This is the first book of Colleen Hoover´s famous Slammed Trilogy. I have to admit, that when this novel first appeared on the net as an eBook and produced a hype, I noticed that yes, but I had no attention at all to read it – no matter how great the critics were. The reason: I actually don´t like neither of them. Not the ebooks and hype´s not as well. This one I found by accident in my town library and thought, in the form of a real book why not? And now I could hit myself – Why haven´t I read this sooner?!

by Colleen Hoover
Slammed Series #1
Publisher Atria Books on September 18, 2012
Genre Novel
Pages 352
Format Paperback
Source Library

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Laykenis 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 impossible painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.
Layken moves with her family or better said with what´s left of her family, to a small town in Michigan. There she meets Will on the very first day of her arrival and the magic between them unfolds. They spent some great time together until life hits them with all its cruelty that two lovebirds can stand: Will is her teacher and because of that he isn´t allowed to have a relationship of any kind with her. Not if he wants to jeopardize his future as a teacher. For Layken begins pure hell. Every time she finally gets over it they come close again and she has to sort it all out – again.

From Layken´s point of view, the reader gets thrown into a heartbreaking and very emotional story where Layken has to learn that her share of pain and loss isn´t complete. After her father died she has not only to accept that they have to move from Texas to a small town in Michigan, but also that Money is a big issue now. And as the story goes on it becomes quite obvious to the reader and Layken herself, that something else is a big issue too. But it takes Layken a while to figure out what issue that is. Meanwhile, she discovers that for Will and her life won´t be easy. It takes a very cruel turn for them – again – and becomes real torture for both when they have to learn, that his job is more important to him than his feelings for her. At least it looks like that to Layken.

The way how they deal with the situation they´re in, how they feel about it, act and behave is shown by Colleen Hoover in a very sensitive, emotional and great way. And how Layken expresses her feelings about Will´s decision in that one poetry slam scene – wow, during that scene I was as pissed as she was! There was such a power in her words, such anger, such deep wrath and I don´t know what other emotions …

Colleen Hoover created with her figures in this novel a few beautiful characters, which have their weaknesses, but also an inner strength that is remarkable. They are sooo young and they already had to learn that life can be very cruel. How each of them deals with a sudden loss, how they manage to survive it – the author uses the right words, the right feelings to describe it. You find yourself laughing with them, crying with them and you´ll share some of their most precious moments with them.

Layken is used to hide most of her feelings from her family. She believes that she has to be strong for them; otherwise, the last bit of what´s left of it would break apart as well. And she knows that her brother Kel needs her now more than ever. So she divides her time between school, learning and going with him to all his games. But when she discovers that another death will soon be added to her life list, she is devastated. How much will she be able to take? And what can she do to fight for what means the most to her? When life kicks in with Will being her teacher, she learns what it means to see the one you love more than anything else but not being able to touch or even kiss that person – and for Layken this means pure hell. Every time she finally gets over it they come close again and she has to sort it all out – again.

Will is a young man, who´s not only responsible for himself, but also for his younger brother. The sudden death of his parents a few years ago has forced him to rethink his future plans and to find a way instead that allows him to take care of his little brother and still be able to become a teacher. He is handsome, thinks things through before he acts and what love really means he gets to know the moment he sees Layken. From that time he is in heaven and starts to feel alive again. She understands him like no one else, she touches a part of his soul no one has ever before and being her neighbor seems not that bad. Until he has to discover that she´s his student and his world turns upside down - again.

What a wonderful and great written book about love, life and what happens when it comes to between two young people. I had tears running down my cheeks when I closed it. I should have read it way sooner, but maybe the right time for me wasn´t before now. This book is too fantastic to be ignored for what reason ever! I highly recommend this!

Happy reading
Colleen Hoover
©Jen Sterling

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, and Confess. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.


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