Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: January 5th, 2012
Song I Played While Reading: Knew Better / Forever Boy Ariana Grande
Rating: 3.5 stars
Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope.
Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.
I liked Slammed, but I didn't love it like most of Hoover's books. This was her debut, so her writing wasn't as strong, so I had a hard time getting into the story. Once I did, and I got over my issue with the first plot twist thrown in here (this is a spoiler, but am I the only person who doesn't think him being her teacher was THAT big of a deal???), I finally started to enjoy it. Naturally, CoHo had more in store for us, which I figured out pretty quickly. So all in all, this was good, but nothing phenomenal. It's definitely a fantastic debut, and I wholeheartedly believe that if she rewrote this I would probably DIE over it, but the writing lacked something for me. I highly, highly recommend starting with this if you want to start reading all of her work! Go by publication date.
Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: February 25th, 2012
Song I Played While Reading: Knew Better / Forever Boy by Ariana Grande
Rating: 4 stars
Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge… how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins.’
Beisdes Layken's irritating inability to confront an issue, I liked this a little better than Slammed. Slammed was all about the drama before Layken and Will even started dating, and this takes place a year and a half latter. I loved seeing how their relationship had developed, and how all the side characters were doing: Kell and Caulder, Eddie and Gavin. Kiersten was a fantastic addition to the gang, and a fucking riot. I mean honestly, that's exactly how I want my child to be. We're thrown through another loop (IS ANYONE REALLY SURPRISED?) and I thought it was really well done. I wish we had gotten more details into the pivotal sex scene, though. I was looking forward to that for the entire damn book, so I was a little disappointed. This is definitely her cleanest work yet, and definitely could fall into the YA category.