Saturday, June 15, 2013

5 stars: Slammed (Slammed series, #1) by Colleen Hoover

"Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope.

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.

Published September 18th 2012 by Atria Books.

I loved Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, which is what led me to this book series. You know how sometimes you love a book by an author, but the other books aren't as good? Not the case here! Before I read Hopeless, I stayed away from Slammed, because I didn't think that I would be into the slam poetry angle. You guys, I was wrong, I was so wrong. I fell in love with slam poetry during the first performance in the book, and I could picture it perfectly in my head. Then I started looking forward to more poems! That aspect is so well-done. No. The whole book is well-done. Oh, and I need to find a place here that has slam poetry nights.

Most of the characters are well-developed (there were a couple secondary/tertiary characters that weren't, but they were kind of "extras" since some of the book takes place in a high school class and there needed to be enough characters). Some of the character development is done through slam poetry, which is a creative way to do it. There's also really great character growth, and with that growth came tears. While it might seem that this is just a love story (and such an amazing one at that), it isn't; there's also important story lines about the importance of family and about living life to the fullest. It was those last two story lines that brought the tears. One reason is because the characters, along with all of their actions, are all very relatable. In fact, everything in this book, along with every quote, seems realistic, and that's rare (You Look Different In Real Life by Jennifer Castle is similar in that respect). I guarantee that the characters will make you feel every emotion while reading this story.

The book is completely solid. Aside from Hoover nailing it with her character work, her story has a lot of depth. While it is the first book in a series, this book could definitely be a stand-alone. That didn't stop me from starting the sequel, Point of Retreat, immediately after finishing (this one is the continuation of the story, but it's told from Will's point of view instead of Lake's!). I have an ARC of the third book, and will most likely read that right after as well!

The pacing of this book is also fantastic; I didn't want to put it down, because it was so engaging. Some books are hard to put down, because they're like junk food and they have little substance or even quality, but they're so enjoyable and fluffy; this is not one of those books. This is high quality and a new favorite.

Last but not least, I mentioned a love story. Will is now a new member of my Book Boyfriends list! We are talking swoon central here. Lake is in high school, but Will is a few years older and is a few million years more mature. He's smart, good looking, sweet, caring, and I could go on and on. There are two big things keeping these two apart though, and I can't share, because I don't want to spoil the surprises. Will isn't the best at handling this conflict between them, and it's actually what makes him less than perfect, which in book world makes him the perfect book boyfriend. I mean, aren't the perfect guys (I'm looking at you Stefan Salvatore) boring? This boy can be broody. Sexy broody. And jealous. Sexy jealous.

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