by Colleen Hoover
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.
Layken, together with her brother Kel and mother Julia, moved to Michigan shortly after her father died. There she met next door neighbor hottie, Will Cooper, who had a brother (Caulder) as young as Kel. There was an instant attraction between the two (I usually frown on insta-love stories) until they soon discovered they couldn’t be together on Lake’s first day of school. Add the family situation that her mom was having at the moment, things really weren’t going along with the two forbidden love birds.
I first read this book about five years ago, but someone borrowed it and never returned. So I got a new one instead. I could never forget this book because I remember immediately liking it after seeing a lyric from Avett Brothers. (Yes, Colleen, I know them because my father was a huge fan). I also loved this book because of the slam poetry. During that time, slam poetry was all new to me. Although, I’ve been reading and writing poems since high school and thought that poetry should always rhyme. When I finally learned about slamming, it was a breath of fresh air).
I also liked the taboo romance between the student and the teacher, but I loved the strong relationship between the families even deeper. Will and his struggles as a parent-brother-teacher-poet all rolled into one wasn’t an easy feat. I admire his courage and dignity and control over the situation. Lake, understandably younger and a little immature, grew on me when she stood up for what she believed in (hello Principal Brill and the cancerous lung costume!)
But the most memorable character in the book, in my opinion, was Kel. Little brother Kel who was perceptive, understanding, sweet and most of all, a very adorable dork. Can’t find fault with this young one.
This isn’t my first book by Colleen Hoover although this was hers. (I first read Ugly Love and Maybe Someday before I read Slammed in 2014). I knew right along that Colleen was and is a talented writer and always broadens her horizons when it comes to writing her stories. She always offers something new on her plate and I love her for that. I butterflyingly love CoHo as much as I like carving pumpkins.