SPOILER FREE REVIEW.
Genre: New Adult – Contemporary
Target Audience: 14+
Rating: D+ (42%)
Goodreads Rating: 2.5/5
NOTE: On Goodreads I have posted an instant reaction to this novel. My Goodreads review was posted without research. This review will reach further in-depth.
Slammed is the first book in Colleen Hoover’s ‘Slammed’ trilogy. This book was originally released in 2012, and was Colleen Hoover’s first ever novel. This novel entails forbidden love, heartbreak and the prospect of growing up too fast.
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.
I mentioned in my original review on Goodreads (link here) that I thought this book was a bit more childish and less constructed than Hoover’s other books. I now realise that this is most likely due to the fact that this was her debut novel. Comparing Slammed to her latest book, It Ends With Us (2017), is an unfair comparison.
Slammed reads like a debut novel. It’s simple, lacks solid characterisation and there are many cliché scenes and actions found throughout. However, in stating this, I admit that this is a very cute novel and deserves to be read. Upon first picking up this book, I was very excited to dive into this new world that Hoover had created, loving everything of hers that I had read before and maybe that was my mistake. I didn’t know that this was her debut novel, and found myself judging it very harshly. The beginning was too simple – I could feel the awkwardness in the words on the page. I remember flicking through the pages, dreading that I was going to force myself through this. I find myself very compelled to a book that has good structure to its paragraphs. This one did not.
When the ‘shocking revelations’ were revealed I couldn’t help but release an exasperated sigh and think ‘really?‘. It’s an overused trope, one that needs a new approach. Unfortunately, this book didn’t have that new approach. It was like the rest; overused.
I know, I sound like a hater, but I don’t despise this novel. I loved the poetry aspect. Being someone who isn’t a fan of poetry, I found this new approach addicting. I enjoyed the company that Layken kept in Eddie. She was a good friend, one that pushed her to do things out of her cute, little box. However, she a had a few moments that seemed a bit weird or confusing. If you have read the book, you will understand when I ask: doesn’t everyone lock their house when they go to bed?
I don’t know when I started really enjoying this novel, but it was definitely somewhere around the middle. I became invested – I needed to know what happened. With Lake’s family, with the feelings with the ‘shocking revelations’. I needed information, and I needed it NOW.
Everything about the relationship between Will and Layken can be described as unpredictable – but not in the good sense. Unpredictable like a slice of buttered toast twirling towards the tiled floor. Which way will it land? Good or bad?
Most importantly – always most importantly. What I love about reading, is when a book can make me feel. Make me cry or smile or laugh, and this one did just that. I was doing all of it, sobbing, giggling and grinning like a mad-woman. The second part of this book is the best part of this book, and I promise, if you stick through the beginning, you’ll love the ride in the second half.
The end, was questionable. Somehow, it felt as if it ended early. Like something was missing, and I’m not quite sure what that something is, but… something.
All in all, this was a pretty good book for a debut novel. Being the first of what she’s produced, I think Colleen Hoover did well on Slammed and I’m ready to read the next two in the series.
The break down of my rating:
Style & Tone: 3/10
Enjoyment Factor: 6/10