WHY DID I NOT READ SLAMMED BY COLLEEN HOOVER SOONER? I picked up Slammed the other night (as in I downloaded my copy onto my Kindle) and began reading it, finishing the book in about two days — if I had begun reading it earlier in the night it probably would have been a one day read. Friends, Hoover’s debut new adult novel is such an April read, I cannot even with my words right now. First off, it makes extensive use of slam poetry and you guys that used to be my thing. In high school I was on my school’s slam poetry team and I even won an award for it and it was awesome. I can name off some pretty big name slam poets too, including a few that I’ve seen live. So like, why the heck did I wait so long to read a book that goes into one of my actual real life interests in depth? Sigh. Personal fail, yo. Personal fail. Straight up, I loved Slammed.
When Layken’s dad dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, her mom uproots her and her brother Kel from their Texas home to Michigan. Layken is understandably pissed about the move, but she accepts it for what it is. Things start to turn around when she meets her next door neighbor, a hot 21 year old named Will. Sparks fly between them, and he takes her out for a date where they attend a poetry slam. It is like nothing Layken has ever experienced before. Riding the poetry slam high, Layken and Will kiss and she goes home with a smile on her face and ready to start at her new school. At the school, Layken immediately makes friends with this upbeat girl, Eddie, who shows Layken around and convinces her to sign up for poetry class. It’s then that Layken encounters Will in school and OH NO he is not a student, but her teacher! As he actually has ethics and a little brother named Caulder to raise (Will’s parents died), Will immediately ends his relationship with Lake, sending her into a sort of tailspin. She’s not over him, and you guys Slammed is all about poetry and love and tragedy and life and, ugh, I loved it.
Layken is a mature 18 year old, but she’s still in high school. Yet, she does annoying teenager type things like pine all over a guy and say BS stuff like I WILL WAIT FOR YOU and thinks that she has the worst hand dealt ever, when okay yes, her life sucks but it could be worse. Rather than make me hate Layken though, I thought that she was tempered by having a mostly good head on her shoulders and by actually being likable. What do you know, a likable teenager exists! Kidding, kidding, kidding. I did think Lake had a killer sense of music taste though. Also, she is ultimately a good person who is honest and who has this really great love for her little brother. I quite liked reading about her being an awesome older sibling to Kel.
OH MY GOD. So, there’s kissing and it is forbidden and awesome. There are also poems! And love! And a whole lot of we really shouldn’t do this! I know people will read Hoover’s Slammed and be all rah rah rah unnecessary drama rah rah rah. The rahs are negative, FYI. Anyways, I liked all the drama in their relationship and the give and the take. I loved the interactions between Lake and Will and their instant attraction for each other that they really could not act on. I am actually super pumped up now to read Point Of Retreat, because I think that there’s sexytimes in that book and there totally were not any sexytimes in Slammed.
Okay so before I cut this review short, I just want to mention that Slammed really nails what poetry slams are like – from the sacrifical poet to the choosing of judges from the audience. It even puts in the famous quote ‘the points are not the point, the point is poetry’ which we used to pretty much yell at every slam. I also thought the poems within the book were decent, although the constant bolding annoyed me. Overall, Slammed by Colleen Hoover surprised me in that I did not expect to love a new adult book featuring a teacher-student romance so much.
Disclosure: Purchased My Own Copy
Other reviews of Slammed by Colleen Hoover:
Dear Author – “I did find Slammed progressively more compelling”
Chick Loves Lit – “I was swooooooning”
Katie’s Book Blog – “Don’t worry though, you’ll still really enjoy the story and you will devour it”