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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

REVIEW: Slammed (1-3) by Colleen Hoover

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old high school senior Layken travels from Texas to Michigan with her mother and younger brother.  Grieving the loss of her parent and life as she knew it, things unexpectedly look up with she meets charming and attractive neighbor Will Cooper, who has a passion for slam poetry. Within days of their introduction, they've formed a real connection, giving Layken a new lease on life until a startling revelation slams them both back to reality.

Slammed is told entirely from Layken's POV and explores her feelings at dealing with all the challenges life throws at her from the loss of her father, her complicated relationship with Will, as well as the secret news leveled at her by her mother that will leave her wrecked beyond belief.

This is very much a coming of age novel with a strong emphasis on negotiating responsibility and relationships.  While characteristic of Hoover's writing angst ridden, complicated characters, I could certainly tell this was her debut novel.  The style, structure and word choice lacks the sophistication which she's developed over the past few years.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Told from Will's POV, Point of Retreat is a continuation of Slammed.  The couple have weathered the storm surrounding the unfortunate beginning of their relationship, extreme personal responsibilities and unspeakable loss. When someone from Will's past re-emerges, the core of their relationship is tested.

Honestly, for me, the majority of this book is about Layken being stupid and blowing circumstances completely out of proportion to the point that I wanted Will to 'retreat' and run as fast as he could in the opposite direction. Once Will and Layken get their ducks in a row, readers experience the expected "You've Got to Be Kidding" moment which puts multiple characters in peril but pushes the narrative through to the happily ever after.

I am still a bigger fan of Will and other secondary characters than the female protagonist who is sometimes just 'butterflying' obnoxious.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

In this final book, Will and Layken have managed to work out their issues and have gotten married.  During their honeymoon, she asks Will to recount important moments of his life before he met her as well as key instances of their relationship from his POV.

There are a few surprising confessions on Will's part, mostly serving the purpose to rile Layken up so she acts like a brat, giving this narrative some drama so that the characters can fight, talk and make up.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Overall, I enjoyed the trilogy but these books aren't my favorite examples of Hoover's writing.  She's come light-years as a writing in just over 4 years with respect to honing her craft and style. She's tightened her structure and vocabulary to omit a lot of the repetitiveness which I disliked about the Slammed series.

Follow the author on Twitter: @colleenhoover

#slammed #newadult #grief #relationships #responsibility #romance

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