“Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passion. If you don't have questions, you'll never find answers.”
Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.
I'm pretty sure Colleen Hoover is one of the most - maybe the most - popular New Adult authors at the moment. Considering that I love NA novels it must come as a surprise that Slammed was my first book by her. Yep, you heard that right. Until this point I've been kinda scared of her works because I've seen a couple of bloggers dive into her books expecting to be swept away and then finish them being underwhelmed. Thankfully, Slammed more or less lived up to my expectations, so I'll definitely be reading other novels of Colleen Hoover in the close future.
“It's not just lies they're referring to. It's life. You can't run to another town, another place, another state. Whatever it is you're running from-it goes with you. It stays with you until you find out how to confront it.”
Layken (aka Lake), her little brother, Kel, and their mother are forced to move away to Michigan because of the mother's work. Right after they arrive Lake meets with Will, who's their new neighbour and has a little brother, Caulder who quickly befriends Kel. Lake and Will are instantly attracted to each other but more than that they feel like they belong together. Now, I don't hate instalove as forcefully as most bloggers seem to, but the instant deep connection between Layken and Will felt a bit over the top for me. Moving on. Soon enough Will takes Lake out on a date that goes way better than they ever expected. He introduces her to the world of slam poetry that amazes Lake as much as it did the readers, I think. Seriously, if you haven't seen anyone perform slam poetry before, go ahead and check out some videos on youtube because these people are so talented in transferring their feelings to the audience. But back to the romance. Everything seems perfect despite Will having to go away for three days with his little brother. Both of them are excitedly waiting to meet again until they do, and find themselves in a situation that makes it impossible to continue their relationship.
“What you’re feeling now, and the person you may reach with your words five years from now-that's why you write poetry.”
I'd lie if I said that Lake was easy to like because that she was not. Her whole 'if I don't talk about my problems, they don't exist' nature was really annoying and she acted very selfishly, with that hurting the person who was her biggest supporter. However, I couldn't hate her. Considering her still very real pain that was caused by her father's unexpected death, and all the hurt caused by Will from day to day, I think the way she reacted was acceptable. One huge problem I had was that it is suggested in the blurb that Lake is the one keeping the family together Whaaat? I felt like Lake never really grew up and acted quite immature most of the time - which was alright considering everything I said before, but then why make her sound something that she's not? She was not the pillar of the family, she was not the strongest of them all and she definitely wasn't the one keeping her family together.
I had an even harder time liking Will who acted like a total asshole. He kept giving mixed signals to Lake just so he could push her away later. He said he never wanted to hurt her but still kept up the hurting. The truth is, on many occasions I wanted to reach into the book and slap some sense into the two protagonists, but I wanted to give them a huge hug twice as many times. I think their imperfection was the very thing that made them completely realistic.
"Never judge others. You both know good and well how unexpected events can change who a person is. Always keep that in mind. You never know what someone else is experiencing within their own life."
The supporting characters were all very amazing. I especially loved Kel and Caulder, the little brothers. Their friendship was the cutest thing ever and I loved how much love they had for their siblings, despite the things they went through at such a young age. Lake's mother was also a strong character and one amazing parent who wanted nothing but the best for her children. Eddie and Gavin were a fun addition to the story as well.
All considered, Slammed didn't reach the awesomeness of my favorite NA Romances (at all), but it was a good enough story that I enjoyed. The unique characters and the family relationships were the things that made this novel stand out from some other romance novels I've read.
Check back on the 26th (Saturday) for my Reaction Review of Point of Retreat.
The story idea: 4/5
The realization of the story: 3/5
The characters: 3.5/5
The cover: 3/5
Enjoy factor: 3/5