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.
This was my first read by Colleen Hoover, and it made me realize why her books are talked about all the time. Slammed was an angst-filled story of teenage romance and family love. On a side note, if you love a story with lots of drama, this book is your slice of cake. Personally, I felt it was a tad too tension-filled, the characters could obviously avoid a lot of their problems if they just made smart choices, but then, where would our story be?
Slammed follows the story of Layken, a teenager who moves to Michigan with her family after her dad's death due to cancer the past year. Layken, a determinedly stubborn teenager, carries around a pessimistic attitude about her new life until she meets (you guessed it) Will.
Will is the epitome of the concept "book boyfriend." He's got a past full of secrets, has a caring personality, loves kids, is athletic, recites poetry.... the list goes on. Layken is the opposite of this placid personality (of course the age difference is a factor in this). She makes brash decisions, and shuffles along the fuzzy line of teenage girl to mature adult. While their love story is supposed to be dramatic, some of Layken's actions do put a damper on the enduring love story part. In addition, there are several smaller plots that weave in and out of the romance aspect. I liked how Colleen Hoover portrays them with the romance; they definitely add more depth to the story.
Coming back to poetry. Poetry, particularly slam poetry is a huge aspect of the book. I've never seen or heard slam poetry before in my reading experience, and this book really opened my eyes to that world. I find it fascinating how the characters convey their feelings through slam by just placing the right emphasis on the right words.
Overall, I liked this book quite a lot even with all the drama. Quite the page-turner.
Rating: ★★★★ 4 stars