Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genre(s): Romance, Fiction, YA
Lately pretty much all I’ve been reading is Colleen Hoover and I’m not even ashamed. I’ve never been a huge fan of romance novels but Colleen is such an amazing writer, and her books are so much more than love stories.
“Expectations, evaluations, internal evasions
Fly out of me like puddles of blood from a wound
A fetus from the womb of a corpse in a tomb
Withered and strewn like red sheets on the bed
Of an immaculate room.
I can’t breathe,
I can’t win,
From this indelible position I’m in
It controls the only piece of my unfortunate soul
Left to fend for itself in this hollowed-out hole
That I dug from within, like a prisoner in
An unlocked cell sitting in the deepest pits of hell
Unencumbered he’s not in his sweltering spot
He could open the door ’cause he don’t need
A damn key
But then again,
Why would he?
Circumlocution is his revolution.”
I’ve always been a fan of poetry, especially slam poetry. The passion and vigor people speak with, how their entire soul and emotions are laid out before you in this overwhelming story of beauty. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed Slammed by Colleen Hoover so much, but besides the stunning poetry, there was so much more I enjoyed from this book. This is Colleen Hoover’s debut novel and you honestly can’t tell it’s her first.
After the death of her father, Layken and her family move from Texas to Michigan. She’ll start a new high-school halfway through her senior year, something she’s less than thrilled about, but she has become the rock for her mother and younger brother so she puts on a brave face. Almost immediately after pulling in their new home, Layken meets her neighbor, a man named Will who is just a few years older than her. After talking, they discover they have an immediate connection and agree to go on a date together.
Will takes her to club where they do poetry slams and introduces her to the art. But after their magical night, a shocking discovery puts their relationship to a halt and makes even their daily interactions awkward and and painful. They try to find a balance and sort through their feelings, and poetry seems to be the only way to get there.
I honestly loved the characters. Layken’s family is morbid, quirky, and so loving to each other. They acted like a grieving family, just trying to make a fresh start. Too often, a death in the family is just used as a piece for sympathy and only brought up when its convenient for the story. But Colleen used this piece in shaping the characters, guiding their interactions, really had it make their mark. It wasn’t the soul focus, but it made them seem so real.
Layken was honestly ridiculous at times. She had these emotional outbursts and sometimes was really childish. Although her behavior annoyed me, I actually really appreciated it. Here was a teenage girl, going through a lot – between the death of her father, so much change, increase in responsibility, and romantic turmoil, who would always be calm and rational through that? Her flaws made her realistic, and beyond that she was a great narrator.
I don’t want to come right out and say what the conflict between Layken and Will was to avoid spoilers, but it was a bit of a turn off. It probably would have done better in a different setting, maybe if Layken was in college, but the fact it was in high-school this happened, it sent of a lot of red flags, even though there was nothing bad with the characters.
Setting that aside, I loved this story. The poetry in this book is heart wrenching, jaw dropping, breath-taking, and beautiful. I want to paint it on my walls, but I’m sure my husband would reject that idea. Now, what are you waiting for. Get your hands on a copy and go read it!