September 18, 2012
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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.Slammed is one of the most immediately readable books I've read in a long, long time -- if not ever. It's a book that's unbelievably easy to pick up, start reading, and get drawn into right away.
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.
Once or twice (and only for a moment) Layken and Will's relationship, along with everything happening to them feels almost expected or like things I've read/seen before. It didn't detract, at all, from the story or my enjoyment of it, however.
The novel didn't follow the story line that I expected -- except for one rather large turn that seemed obvious much sooner than the character saw it -- and I loved that. That the story wasn't just Layken and Will but Layken's family and Will's and Layken's friends and the different interactions among them made for such a great read. Of course, scenes between the two characters were brilliant but it was when there were other characters around -- either with the two of them or just one of them -- that we really learned so much more about them.
I will say that, as this was from Layken's point-of-view, she was much easier to connect with and felt like a much more relatable character. I definitely liked Will a lot, but there seemed to be a bit of a distance from his character. (Not that he was distant, just not as well connected as Layken, main character wise.) The next novel in the series is from his point-of-view, though, so I'm looking forward to finding more of a connection with him there.
(Review of rest of series coming soon!)