COLLEEN HOOVER’S DEBUT NOVEL!
I know what you’re thinking…
What took me so long to pick up this amazing series by this amazing author?
Honestly, looking back I think I was into reading other books when I first found out about her and just hadn’t gotten around to it because of commitments to other books. But I’ve gotten to it now and that’s the important thing.
Looking at it, after having read all her other books (other than the Never Never series and Maybe Not), I can see why when she wrote Slammed it turned into such a hit. Even though she was writing for the sake of writing because she had all these ideas in her head, there’s something…POETIC that just flows through her words. As they say, when you’ve got it you’ve got it. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this amazing author and am excited I’ve finally gotten a chance to read the book that started it all.
Layken Cohen has had to endure some big life changes before her senior year of high school. Her father had recently passed away and now her, her mother, and her brother Kel have to move from the home she’s always known all the way to Michigan. Things seem pretty bleak at first until she meets her neighbour from across the street, William Cooper, who has taken an immediate shine to her. After they go on one date everything seems perfect, and for the first time in months Layken feels happy. But that happiness is suddenly thrown out the window when she finds out the truth about her mysterious neighbour during her first day at her new school. Just when everything had seemed perfect it seems that everything had to fall apart again. Now Layken must face even more challenges than before while trying to juggle this new life and trying not to get her heart broken.
At first it was easy to tell that this was Hoover’s first book (after reading all the books that came after). You can see how much an author’s style and develops after they’ve been at a job for so long. But as I previously mentioned, Hoover’s style is very raw, very emotional, and very poetic in its simplicity. It’s easy to see how she and her books have become such a hit after reading her debut novel.
Although there are some points in the book I will say, “Really? Come on…that’s just…a kick in the face.” like something is so unlikely and yet it happens…it just takes away from the authenticity of the book that it could potentially be a realistic scenario. But that’s just me, liking books to be somewhat realistic and believable (unless they are sci-fi or fantasy, or even paranormal). Overall, it was a very enjoyable read even though it could be…somewhat frustrating at times.
I will say this about Layken.
She is a PERFECTLY, RATIONAL, YOUNG ADULT.
I never found myself struggling or wondering whether or not she was justified by her actions because at that age, with that mentality, yes, I believe she was entitled to feel everything she felt with what was going on around her.
Well he’s another story entirely.
I found it a little more difficult to like him in terms of his….decision making…
Overall, I get that he was trying to do the right thing for everyone except himself and was entirely selfless in the matter…but at the same time…I don’t know I felt something off about him. Like he kept giving her the cold shoulder instead of explaining himself properly (which is something a lot of male characters tend to do). I admire Will for his motives, but not the way he carried them out.
“There are three questions every woman should be able to answer yes to before they commit to a man. If you answer no to any of the three questions, run like hell.
“Does he treat you with respect at all times? That’s the first question. The second question is, if he is the exact same person twenty years from now that he is today, would you still want to marry him? And finally, does he inspire to be a better person? You find someone you can answer yes to all three, then you’ve found a good man.”
Let’s talk about the mood and the tone of the book which really got to me.
This is another book I believe was on the more serious side in terms of content and emotions, but at the same time there were times where I couldn’t help but smile. Hoover does this exceptionally well in giving readers a laugh or a smile in between all the raw feelings and the sadness they feel for Layken when relating to her. For once I’d like to see Hoover try to write a RomCom and see how that goes along; I think I could use it after a serious book or series.
Another thing was that I thought it ended…very quickly.
Obviously this was her debut novel so I’m not going to deduct points but…I don’t know again there was just something off about the ending. It wasn’t as satisfying and almost felt rushed, like I didn’t get to enjoy the revelation Layken had in the end. Anyway that’s why there are two more books in the series so one can hope for the best! Although from reading the vague and serious summary in the end I doubt it’ll be any lighter than this one.
4/5 Hearts of Love