„Slammed” is the first book of the series with the same name, written by Colleen Hoover. It was first published on the 5th of January 2012 and it is a Young Adult novel. In my opinion, it is one of the most complex novels for teenagers as it approaches a variety of themes, such as love, family, friendship and loss of someone close.
The action is presented through the eyes of Layken, an eighteen years old girl who has just moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan, from Texas, six months after her father’s death. She and her nine years old brother Kel supported their mom in her decision to move, apparently because of financial reasons. In the same day, Layken meets Will, her neighbor and they both feel attracted to each other since the first moment. In the coming days their relationship moves forward but once the school starts, they both understand they have to put their feelings aside. In this moment, one would think this is another cheesy love story of impossible love and heartbreaks. But the author uses just the right amount of romance and romantic encounters.
Parallel to the relationship between Will and Layken, one can observe as well a family that has learned to cope with loss in many ways: Will lost both his parents and now has to watch after his younger brother, Layken and Kel lost their father and will now face another critical moment. The characters deal with their emotions united, as one family. Layken becomes more mature and Will finds balance between his family and his love.
One of the most complex novels for teenagers!
Another theme present in the book is the friendship between Layken and Eddie, her classmate. Eddie was abandoned by her mother at an early age and forced to move from foster home to foster home. She is somehow the voice of reason for Layken, when she has difficulties coping with her mother’ secret.
The novel is very well balanced, having funny moments, romantic encounters, family warmth and as well drama. In addition, the combination between prose and poetry is extraordinary and gives the book an interesting touch. The characters show their feelings in poems that are recited in Slam evenings. The concept of Slam is also well explained by the author. Moreover, each chapter starts with lyrics from the Avett Brothers that highlight the dominant emotions or the main idea or the chapter.
As a conclusion, I would give this novel a 5 out of 5stars, not only due to the story and the easy writing, but also to the diversity of themes that it touches. Sure, each character’s personality could have been a little more defined but the sublime way in which the emotions are revealed through simple words is fabulous.