Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

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Answer: 317 pages of perfection
Question: What is Slammed by Colleen Hoover?

It's no secret that I adore Colleen Hoover. She's my favorite author. She manages to create realistic characters in believable situations while drawing you in and making you FEEL. These characters joys and heartaches become your own. I don't know *how* she does it, but Colleen Hoover does it like none other.

I've had the Slammed trilogy for quite a while but have put off reading it for a variety of reasons. 1) I've been savoring the fact that there were THREE CoHo books on my shelf just waiting for me to open the covers and step inside. THREE. That's a good, good feeling, people. 2) I knew flying through this series would be three FEWER CoHo books for me to read. I'm catching up to her quickly and soon I'll be waiting on her to publish more. Not good. 3) I knew I needed to be ready for Slammed. There's no getting out of a Colleen Hoover novel with your emotions intact and untouched. So I had to be ready to dive in and accept all that was coming.

Slammed is one of those books that seem almost impossible to review because I feel like my words are inadequate. Like instead of an actual review I should just spew a bunch of semi-coherent, half-formed words on the page and then say, "See what I mean?"

"So keep your ocean. I'll take the Lake."

Lake is still grieving the loss of her father when she and her mom and younger brother move from Texas to Michigan. Within minutes of arriving at her new home she meets neighbor Will and there is an instant connection. But don't cue the violins just yet. Lake and Will's relationship is not typical. It has obstacles that stop things before they ever really start. Watching as Lake tries to navigate some kind of friendship/relationship with Will made my heart ache. All the while she is grappling with a new school, new friends, and the discovery of a secret that changes everything yet again.

I loved Lake. She was a mature 18 year old but realistic enough to have moments of giggling at inappropriate moments with best fried Eddie like the teenager she was. I appreciated the portrayal of her family especially the fierce love she has for her little brother Kel and the completely believable, sometimes taciturn, relationship with her mother. She questioned, she worried, she risked, she made assumptions - I believed in Lake completely and wanted so much for her. 

Will Cooper was a character with so much under the surface. A 21 year old young man with staggering responsibilities and losses of his own. Despite it all he was not closed off or bitter; he was open and warm and friendly and kind. But with Lake he found himself in an untenable situation. But even with circumstances being what they were, he was there for Lake. He was her sounding board, he held her when she cried, and he did his best to give advice and impart wisdom because he was so able to see Lake's situation from the other side. Will selflessly showed Lake wasn't she wasn't able to see on her own. It was impossible not to fall in love with Will Cooper.

It's hard to believe this was Colleen's first novel. While Maybe Someday and Ugly Love may have upped the ante, there's nothing lacking in Slammed. I loved the characters and their development, I loved the secondary characters, I loved the inclusion of the Avett Brothers lyrics (music obviously being a passion of Colleen's and a theme that she likes to employ), I loved the humor and the heartache (yes, CoHo even makes me thankful for the hiccuping sobs her story evoked), and I loved watching Lake and Will find their way. My favorite thing about Slammed (and any Colleen Hoover novel) - there may be a happy ending but it never comes easy. There are messy situations and hurt feelings and real life and tears and impossible obstacles along the way. A happy ending is not delivered on a silver platter; it's hard-fought and hard-won.

"How do you do it? How do you not fall in love with him?"

"I don't not fall in love with him. I don't not fall in love with him a lot."

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