Series: Slammed #1
Published by: Atria Books on September 18, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover writes a romantic debut novel about a family shattered by a sudden death that leads to two unlikely lovers forming an intricate bond. Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and her younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope. One young man brings change to all of this. After moving across the country, Layken meets her attractive twenty-one-year-old neighbor who has an intriguing passion for slams. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after a 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 forces that tear them apart.
I have to admit, I was iffy going into this book; I wasn’t sure if it would be for me. But after hearing such great things about it and other bloggers recommending it, I decided to give it a shot!
Unfortunately, this book has some serious insta-love. I really wanted to love the romance because it’s full of so much emotion, but I had a hard time really feeling it when Layken and Will only knew each other for three days and were already “in love.” They had one date and then when they couldn’t be together anymore, they were completely despaired and it was like the whole world fell apart. They spent months “getting over each other” when there was nothing really there to begin with (no relationship). I wished I could believe it and relate to it, but it just didn’t happen.
Sometimes I quite liked Layken as a character, but other times she really annoyed me. But in Colleen Hoover’s defense, Layken’s annoying actions were probably extremely realistic. She very accurately (almost too accurately) goes through the five stages of grief and loss. So when something bad happens, she denies it. She goes things to busy herself to escape reality—to the point where if someone brings it up, she just changes the subject. She gets PISSED. Like, seriously pissed. She treats her mother horribly and given the circumstances (which I won’t spoil!), it’s really, really saddening. Layken acted like a really immature teenager.. but I guess teenagers do act like that. So I’m struggling between being annoyed because Layken annoyed me, and applauding Colleen Hoover for writing about what happens when a teenager isn’t able to deal with something big and bad.
But problems aside, this book had me cracking up! The dialogue is hilarious without trying to be, and felt so real and natural. Slammed has some of the best side characters I’ve ever seen in a book. I think Eddie might be one of my all time favourite characters. She kind of forced her way into Layken’s life, stealing her cell phone and putting in her number, and basically saying “We’re friends now, okay?” LOL! She was so strong, funny, sweet, and dependable.
The end of this book..did crazy things to me. It’s like everything I was feeling in the world suddenly came out. It was 3:30am (I stayed up late to finish the book) and the last page broke me. I started bawling my eyes out and nothing could stop me. I cried, and cried, and cried. Then I texted my boyfriend, desperate for some kind of loving communication. And I clutched my phone, waiting for him to reply, and cried, and cried, and cried. Finally I must have drifted off to sleep.
Even though I wasn’t completely feeling the romance in Slammed, this book still affected me. I think once I accepted that I wasn’t going to love the romance, I found other things about the book to love (like the side characters). And good God, this book is heartbreaking. It’s like everything bad that could possibly happen, happens. But some good things happen too!
Slammed is an emotional roller coaster of a book. It’s about more than just romance, and instead it deals with life. This book is about the good, the bad, the hard, first love, family, school, friends, loss, grief, and hope. I’ll definitely be reading the second book!