Friday, June 5, 2015

Book Review: Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover

Forbidden romance? Check. Humor that makes you laugh until you cry? Check! Unique and witty writing? Check!! Hot male that makes you all gooey inside? Double, no, triple check!! What book could I possibly have been talking about? Well, if you read the title of this post, then you know that it’s Colleen Hoover’s amazing debut novel, Slammed. This book follows eighteen year old, Layken Cohen as she moves from the warm state of Texas to the frigid arctic weather of Michigan after her father’s untimely death. She doesn’t want to move, especially considering it’s her senior year of high school. She wants to stay with her familiar friends in her familiar house surrounded by the memories of her father. But alas, her mom, Julia, is now a single-parent and can’t afford to raise Layken and her little brother, Kel, in Texas anymore. Or at least that’s what she tells them. When Layken and her family arrive at their new humble abode she meets her new, very good looking, next door neighbor, Will Cooper. 

“‘Hot’ would be how most girls would describe him, but I’m not most girls.” 

As you can imagine, they hit it off and go on an amazing date that ends with an unbelievable kiss. It also has Layken suddenly falling love with Michigan. What ensues the next day, well you’ll just have to read to find out..

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.

There is only one word I can use for Slammed. That word is ah-mazing!!! This wasn't the first CoHo book that I read, that accolade goes to Hopeless, but knowing that this was Colleen's debut novel, baffles me. There are times when reading a debut novel that you can tell it's their first book. I know I've written stories before that I thought sounded good, but when I go back and reread them today, I cringe because it sounds so cheesy and all wrong. I never in a MILLION years would have thought that this was Colleen's first book. She is an excellent writer that I will always read, no matter what it's about. It could be a non-fiction book about dinosaurs and I would still pick it up because I know that she would find a way to make me fall in love with dinosaurs. She's that good! 

As I mentioned above this story follows eighteen-year-old year old Lake and her struggle with falling in love with forbidden fruit. Her teacher. Now, I understand that it may sound cheesy and like some of those erotic  adult novels about the teenage girl and her teacher getting it on in the classroom (especially because of the title), but it isn't. Not one bit. This is a hilarious and heartwarming take on love, family, and how to accept the things you have no control over. Don't fret, there's a very hot male protagonist that makes the book even better! Will Cooper, you make me swoon!! :) 

My favorite part of this entire book was the slam poetry. That's right, the title is in reference to slam poetry, not steamy desk sex. It's such a unique concept that I've yet to read again. I also really enjoyed that at the beginning of every chapter there were lyrics for Miss Colleen's favorite band, The Avett Brothers. There was one line that she chose that stuck with me the most. It was at the beginning of chapter ten and it goes, "'She puts her hands against the life she had/ Living with ignorance, blissful and sad/ But nobody knows what lies behind the days before the day we die.'". The song is "Die Die Die" and it was such  powerful lyric that I couldn't stop thinking about it. It really encompassed the story and not just that lyric, but pretty much everyone that she chose. I found not only a great book, but a new great band!

Will lives with his little brother, Caulder, who just happens to be the same age as Kel. Those two boys were the humor in this story. They constantly made me laugh and added an extra layer to the story. You grow even more fond of them as the series continues and I would really enjoy a book following Kel and/or Caulder! I also really enjoyed Lake's mom, Julia. She's the mom that you've always wanted. Understanding and always there for you with great advice and a funny comment. Lake and Will's friends, Eddie & Gavin, who we get to know more throughout the series were also great additions to the list of characters. 

Overall, I thought this book will always remain in my to favorites and is one of the first books of CoHo's that I recommend, after Hopeless. Will & Lake are two of my favorite book couples of all time and I'm so grateful to Colleen for sharing her amazing words and characters with the world. She's a true genius and I can't wait for more of her work. I'll be reviewing the rest of her books throughout the summer and early fall leading up to her release of November Nine. You may be curious as to why I'm starting in June, well she has eleven books out and it's definitely going to take me some time to get all my thoughts and feels about each of these books! 

** Click on the book cover to visit it's Amazon page!**

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