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When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando - Review

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Where did I get it? 

My friend Lucinda sent this proof copy to me - I think she got it at a book fair she attended. She's a children's librarian. I liked Danielle's other book so was excited to get this one! 

What's it about? 

It has three different narrators - Jackson, Chantelle, and Marc. Right at the beginning Jackson is on a date with Aimee from his school in the Arndale Centre in Manchester when he sees a young teenager getting stabbed. A girl has rushed over to help, but Jackson does too. He holds Shaq's hand and listens to him asking for his mother. When the police arrive and Shaq has been taken to hospital, Jackson is questioned by the police as a suspect, and Aimee also says she thinks Shaq probably deserved it and was a gang member or something. Jackson however stays in touch with Chantelle and Marc and the three strike up a friendship.

Chantelle goes to school with Shaq and Marc. She lives with her grandma and her little sister, as her mum has abandoned them. She is trying really, really hard to get on with her GCSEs but a few teachers think she's bad news. She is a brilliant character - really angry and forthright in all the best ways. 

Then there's Marc. He has been in care since he was much younger and has been moved around plenty of times. He is now living with Dry Eileen and likes to stay in the background. He ends up friendly with Chantelle and Jackson though and really comes out of himself throughout the book.

Jackson lives with his parents in a posher area of Manchester than the others, and goes to a private school. However witnessing the stabbing and what happens after changes him and alters the course of his life. He wants to study creative writing at university and not law or medicine like his parents want him to. I liked Jackson a lot. 

What age range is it for? 14+ depending on your fourteen year old. 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yes Marc is gay although it's not a main storyline. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes, all three main characters are Black and the book very much focusses on how they navigate life as young Black people. I loved it. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Not especially, but I think all three characters are really affected by the stabbing 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, obviously. It is a little graphic. 

Are there swear words? Yes, used so well, I loved how the characters spoke 


What criticisms do I have? None 

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely, I just really liked it 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I couldn't wait to read it! 


What do I think of the cover? I realise this isn't the final cover but it is so nice and colourful

How many stars? Five out of five 


Where is the book going now? I'm sending it to my friend Laura as I think she'll really like it!

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