SLAMMED by Colleen Hoover
Author: Colleen Hoover
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Genre: New Adult
Format: E-Book, Print
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: August 2012
****THERE ARE NO SPOILERS****
THE GIST: Colleen Hoover is a master of emotion. Rip your heart out, drag you through the mud, hold on tight because you are about to get on a rickety ride, emotional puppeteer. Her characters are multi dimensional, each with a pitch perfect voice that I truly felt connected to…even the ones I hated. Hopeless is still my favorite, but Slammed touched me on a very personal level and I can’t seem to shake it. If you want a touching, angering, loving, maddening and daring book, then Slammed is a perfect bet.
SYNOPSIS: “Colleen Hoover’s romantic, emotion-packed debut novel unforgettably captures all the magic and confusion of first love, as two young people forge an unlikely bond before discovering that fate has other plans for them.
Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken becomes the rock for both her mother and younger brother. She appears resilient and tenacious, but inside, she’s losing hope. Then she meets her new neighbor Will, a handsome twenty-one-year-old whose mere presence leaves her flustered and whose passion for poetry slams thrills her.
Not long after a heart-stopping first date during which each recognizes something profound and familiar in the other, they are slammed to the core when a shocking discovery brings 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 forces that tear them apart. Only through the poetry they share are they able to speak the truth that is in their hearts and imagine a future where love is cause for celebration, not regret.” (Amazon.com)
THE LOWDOWN: Slam poetry was not, nor is it now, my favorite artistic medium, but after reading this book, I definitely understand it a bit more. In fact, I am not a huge fan of modern poetry in general but Colleen drew me into the madness and unconventional style of slam poetry and I loved every word. No, I won’t be attending a contest anytime soon, but I see the medium differently, with an appreciation and it is all due to Colleen’s amazing male protagonist Will. Talented, smart, respectful and super hot, Will is the perfect combination of sensitivity and masculinity. Through his character, Colleen made me recognize the depth and skill involved in slamming. But what kind of love story would this be, if Will was the only intriguing character?
As skillfully drafted as Will was, Layken, the female protagonist, although stubborn, angry, insensitive and utterly frustrating, was also intelligent, strong and brave. A character that took incredible writing skill to pull off without making her character appear like an utter moron. She is incredibly flawed, making ludicrous life choices, but her redemptive side balanced her out and even though there were moments where I wanted nothing more than to rip her out of the pages and give her a shiner for being a senseless dope, I enjoyed being inside her head, because she was real.
This book was so much more than just great characterization. It was also passionate, deep, funny and incredibly sad. Colleen created a story that was honest and incredibly deep. It touched on loss, betrayal and overcoming obstacles that seem almost unbearable, without hamming it up with inorganic plot lines. Colleen even drafted the subplots and peripheral characters with detailed attention. It is no wonder publishers snatched up this indie published book and put it on the shelves of every store with a book section. If you haven’t picked this one yet, do so now, because soon a third installment will be slamming into a store near you.