Where did you get the book: Purchased
Release date: Out now
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.
*blurb taken from Goodreads*
I’m not a fan of poetry, and I’m more than happy to admit that during English lit classes at school, I hated the poetry module. Hated. Hated. Hated. I was hesitant in reading this book because poetry and I don’t get along with each other, but after seeing the buzz about this book I caved in.
I’m so glad I read this book because it made me realise that I still have preconceptions when it comes to reading, and I should know better. This was no typical teenager romance with some dark and emo-wank poetry thrown in. Slammed ended up being a book that took me to places I don’t like going. Dammit. This book made me cry, and not the silent tears. The characters weren’t perfect, and the story wasn’t perfect, but I was hooked on the story and journey and wanted to carry on reading until the very end.
Layken lost her dad from a sudden heart attack. It left the family reeling, and they pack up their belongings, sell their ranch in Texas, and move to the new state of Michigan. Despite the sadness and grief that clings to the family, Layken is no sullen or moody eighteen year old. She gets on with life, and her relationship with her baby brother, Kel, was wonderful to read about. On the same day they move to their new house, Layken meets Will, her next door neighbour, and his younger brother, Caulden. Not only do Kel and Caulden hit it off straight away, Will and Layken do also. The first scene between them was awesome with Layken pretending to be a zombie to eat her brother and his new friend, Caulden.
Will and Layken get on so well that he takes her to a club soon after. This club hold slam poetry concerts, and Will takes her there as a surprise. Lake is blown away from what she hears, and she’s also blown away by Will and Caulden’s life which is revealed by Will in a slam poem. I don’t want to reveal what happened because I was surprised in the book, and I don’t want to spoil it for others.
When Lake learns about Will, it only brings them closer together. But their relationship comes to a shuddering halt when beyond their control, Will and Lake are forced to give up on their friendship and romance. Not only does Lake have to contend with that, but another huge secret is revealed that brings her to her knees.
I know the above description is vague, but I really don’t want to spoil any of the contents of the book. I’m usually a spoilerwhore, but I’m glad I didn’t read reviews of this book to find out the secrets because it would have diminished the impact of the emotion in the story. And boy, is there emotion.
Lake and Will’s relationship does start off very quickly and seriously, but I didn’t think there was an issue with it. Lake and Will had this incredible connection, and I truly believed that they were each other’s other half. And whilst there’s a lot of frustration on both sides, I didn’t side with one or the other. The author made these characters sympathetic, and at times I found Lake to be immature. But then I had to think of what she had gone through, and why she buried her head in the sand, it was understandable. If she had stayed like that till the very end, then I would have been tempted to throw the book against the wall.
Oh Will. Will grabbed onto my heart and didn’t let go. This is a hero that was just scrumptious. He was loving, he wanted to do the right thing, and whilst he knew it would cause pain, he did it anyway because he had no choice. This book was a blend of teenage emotions, and trying to be and successfully being an adult in certain decisions.
One important theme throughout the book was family, and whilst the romance is forefront in the book, it doesn’t become the majoring factor of the story. And this is where I sobbed like a baby in parts. There is a HEA, but you are going to need lots of tissues because this book is also bittersweet. It’s hard hitting, and it doesn’t make for easy reading because you know what’s going to happen at the end. I’m comfortable saying that both Will and Lake get their HEA, but be warned there are VERY sad parts.
There is also great humour that comes in the form of Kel, Caulden, and Lake’s new best friend, Eddie. Slam poetry also plays a major factor, and I liked the slam poetry. It’s not invasive and the slam poetry flits in and out of the book, and the poetry also packs in a lot of humour. It manages to tell you what the characters can’t say themselves, and I thought it was incredibly done.
Will and Lake’s road to happiness is a bumpy road, but I’m kinda glad for once that it didn’t end on a HEA full of roses and whatnot. Slammed is a book about family, relationships, showing the best of people and how they handle life through heartbreaking moments.
I want to give Slammed an A, but I thought that the ending was sort of anticlimactic and the emotional punch kinda slumped. But I’m still going to give this a well deserved B+.