmaline at first.  He's a hardened man now, but wasn't in his younger years.  He was carefree, willing to try anything.  An event happened to him that changed him and as the story progresses we learn what it is, which is heart-wrenching and puts a new and interesting spin on Emmaline's fugue episodes.  For all his initial grumpiness, Johnny is a caring man full of creativity.  He wants Emm to be safe, but not take away her independence, which makes me like him all the more.

The issue of age comes up frequently in the story and is handled in a reasonable way.  It's not glossed over and doesn't resolve itself quickly.  As a matter of fact, an incident happens towards the end of the story that will again bring up the age issue as well as other important truths.  This incident really cast a shadow over the story for me and made me like it a bit less for the fact that it's not fully addressed and for the large ramifications that were left hanging.  To truly enjoy this story you must suspend everything you know to be true and just enjoy the ride that Ms. Hart has created.  As a reader who normally likes to have all questions answered, I had to come to the realization that this story wasn't going to end wrapped in a bow.

Ms. Hart has created a mind-boggling ride full of intense emotions, steamy sexual interludes, and metaphysical questions of time normally seen in sci-fi stories.  It's a story that sucks you in and doesn't let go until long after the final page is turned.  I do recommend this but don't expect clear cut answers.  Just enjoy the journey.

My rating for this is a B-

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.


  1. I agree with you about needing to suspend reality and just go with the flow on this one. But I think I enjoyed it more than you did. (By the time it was over, I was ready to stalk Johnny myself.) Very sexy and surprisingly emotionally resonant.

    Jen at Red Hot Books

  2. Hi Jen,

    I had an issue or two with the story, especially that final incident that is left hanging but is actually a big deal. Johnny was indeed likable and normally I'm okay with age differences but felt that Emm's just a bit too immature for him. I do like Megan's writing though, very atmospheric and emotional.

    Thanks for the comment!