Hello faithful readers! Long time no see! It has been a VERY hectic week for me here and I have not had any time to give you guys some new material, but don't fret, I have still be attached to my Nook ever chance I have had! I have a real special review for you guys today. Get ready, it's a great one!
When I first entered this new world of New Adult literature (thanks to Cora), I was astonished at the number of authors that had already committed to this genre and have worked diligently to get it up and running. Though many authors in this genre are loved and have made a name for themselves, one woman kept coming up EVERYWHERE I turned. That woman? Colleen Hoover. Colleen Hoover, quite possibly the biggest name in New Adult literature right now, and I hadn't even read one of her books. I was talking to my friend, and fellow Street Team member, Amber (from http://www.grownupfangirl.com/) who told me I HAD to read some Colleen Hoover! After looking at my schedule for the coming months, I realized that Mrs. Hoover was going to be present at a couple of the events I will be attending so I figured checking out some of her work was probably a good idea. I had to know what the fuss was about! After getting online and doing some major research into Colleen Hoover and her works, I decided to start at the beginning and read her first series: Slammed. I am fully aware that this is not a new series and that I am probably the very last person to just onto the Colleen Hoover train, but I really wanted to share my thoughts on the work of this extremely influential author! I'll get into series specifics here in a minute, but first, for all of you who may not know much about out author, allow me to introduce you to Mrs. Colleen Hoover!
Now that everyone is familiar with the books, I'm going to do like I did for my Archers of Avalon post and talk about the series as a whole. I will be completely honest here when I say I almost did not finish the very first book in this series. Allow me to explain. I am a guy, a guy who occasionally likes to read young adult romance novels (when I can't find a good fantasy/paranormal series), but a guy nonetheless. I am also very much a realist. I was barely 30 pages into Slammed before I almost stopped reading. Layken and Will have a very.... special relationship. Special in the fact that they fall madly in love with one another after knowing each other for 3 days. Yes. You read that correctly. I am totally a believer in love coming swiftly, but I mean hardcore LOVE, love after one date. I immediate was turned off by the fact that I thought I was going to have to read three whole books about some gushy perfect couple and their erotic adventures. I was dead wrong.
I set aside Slammed for a few days, a week actually, and read a few other books. I finally decided to come back to Slammed and I am so glad I did. I quickly learned a few very important things that I was initially very wrong about: their love is not easy, this is not a gushy love story, and there is very little erotic adventure. While that may seem like a bad thing to some people, I love that Colleen was able to give us a great story about young people growing up and assuming the responsibilities of an adult without feeling the need to fill the books series with sex on every other page. In fact, no sex even occurs until the very last line of the second book, and even then, we are just told it happens, no details. Pretty amazing for an author to gain wide acclaim for a series in this genre without having to write detailed sex scenes. For that, I have great respect for Colleen Hoover.
Another thing I really liked about this series was the use of poetry. I am not a fan of poetry, and I had never heard of Slam poetry before this book series, but I was intrigued and have even looked up YouTube videos of it now and think it is very interesting. Mrs. Hoover clearly did her research on this topic. She was able to deliver a huge blow in the emotions department with each slam performed. It was a great way to keep the story going.
The great thing about this series is that it follows the lives of two people who are initially in two very different places in their lives. One, Will, is a college senior (like myself) who is struggling to get settled in life while having to raise his younger brother after the death of his parents and the other (Layken) is a high school senior with her entire life ahead of her. By coincidence, (or fate) the two are joined together and quickly realize their lives may have much more in common that anyone could have thought. I don't want to spoil the series for anyone who hasn't read it, but trust me, it gets good! Sad, but good. I love a book that can present emotions without it feeling forced. I was able to laugh, sigh, and be frustrated alongside Colleen's characters while reading, which made this all the more interesting a series to read.
As per the characters, I found them all to be really interesting. Our main characters Will Cooper and Layken Cohen are joined by Julia and Kel Cohen (Layken's mother and younger brother), Caulder Cooper (Will's younger brother), Gavin and Eddie (Will and Layken's best friends who happen to also be a couple) and are later joined in book two by Kiersten (the next door neighbor girl who is probably my favorite character) and Sherry (Kiersten's eccentric mother). For a three book series we have a relatively small cast of characters which is good in the sense that it gives us more insight to out main characters, but that is also the downfall, we see a whole lot of out main two characters. Every character plays a pretty equally important part in the series so anyone who reads the series will quickly become attached to them all!
The is one book series that I can say is different from others in the sense that I think the second book was actually my favorite. I don't know what specifically I liked the most about it, but I feel like the best parts of the story are in book 2. We see a whole lot of character development from Layken and get introduced to a few really interesting characters. Plus we learn a whole lot more about Will's past which almost ruins what he has with Layken!
The one negative thing I have to say about this series is this: I could have completely done without a third book. Don't get me wrong, I read book 3 and I enjoyed it, but nowhere near as much as I enjoyed the previous two. There are a few reasons for this. Primarily, book 3 is a retelling of book 1 from Will's perspective. If you had JUST finished reading book 1, you are going to be very bored with book 3. I'm all for a retelling, but I found myself skipping pages in this one. Also, book 3 has much more adult content than the other books. This is because the entire book 3 (sans epilogue) takes place over the course of Will and Layken's 48 hour honeymoon (spoiler alert). Again, I really don't feel like book 3 added anything new to the story except that now Layken and Will have an active sex life. Meh. While it was my least favorite in the series, I do understand why it was written. It gave Will a much needed push from previous books which were very Layken-heavy. I feel bad saying anything negative about the series, because I really did like it, but I had to point this out!
Overall this was a pretty good book series and I am glad to have got a chance to read some works by the great Colleen Hoover before I get my chance to meet her in the coming months. I hope you guys check out her Slammed series! Here are some links to where you can find out more information about the series and get your own copies!
Slammed Series Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/series/79569-slammed
Get your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Slammed-A-Novel-Colleen-Hoover/dp/1476715904
I just want to take a second to once again thank all my readers, you guys have kept me going for sure! It's only been 2 weeks, but the amazing response I have received from all of you has really made a guy feel special! I think after this series I am going to take a break from NA Romance for a little while and try to find something that is a little more in my niche! I have a few aces up my sleeves from some ARCs I got this week so maybe I'll have something fun for you later this week! For the time being, Happy Reading to you all!