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 is undeniably Colleen’s first book. I can immediately see the difference in her writing. Not to say Slammed was horrible, but her writing has become 1000% better. I went into Slammed expecting to get my heart ripped from my chest; I expected a plot twist that would make me want to throw a fit because our main couple would have to go through something because let’s be real…it’s CoHo. That being said, I still cried my eyes out like a little baby once I finished this book. This book had so many feels!
“Regret is counterproductive. It’s looking back on a past that you can’t change. Questioning things as they occur can prevent regret in the future.”
Layken wasn’t the type of girl I am used to within Colleen’s novels. She doesn’t have that sharp silver tongue that I have come to love with all of Colleen’s MCs, but I still loved her anyway. The way she stuck up for her little brother to his principal during Halloween to fighting her mother for her brother.
Will Cooper is our swoon-worthy next book boyfriend and boy, did he fit the bill. He was loyal to a fault. The way he was driven to do right for his little brother, Caulder, made me fall so hard for him. He has some flaws —and made me want to slap him a few times— but you can’t really blame him too harshly because he is just trying to take care of Caulder. He steps up to help Layken and her mother without question even though it hurts him to be around Lake and I really loved that about him. There was just so much more to him that I can’t wait to read more. I think Will was my favorite character and I am so saddened that we didn’t get inside his own head.
“So you keep your ocean, I’ll take the Lake.”
While Will is my favorite character, Eddie is giving him a run for his money. Eddie and her boyfriend Gavin stole the show a few times. Their romance is adorable and I wish we were given a bit more. When Gavin got up in front of that class and performed that poem for Eddie, ohemgee, I was so giddy! That was adorable! Eddie was such an awesome, understanding, and perfect friend for Lake when she needed her the most. She accepted Lake so easily and was there for her even when Lake didn’t ask her to be. She lived such a hard childhood, but still manages to be a bright ray of sunshine. She’s so positive that it’s inspiring. I absolutely loved her!
Kel and Caulder were pretty adorable too. Those boys are a crack up. Their Halloween costumes were so touching!
“Choose your battles, but don’t choose very many.”
Whilst I enjoyed CoHo’s writing in this novel because it’s just addicting, I can definitely see the difference. There was something missing. However, I loveloveloved the slam poetry. The poetry was definitely my favorite part of the whole novel —especially Will’s poems. Also, the way she included lyrics from The Avett Brothers at the beginning of every chapter was a nice touch.
“Push your boundaries, that’s what they’re there for.”
What I actually really liked about Slammed was that the entirety of the book wasn’t spent on the romance aspect of the novel. The romance is immediately put to a halt and you can practically see the tension bleed off the page, but ultimately it was focused on Lake’s accepting her family’s plans and dealing with what was being through her way. It’s about doing what’s hard and “putting the emphasis on life.” There is so much learning in this novel and this is what earned 5 stars for me.
“Don’t take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it.”
Overall, this book was great. Quick, fun, enlightening, touching, and all around pretty great.
“Sometimes life gets in your way.
it gets all up in your damn way.
But it doesn’t get all up in your damn way
because it wants you to just give up and let it take control.
Life doesn’t get all up in your damn way because it just wants you tohand it all over and be carried along.
Life wants you to fight it
Learn how to make it your own.
it wants you to grab and axe and hack through the wood.
It wants you to get a sledgehammer and break through concrete.
It wants you to grab a torch and burn through the metal and steel until you can reach through and grab it.
Life wants you to grab all the organized, the alphabetized, the chronological,the sequenced. It wants you to mix it all together,
stir it up,
Thank you, Colleen, for always ripping out my heart and shattering it to pieces. I know I can always count on you 😉
Until next time,