Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Review: Slammed

A couple of weeks ago, I got a text from my friend Andrea that said, "You need to read Slammed by Colleen Hoover.  NEED."  Two days after that, I found myself shelving that same book on the "new books" shelf at my library.  I took it as a sign that it was Meant To Be and snagged that copy for myself.

Once I started reading, I simply could not put it down.  I LOVED this book.

As it begins, 18-year-old Layken, her 9-year-old brother, and her mother are moving from Texas to Michigan.  Her father has recently died in a car accident and her mother has told Layken and her brother that need to make the move for financial reasons.  Lake is starting her senior year of high school and feels like her world has been turned upside down.

But as they pull into the driveway of their rental house, she meets Will, her handsome 21-year-old across-the-street neighbor.  Her younger brother quickly becomes best friends with his younger brother, and she just as quickly forms a deep attraction and bond with him.  They share an amazing first date to a poetry slam, where Lake gets a look at who Will is at his core.

But following that first date, everything is turned upside down.  Serious impediments to their relationship spring up.... not silly things like teenage drama, but big, painful stuff, like Will's career, the care of Will's brother, and the health of Layken's mother.  The characters in this book (Will, Layken, and her best friend Eddie) tackle some tough issues, and while none of them are painted as perfect people, I was definitely rooting for all of them.

Will teaches the other characters to love slam poetry, and accordingly, there are slam poems scattered throughout the book.  For me, these poems are really what set this book apart from anything else I had ever read.  They captured the characters emotions so beautifully and allowed them to speak so eloquently.  From contemplations for first love to death to anger to what it means to be a foster child to so much more--these poems are definitely not to be missed!

I simply cannot say enough good things about this book.  It's shelved in the Young Adult section at my library because the protagonist is a senior in high school, but I think it could easily be enjoyed by an older audience as well.  Any lover of poetry needs to check it out.  Enjoy!

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