A coworker let me borrow Slammed by Colleen Hoover. I was excited to read it (I love borrowing books from people who have enjoyed them), and once I got going, I was flipping pages pretty quickly.
I’ve said this before, whether or not I really love a book relies entirely on the narration and the main character (especially when it’s first person, since they’re one in the same at that point). The first few chapters, I liked Layken, our story’s leading role. I could feel a pang for her as the beginning opens up and she’s introduced as an eighteen-year-old that has to move from her home in Texas after the unexpected death of her father. All she has is her little brother and her mom.
Immediately her little brother finds a best friend. She envies that.
And then she meets the new best friend’s older brother, Will.
They pretty much have just as instant of a strong relationship. They go on a date, and ooh boy, is there a chemical reaction! Boom! They’re meant to be. Now that’s not always my favorite, as someone who has a harder time creating bonds with other individuals, but I’m willing to look past that.
Then comes the plot twist. I won’t go into it, but there’s an issue that comes up that proves to make their relationship…more difficult and Will calls it off.
You go into it with everyone (Layken, Will, her mother) knowing that Will’s twenty-one and she’s eighteen. That wasn’t a problem before the PLOT TWIST. Will’s also the guardian of his little brother, because both of his parents died in a car accident, which definitely adds to Will’s character. Gives him a positive when there could be a lot more negative.
Not that there wasn’t plenty of negative.
I started to not like Layken as much after PLOT TWIST. Or I should say PLOT TWIST #1. She’s bitter and immature, which is the total opposite of how she was first presented to be (Will even thought she acted older than eighteen at first). She makes things harder on Will, acts selfish, shuts her mother out, and really has to have basic things pointed out to her that makes her stop to consider another person’s life and what they’ve got going on.
And Will… He’s the one who called it off, and yet, he keeps slipping up. The sparks will catch fire again, and he’ll allow it, but only up until she makes a suggestion that they can be together, and then he’s pulling away, telling her it was a mistake or a moment of weakness.
The back-and-forth with their relationship was difficult. I wanted to like them. But in the end, I really didn’t care if they made it. I saw there were two more books after this one, both about them, and I probably won’t ever read them. It sounds like the immaturity and the back-and-forth continues on in Book 2.
When PLOT TWIST 2 hit, I did see some maturity in Layken. After she quit having a meltdown. Again. But the conclusion of PLOT TWIST 2 was off-camera and I felt it would have had a much more emotional impact had we gotten to see how it ended. But you see, that would have taken away from the main plot of the book. Will and Layken’s relationship. Nothing else held a candle up to their love story. That was also a little bothersome because there was so much potential in the other characters and their subplots.
Still, there was something about the book that I liked well enough to finish it. I was curious to see how it worked out. I liked the side characters, I liked the slam poetry (would have liked to see it more often, and not just as a plot device for those two to communicate their love or other emotions for one another), and I can tell Colleen Hoover has talent.
But Layken and Will… Could have done without them.
WHAT I GOT OUT OF SLAMMED
- Side characters and side plots can really help a story out
- Having good main characters really influence how much a reader enjoys the story
- Looking at other reviews, just because I can strongly dislike a story (or in this case, its leads) doesn’t mean everyone will. There are actually many people who loved this book and thought their relationship was wonderful