Rating: 5 stars
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Layken is not looking forward to moving to a new place, especially in her senior year of high school. But after her father’s death her mom thinks that it would be better for the them to move closer to family. Immediately after arriving, she meets Will, the attractive young neighbor across the street. She is charmed by his sense of humor and good looks and soon agrees to go out with him. The date is not what she expects it to be at all, but everything she never know she wanted. Within a couple of hours she is feeling hopeful that this move was going to bring her a new start in life. If only.
Not only is Will charming, funny and handsome, he is everything she ever wanted in a boyfriend and the very man she can’t fall in love with. He is her teacher at her new high school. Add to that some unsettling news from her mother and you got yourself a doozy of a story.
I so enjoyed this story.
It’s rare for a book to make me question my reactions and touch me so deeply at the same time. This book did both.
I felt for Layken. Her sorrow at finding her perfect partner and not being able to be with him was very palpable. She was not only frustrated but heartbroken. At eighteen years old she felt she was independent enough to make her own decisions, but this one was taken right out of her hands not only by her mother but by Will himself. As a mother, I was conflicted. I wanted them to stay away from each other. But as a reader and a hopeless romantic, I wanted them to be together and say “The hell with this!” It was a rollercoaster of sort that left me confused in my stance about teacher/student relationship. Especially when I took Layken and Will’s ages into consideration. Was it really that awful?
And Will. Oh, my poor Will. I could completely see that he was captivated by the young woman across the street. It seemed she brought out the best in him and I didn’t want to see that light be dimmed by the decision he so strongly stood behind. He HAD to stay away, since so much was riding on his shoulders at the time.
And just went I was accepting their fate and looking forward to seeing Layken settle into her senior year, Colleen Hoover threw me a nasty curve. What happened next not only crushed Layken it destroyed the somewhat happy acquaintance Will and Layken had achieved after agreeing to go their separate ways.
It was heart-brake to the twelfth degree with a bit of attitude, selfishness and denial thrown in there too. I found myself hoping for a miracle while at the same time enjoying all the angst. It was like nothing I’ve ever felt.
The writing was superb, with every emotion jumping off the page and making me feel like a part of the story. I struggled along with Layken and Will, cried at the injustice of it all and in the end the feeling at seeing everything come to pass was bittersweet. I enjoyed the poetry, the secondary characters and the music references the author included in the story. From beginning to end I was riveted to the story and didn’t want it to end.
Slammed is the first book in the Slammed series and a phenomenal start at that. As a reader that enjoys dual POVs, I’m immediately immersing myself in Point of Retreat. I can’t wait to get into Will’s head and learn all about his thoughts and feelings.
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