When Our Worlds Collided
by Danielle Jawando
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 1 May 2022 | Archive Date 21 Mar 2022
Simon and Schuster UK Children's, Simon & Schuster Children's UK
‘Jawando’s writing is incredibly raw and real; I felt completely immersed’ Alice Oseman
When fourteen-year-old Shaq is stabbed outside of a busy shopping centre in Manchester, three teenagers from very different walks of life are unexpectedly brought together. What follows flips their worlds upside down and makes Chantelle, Jackson, and Marc question the deep-rooted prejudice and racism that exists within the police, the media, and the rest of society.
Praise for And the Stars Were Burning Brightly:
'An outstanding and compassionate debut' Patrice Lawrence
‘An utter page turner from a storming new talent. Passionate, committed and shines a ray of light into the darkest places - the YA novel of 2020!’ Melvin Burgess
'One of the brightest up and coming stars of the YA world' Alex Wheatle
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 31 members
I finished this book two days ago, and normally I jump right onto NetGalley to give my feedback while the novel is still fresh in my mind, however with When Our Worlds Collided, I felt I needed to just wait a while and let my thoughts about the story process.
Following a stabbing in the city centre, three young people, who would never have met or spoken to each other before, are pulled together in the aftermath. This book is a sensitive, yet hard-hitting exploration of knife crime and its impact on communities, racism and the everyday microaggressions faced by young black people, and what a family is. I have read a lot of YA fiction lately which revolves around racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and disparity and inequality in society, however it was a refreshing change to read such a story set in a major UK city, and not London either! It felt more real to me, because I genuinely believed the setting and places that the author was describing. I felt as if I could go to Manchester, step off a train and go to some of these places, they were that convincing.
When I first started reading, I was a bit sceptical about the multi-voice narrative, as I have had issues with this in the past in other books - indistinct voices, loss of story, strange tangents. In When Our Worlds Collided, because all three characters are so unique and distinct in their voices, I knew instantly who was who, without even needing to read the name at the start of the chapter. These three strong, yet vulnerable, young people from different walks of life were outstandingly characterised. They each had their own strengths, weaknesses, hopes, dreams and fears, exactly like all the young people that I know, and it was really nice to see an author who could represent what seemed like a genuine teenage experience on the pages of a book.
As one of the characters himself states, there is a perception within the UK that there is no systemic racism, which is a complete nonsense, and this book shows in minute detail the everyday racism that people of colour experience, from microaggressions to overt racism, from all parts of society - school, police, the justice system and the media. The author used her characters to expose and show the flaws in all these elements, even down to the books that pupils are asked to study at GCSE level.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, would recommend it to any and everyone, and feel that it is a fantastic follow-up to And The Stars Were Burning Brightly.
A great book, one for fans of The Hate U Give. It deals with the issues raised sensitively and well, and the characters are fully fleshed out. This deals with how racism affects everyone, both individually and collectively.
Firstly thank you to Danielle & Amina at Simon Schuster Children’s for my gifted copy of the book!
This book blew me away!! I went from crying laughing to being filled with such rage! Heartbroken to so proud! I moved through so many emotions reading this book that sometimes it felt like I knew Chantelle, Jackson & Marc personally. I wanted to scoop them up and protect them from the goings on around them.
The book starts off so innocuously in the Arndale, with Jackson waiting for his date. But just a few pages in, things take a turn for the worst! All hell breaks loose and you are sucked in to a point of no return.
Three teens from very different walks of life are pulled together by a single violent event.
The language and phrases used by the white characters in this book are all too familiar for many of the POC who I know. Some of the phrases have been said to me personally.
This books needs to be in schools but not only to be read by the students, but by the teachers aswell. It may give an insight to some of how what they say and how the langue they use has such a massive impact on the young minds around them.
I feel like this book would make an EPIC 3 part series (Channel 4 I’m looking at you right now 🤨!) because this is just the type of thing that would open so many eyes to the biased perceptions we have of people and how the media writes particular ways about people from particular backgrounds or ethnicities.
Beautifully and emotionally written, Danielle does not let you down with this immense story. A story, that it would seem, is becoming more and more frequent in this day and age.
When Our Worlds Collided hits the stores in March 2022 and it is NOT a book you want to miss!
The first thing that I need to say about this book is that everyone should read it, it deals with such raw, emotive and real topics so sensitively and effectively. Issues that in this times when it seems like you can't watch a movie, drama or see the news without another young person being stabbed, this deals with that and the aftermath for everyone involved, as well as dealing with racism as well.
I couldnt put this book down I was gripped and I didnt want it to end, I cant describe how I felt reading it or after I had finished and I still think about it now, I loved it.
Before I start I should mention that there’s content warnings and potential spoilers - that some readers might want to know about, so check at the end if you want to know more.
Right, now to the main event. Wow. I don’t know how Jawando does it. She’s not shy of tackling heavy topics and her newest offering is no exception. In short summary, When Our Worlds Collided is all about the impact of the stabbing of a young boy on three teens who witness it and offer their help. The young boy is black. The three teens are also black.
These are three very different teens, but they’ve all been exposed to their own trauma or struggles, they’re all at a key moment in their lives as they prepare for their GCSEs, and most importantly, they’ve all been affected by racism. Passing comments, treatment by police, expectations at school and that’s only a few. But things come to ahead following the stabbing.
This was so immersive and engaging - I was desperate to learn the fate of the three main characters. And I was so angry for them - at the injustice and unfairness they’ve been subject to. The disparity between how the world views and respond to white people and Blake people. She’s also managed to create such wonderful characters with their own difficult backstories.
This is such a powerful read - and I urge every young person (and even the adults out there) to read this.
Thanks to NetGalley, the team at Simon & Schuster Kids and the author for the opportunity to read this review copy.
⚠️Content warning/potential spoilers: there’s references to and detail of racism, domestic abuse, murder, gang violence ⚠️
Prejudice and injustice because of being black.
Chantelle is fighting poverty and abandonment by the Mother who was supposed to care about her.
Marc is in care having survived his parents’ abusive relationship.
Jackson, however, has parents who care about him and the money to provide him with safety, a good education and prospects of a future where he can expect the same.
Until the day when another boy is stabbed and these three are the only people who stop to offer help these young people do not know one another. This shocking incident brings them together as they experience first-hand the prejudice against the victim as the media report only what they want and what will sell, lying about gang culture and making out the victim had no future.
At school Chantelle is studying Great Expectations, but the expectations of all three friends depend not just on their own behaviour and efforts, but on others who hold lesser expectations of those without money or who are black.
Life’s injuries become more personal when Chantelle is wrongly accused of cheating as a judgemental teacher does not believe she is capable of good work, and for Jackson an incident on the way home one evening lands him in even further trouble.
Those sitting in judgement are white, privileged and simply unable to envisage living in fear because of the colour of their skin.
I read #WhenOurWorldsCollided on #NetGalley & Could. Not. Put. It. Down. The 3 teens are brought to life so well, & believably thrown together. The whole story is *so* real that I was anxious (& angry) for them right to the last page & beyond...but they made me smile too! #UKYA https://t.co/hVC2xeyS3w
Another outstanding Young Adult book, I would recommend this book to any fan of The Hate U Give book. It deals with the issues raised sensitively and well, and the characters are fully fleshed out. This deals with how racism affects everyone, both individually and collectively.
All the books I have read lately have made me absolutely sob and this one was no exception. One horrific moment ends the life of an innocent, young boy but at the same time brings three teenagers together that really need one another. The situations that those teenagers are put through were hard to read and undeniably awful but there was still hope sewn through the book with their friendship.
I loved it just as much as All The Stars Were Burning Brightly and Cannot wait to see what Danielle Jawando does next!