Backlog Review: Slammed – Colleen Hoover

Backlog Review: Slammed – Colleen HooverSlammed (Slammed, #1) by Colleen Hoover
Published by Simon & Schuster
Published: September 18th 2012
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two-half-stars

Layken's father died suddenly, leaving her to gather every ounce of strength to be a pillar for her family, in order to prevent their world from falling apart. Now her life is taking another unexpected turn...

Layken's mother gets a job which leads to an unwanted move across the country. However, a new home means new neighbours... and Layken's new neighbour is the very attractive Will Cooper.

Will has an intriguing passion for slam poetry, and a matching passion for life. The two feel an irresistible attraction but are rocked to the core when a shocking revelation brings their romance to a screeching halt. Layken and Will must find a way to fight the forces that threaten to tear them apart...or learn to live without each other.

Talk about a disappointment. I’m honestly bummed that Slammed turned out the way it did for me. When I first started it I was really into it. Loved the idea, was mildly shocked by some of the events that unfolded and really loved not only the dynamic between Layken and Will, but the family relationship between Layken, her mom and her little brother. But the further I read the more muddled I found the book becoming and the more my frustration went up. And by the end I was sadly happy I was done reading what was once so promising.

Slammed is about Layken, an 18 year old girl from Texas that is forced to move to Michigan with her mother and brother when her dad unexpectedly dies. Michigan is about the last place Lake wants to be, that is until she meets her neighbor from across the streets, Will Cooper.  Almost immediately sparks between the two begin to fly, but when something is brought to light that they never considered in their whirlwind of a romance, everything unravels as quickly as it started. Now forced to stay away from each other Layken not only has to deal with living in a new place after the loss of her father, but with all the other things that come with adulthood. And the fact that it sometimes isn’t so easy to live with either just your heart or your head leading you.

I guess what my problem was with Slammed was that it became a victim of what I like to call ‘everything and the kitchen sick syndrome’. At the start of the book, there was a really great foundation for a story about a girl finding her way in a new place after a tragedy struck. She was dealing with the unexpected and dealing with it the way any teenager would with her feelings and with some drama. That all worked for me. I liked how Layken was and I liked how Layken and Will’s relationship came about and split apart. But sadly the book didn’t stay on that track and the more is swayed away from that the harder it became for me to like it. As more and more things started to happen to up the drama, the more the story became almost a joke and that bummed me out really bad.

The frustrating thing about Slammed is that everything was right there to make this story strong and memorable and it just never ended up coming to fruition. It ended up being annoying and muddled for me in the end and that is a major downer. What started out strong really fizzled and splattered at the end creating a story that didn’t make me want to run out and read the next in the series. There was just too much involved making it seem over the top and not a solid story about life changes and growing up. I’ll be trying Colleen Hoover again, but I’m in no rush at the moment.

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Review: Hopeless – Colleen Hoover

Review: Hopeless – Colleen HooverHopeless by Colleen Hoover
Published by Simon and Schuster
Published: May 7th 2013
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three-half-stars

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

 

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I had read Colleen Hoover once in the past and it wasn’t a great experience. I was not a fan of the book so I was wary going into Hopeless. However a friend recommended it and I had wanted to read it at some point in the past so I went for it. I can say with certainty that this book was a much better reading experience than the other. The plot line, although predictable, made way more sense and didn’t make me want to roll my eyes or laugh. Basically it was a win.

Hopeless is the story of Sky, a girl that has been pretty sheltered her whole life. Adopted at 5 she has lived without TV, phone or internet and has been homeschooled. When she is a senior in high school she convinces her mom to let her go to public school where she meets Dean Holder, the resident bad boy. All of a sudden Sky is feeling things for this boy she’s never felt before in her life and with these feelings come memories that she has been surpassing for 13 years that have the potential to change everything she has ever known.

Like I said I found the plot pretty predictable and transparent, but it didn’t bother me as much as it should have and that’s because I really liked the characters. Sky was a really interesting girl. I can’t really pinpoint what it was about her that I liked but it was something. She had great bravado and a killer sense of humor which I like in books. She was the kind of girl you want to be best friends with and learn more about. And then there is Holder. Holder was kind of awesome. He had so many levels and so much depth to him that you couldn’t help but fall in love. He’s one of those people that deeply feels the things that matter to him and isn’t above showing that passion whether it is in anger, love, or sadness. But there is also a mystery to Holder that you are constantly trying to figure out. Together these two characters had an amazing chemistry that just made you want to read more, and as a reader that is all you can ask for.

All in all Hopeless was a good book that hit on some hard issues but didn’t do it in a preachy kind of way. Sure, some of it was slightly ridiculous and unimaginable that it will play out that way, but not ridiculous enough that you have to stop reading. It was a much better reading experience this time around with this author so I’m glad I was suggested her again and gave her another chance.

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