Love is: A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection.
Hope: A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
Separately these words have very different meanings, but when combined they introduce us to a new word…
Agony: Extreme physical or mental suffering.
Our lives are full of people that leave marks. Some of these marks are barley distinguishable, little blips on a remarkably large radar. While others are much larger, akin to quilts or blankets that wrap around us like comfortable memories. There are happy mark, sad marks, marks meant to be malicious or acidic. And some marks aren’t marks at all, they are strings attached to our cores that quiver and stiffen when tampered with.
Strings are the best and worst kind of mark. They are ones that cause us to question our ethics, to fall in love, to give up hope, or to live in agony, and Layken from “Slammed” is tangled up in them.
“After the unexpected death of her father forces eighteen year old Layken and her family to move across the country, away from everyone and everything she knows, her outlook on life is anything but hopeful.
Enter Will Cooper: the attractive twenty-one year old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry. After a night together that turns out to be everything but the expected, both Layken and Will are left with feelings they never knew they could have. Unfortunately in Layken’s life, things are never what they seem. Just as quickly as it develops, their relationship is derailed by a shocking revelation, sparking a tumultuous battle between their hearts and their ethics.
As if the dramatic turn of events in her life isn’t enough, Layken is slammed again when her mother reveals a secret of her own. A secret so intense, all of Layken’s current problems pale in comparison to her seemingly insurmountable future. Unable to confront the changes that lie ahead of her, Layken ignores her conscience as she turns to Will for solace. Struggles ensue as both Layken and Will search for a balance between that which keeps them apart and the feelings that pull them together.”
Love is a complicated concept, and because it is…it makes for a damn good story. The most welcome of stories (of course) are those that end in “happily every after” but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the “best” stories. No, that word: BEST is only bestowed upon those that teach us lessons, cause us to think irrationally or question what our OWN actions would be if thrown into a similar situation.
“Slammed” by Colleen Hoover is one of the “best.”
So…what exactly is the “ethical situation” that has me so upside down?
Sorry, not going to tell you (it will ruin the book.) But I will go on record as saying that it’s a huge one. Life altering in fact, and not just for the characters but for you, the reader. Why? Because there is no correct answer. The characters, (who by the way are developed wonderfully and evoke so much emotion that I again -God this is becoming a horrible habit- found myself blubbering over) are stuck inside this agonizing loop of brain vs. heart, and regardless of the fate they choose they are going to loose something of value. The beauty of the book comes in the struggle to find out which one is more important.
The plot ISN’T particularly original. You can see this same scenario in 85% of YA television these days, but the people involved (Lake, Will, Julia, etc.) bring it to life in such an extraordinary manner that it makes you feel as though it is, (new and sparkly that is.) And…as if the first drama wasn’t enough to rattle your cage another monkey wrench is thrown into the engine at around the 60% mark and you are forced to start your deconstruction of morality all over. (*shakes fist at Colleen*)
Were there any problems in Colleen’s 30 day journey into writing? (Oh, did I not mention she wrote this entire book in a month?) Yeah, maybe a few..but nothing enough for me to warrant mentioning. More importantly…if you’re reading it correctly, you’ll be too tied down to your Kleenex to give a shit.
In one sentence: I fell in love with this book, and you should too.
Spend the dough, learn the lesson, and when you are done…tell me what YOU would do?
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: words are only half of the battle, it’s what you do with them that matters!
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A quick note: After finishing Slammed I immediately purchased it’s follow up “Point of Retreat” and though it’s not as good, it’s still worth reading.
What is Slam Poetry?