Okay… so… Slammed. The thing about this book is that I came into it with super high expectations. I was ready to fall in love with some characters and their relationship, and all while enjoying the novelty of poetry–which I love. In theory, it sounds like a fantastic idea. It sounds like something that is going to pull me in and mesmerize me, but that didn’t exactly happen.
The story begins with Layken. Layken’s father recently passed away, and because the family can no longer afford to live the way they did while he was living, her mother is moving them to north to Michigan. Layken pretty much thinks this idea sucks. It sucks a lot, and the only reason she’s not putting up a much bigger stink is because of her little brother. He’s been through a lot, heck, they all have, so she sucks it up (not very well…) and what do you know? Michigan doesn’t seem so bad after she meets their new neighbor, Will. Will is outgoing, attractive, helpful, and he seems to be looking for ways to help her integrate into the local scene.
Their first date lands them at a poetry slam, something Layken has never really been a part of before. It’s a lot of fun, and the poetry that pours out of Will gets under her skin, endearing her to him even more. Suddenly Michigan seems a lot more than not so bad. It seems fabulous because Will, Will, Will. Then Will goes away for the weekend before school starts back up, leaving their budding relationship in a very exciting place… until the first day of school. That’s where Lake discovers the true depth of Will’s situation and just how much is on the line for him. He’s wrapping up his college degree, finishing out with his student teaching… and guess who just so happens to be one of his new students? Yeah… Lake.
Will can’t afford to chance the scandal that will arise if he continues his relationship with her. After both of his parents were killed in a car accident it was left to him to care for his little brother. He can’t lose his opportunities. He can’t risk his career, no matter how much his heart swells with love for the girl who took his breath away.
Now before you go getting your knickers in a twist, both of these characters are consenting adults. Layken turns 18 right at the beginning of the school year. Unfortunately she doesn’t act very 18, and that is what really made it hard for me to stomach this book. She was often petulant, temperamental and downright immature. The only person Layken seemed to care about was herself, and sometimes her little brother, but mostly herself. Even after discovering everything Will put at risk by dating her before he knew she was still in high school, she pushes for something inappropriate that could more or less destroy his life if it becomes public knowledge. I get it. She’s eighteen. She’s fragile. She’s been through a lot, and it’s really not fair that the one person who could make her feel a little hope can’t really be that person for her.
I think it might have been more tolerable if that was the only issue, but there was more. Things I don’t want to spoil because I know a lot of people liked this book, and there are probably a lot of people who haven’t read it, but might enjoy it.
Overall, I gave it a rating of 2 stars out of 5. This doesn’t mean I hated it. I just thought it was “ok”. I definitely got a good glimpse at where Colleen Hoover came from, and could easily see how far she’d come, so on that front I’m glad I read it. I just don’t know that I’ll be delving any further into the “Slammed” series.