Book Reviews

Book Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Image via Barnes & Noble

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Series: Slammed, book 1
Rating: 1/5
Recommend to Others?: No


Summary (via Barnes & Noble):
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hopeless and Losing Hope.

Falling in love can feel like poetry. Or it can feel like a slam to the heart.

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.


My Review:
I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would. The fact that the story incorporated slam poetry was appealing even though I’m not the biggest poetry fan. But this was a real letdown.

The first few chapters were fine. I didn’t mind the insta-love so much because Layken (aka Lake) and Will’s first exchanges were cute and funny. Then came revelation #1 at the end of chapter 3 and I began to feel an inkling of trepidation. I can’t really talk about the discovery without spoiling things, except that it creates several other conflicts throughout the rest of story. This could either continue on into a good or bad way. Unfortunately, the latter prevailed.

Lake. Her character (for me) basically ruined the rest of the story. Too much self-victimization and whining. Too much lack of consideration for Will’s feelings and where he’s coming from. There’s nowhere else to go but inside her head, nothing but her POV. Lake is an 18 year-old high school student who comes across as much younger at times, even immature. My biggest pet peeve was a moment when Lake and her friend were incredibly disrespectful to Will during about a very serious matter. It was insensitive. And it was moments like that that made me want to stop reading the book.

Now Will’s no saint either and there was one particular moment towards the end when he really wasn’t being fair to Lake and her feelings. But he does comes across as more considerate and mature. Both Lake and Will have had to deal with horrible life events I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but only one of the two doesn’t use their past as a crutch or an excuse for irrational thinking and behavior. However, Will’s character was kind of fat. There’s so growth in his character but not much. I wonder if have alternating chapters in his POV would have helped. Also because it doesn’t seem pertinent to the overall story to have it told in just Lake’s POV. But for a character who’s so flat he has admirable strength to carry on for his little brother’s, Caulder, sake.

Lake deep down is a good person. Her character just clouded my enjoyment of the story.

This book does have a few good qualities besides Will’s character. Will’s little brother and Lake’s little brother, Kel, are just too cute for words. Every scene they were in was precious and funny. Lake’s best friend, Eddie, and her boyfriend, Gavin, were awesome. There were pretty good poetry performed. And the writing as a whole is good.

I don’t think I’m going to read the rest of this series. Am I curious about what happens next? Sure. But I don’t think I’ll enjoy it unless Lake’s character stays the same. This book has potential; I wish it had been a better read.

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