Review: Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover

September 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Rating: 5 Stars!

Well, phew. What can I say about the first installment to the Slammed series?

Firstly, I began reading with certain expectations. I thought it would be another book that had a lot of hype to it, strung through with a bit of romance, some silly plotline that tests the relationship and altogether a sick and sappy HEA.

Dead wrong.

I was hooked from the first few pages because of the narrative voice of Layken Cohen, our protagonist, and the story is told through her eyes. Will Cooper, our male hero, is everything I look for in such a character. Strong, independent, thoughtful and pretty bad-ass, and it was looking great for me until Hoover dropped the first plot-hurdle.

Without giving too much away, I loved the family dynamics between Lake and Will. I loved their little brothers, Julia and the friends that Lake makes at her new highschool – they each added beautiful elements to the telling of the story and all had important parts to play. I hate stories where they have secondary characters that seem like they would amount to a lot, but end up being lamp-posts and was simply for decoration.

Spoilers behind the Read More!

When Lake and Will discover that they are in fact student and teacher respectively, I honestly wasn’t that shocked. Maybe it’s a cultural difference, or perhaps I’m just ignorant, but I didn’t think it was that big a deal. People have been carrying on with unprofessional relationships for eons, right? I didn’t get it. But with the impact on Will’s life and career, and of course Lake’s family and studies as well, it was obvious they had to separate.

I thought it was wonderful, the way they kept coming back together.

And the premise of what a poetry slam is? Beautiful. Thrilling. Such a setting was perfect (almost to the point of cliche) where it was a great stage for the characters to strip themselves bare and only deal with the aftermath of their avalanche of emotions afterwards.

Julia, Layken’s mother, was a terrific matriarchal persona in this story that’s all about growing up and taking control of your life. I learnt a lot from her and I thought she was very brave in coming to terms with her impending death, trying to keep her family together, and tying up all the loose ends left behind. What strength it takes for a person to endure like that! One of my favourite Julia quotes:

“Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passion. If you don’t have questions, you’ll never find answers.”

And another great Julia-quote:

“Don’t take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it.”

The moment I knew I had Will in my heart was when he beat the living shit out of Javi because he was assaulting Lake. Beautiful. Great portrayal of unthinking Alpha male. Fantastic suspense addition because we didn’t know if Javi would speculate and spill on Lake and Will’s secret, but it turned out for the better. The way Lake and Will’s relationship elastic-banded back and forth was almost hypnotic – it would lull me into a false sense of security, only to dash it away and fill me with disbelief (read: the laundry room make out scene).

Everything, and I mean everything, in the book was believable. Characters were endearing and convincing, plotline was evenly measured and paced and the writing style flowed so easily.

5/5 Stars, a fantastic read!

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