Layken’s father died suddenly, leaving her to gather every ounce of strength to be a pillar for her family, in order to prevent their world from falling apart. Now her life is taking another unexpected turn…
Layken’s mother gets a job which leads to an unwanted move across the country. However, a new home means new neighbours… and Layken’s new neighbour is the very attractive Will Cooper.
Will has an intriguing passion for slam poetry, and a matching passion for life. The two feel an irresistible attraction but are rocked to the core when a shocking revelation brings their romance to a screeching halt. Layken and Will must find a way to fight the forces that threaten to tear them apart…or learn to live without each other.
Author: Colleen Hoover
Part of a Series: Yes. Slammed #1.
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Atria Books
No. of Pages: 321 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
The Cover: Featuring a brown curtain for a background, reminiscent of a stage setting, with a stool on the right side, this cover perfectly fits the idea of a club in the story, where people perform slams every week. It’s kinda bland, and rustic for my taste, though. But I love the idea of the black frame where the title is written. (3.5 out of 5 stars)
The Story: The story was all about the heartbreaking lives of Layken Cohen and Will Cooper, our star-crossed lovers who, at first, seemed to be the most perfect pairing, but as reality starts to sink in, turns out to be a couple greatly dismissed by faith. But then again, with their hanging on their ways, finds out that their is no greater force than what they feel for each other. Below are some of my comments:
- The family’s background story is written perfectly. They were a perfect family, until Layken’s father died, and they had to move to Ypsilanti, Michigan, where her relationship with her mother began deteriorating (but it did work out fine). But all thanks to the combined efforts of their family to work everything out, in the end, everything turned out fine. *sobs internally*
- The relationship of Kel and Caulder, the brothers of our protagonists, is absolutely pure, innocent, and very moving. Nowadays, gone are the friendships that were formed through personal contact and eventful discoveries of mutual interests. Unlike these kids, who in just mere seconds upon their introduction, became instant friends. I wish I could make friends as fast as they did. I envy kids, really. They just don’t seem to weigh much problems. They’re pure, innocent, and absolutely carefree.
- The importance of slams and/or poetry was emphasized in this book. People, nowadays, aren’t as interested and involved as they were before. It’s a good thing that this novel made use of slams and poetry as a medium to get readers to be interested and hyped for forms of art like these. I have to admit, this novel seemed to have exerted no effort at all in trying to tickle my interest towards poetry. I was hooked the moment the first slam was performed.
- The doubt and mistrust between Layken and her mom was absolutely heartbreaking. A mother must be your first best friend. She should be the first to know what’s going on with your life, and vice versa. But during the middle of the story, Lake grew hatred for her mother, considering the things that her mother wasn’t telling them. I don’t want to compare, but if I had that kind of relationship with my mom, that would break my heart.
- Layken’s friendship with Eddie, on the other hand, fills my heart with joy. Friends like Eddie don’t come every now and then, and she’s the kind of friend who, as far as I know, won’t judge you. She will be able to understand your thoughts and life’s dispositions. She’ll know what you’re going through without her having to experience it. I need a friend like Eddie!
I am more that satisfied with the story of this novel. I’ve been wanting to read Slammed ever since some of my friends recommended it to me, since, according to them, said novel is indeed full of feels and all. And I have to agree. Being Colleen’s debut novel, she certainly did mark a territory on the literary world.
The book was interesting all through out my reading experience. The opening was great, one that a reader would definitely remember. The plot was absolutely remarkable. Written in a complex, yet totally understandable way, the story was one that would get you hooked up from the start. (5 out of 5 stars)
The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.* The ending was, as I expected, impeccably heart-wrenching. Typical. But I loved every single moment of it. The death of Lake’s mom was predictable, but it was utterly painful either way. And her letter to Lake? THAT BROKE ME DOWN ENTIRELY. That letter gave me chills and I was sobbing and crying like crazy! It was 2AM when I finished this. That was such a heart-wrenching letter. Although, I am extremely happy that Lake and Will finally had their chance at happily ever after. But then again, there is a sequel. Did they really live happily ever after? We shall see once I read the sequel, Point of Retreat. (5 out of 5 stars)
The Verdict: A fast paced read which can help anyone recover from a reading slump, Slammed is honestly a great start to Colleen’s literary career. It’s a well-recommended book, and it’s one that I will re-read through and through. (4.5 out of 5 stars)
Instead of sharing quotes like I always do, I want to share with you guys the poem that Layken’s mom wrote for her after she died.
To my babies,
Merry Christmas. I’m sorry if these letters have caught you both by surprise. There is just so much more I have to say. I know you thought I was done giving advice, but I couldn’t leave without reiterating a few things in writing. You may not relate to these things now, but someday you will. I wasn’t able to be around forever, but I hope that my words can be.
– Don’t stop making basagna. Basagna is good. Wait until a day when there is no bad news, and bake a damn basagna.
– Find a balance between head and heart. Hopefully you’ve found that Lake, and you can help Kel sort it out when he gets to that point.
– Push your boundaries, that’s what they’re there for.
– I’m stealing this snippet from your favorite band, Lake. “Always remember there is nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name.”
– Don’t take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it.
– And Laugh a lot. Never go a day without laughing at least once.
– 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.
– Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passions. If you don’t have questions, you’ll never find answers.
– Be accepting. Of everything. People’s differences, their similarities, their choices, their personalities. Sometimes it takes a variety to make a good collection. The same goes for people.
– Choose your battles, but don’t choose very many.
– Keep an open mind; it’s the only way new things can get in.
– And last but not least, not the tiniest bit least. Never regret.
Thank you both for giving me the best years of my life.
Especially the last one.
Okay, now excuse me while I cry aggressively in the corner of my room.