Life has been hard for Lake and her family since the unexpected death of her father several months ago and moving across the country to her mother's home town was the last thing Lake wanted to do. Things start to look up when she meets her gorgeous new neighbour Will though and there is an immediate attraction between them. It isn't just lust though and after the perfect first date they realise how much they have in common. Their relationship hits a very sudden and unexpected road block a few days later though when a shocking revelation makes it impossible for them to continue seeing each other. That doesn't stop the feelings between them though and when Lake is desperately in need of a friend Will is the only one she can turn to. Can they turn love into friendship or will they both end up with their hearts broken?
Slammed is another one of those books that became an overnight sensation when it was self published by author Colleen Hoover, so much so that it has now been picked up by Simon and Schuster. I have to admit that I'm always a little sceptical when I pick up books that are surrounded by so much hype (be that books that are self published or ones published via more traditional routes). I have just been burnt so many times by books that everyone seems to love but that I just don't see what all the fuss is about. I'm happy to say that Slammed has more than earned its reputation though, no it isn't perfect but it is well above average and is an impressive debut. The problems were so minor that I'm not even going to bother mentioning them in my review, I'd much rather talk about the positives and there are plenty of those!
I want to start with Lake's family, they have been through hell with the sudden loss of her father but they have managed to stick together and be there to support each other throughout. Like any family they have their arguments and even a few secrets but they are all protective of each other and there is a lot of love between them. I have to give Lake's brother Kel a special mention, the age difference between them is the same as the one between me and my brother and Kel was like a carbon copy of my brother at that age. He was utterly adorable and I loved the interactions between the pair of them. The conversations were very realistic and just made me feel even more connected with the story and the characters. Lake's mother is obviously keeping a big secret from her children and Lake becomes incredibly angry with her because of it. That anger was completely understandable even if her suspicions were incorrect. I have to admit I'd guessed the secret she was keeping but I was desperately hoping my suspicions were wrong and lets just say I was moved to tears when I wasn't.
Then you have Will. I don't even know where to start talking about Will except to say that he is pretty much the perfect guy. I developed a major crush on him right alongside Lake! For once we have a hero who isn't the typical bad boy we're seeing so much of these days, Will is in fact a genuinely nice person - he is caring towards is friends, he has put his life on hold to look after his young brother Caulder and he will do anything to help Lake and her family. He smart, fun, a bit of a geek and he loves slam poetry which he is really, really good at (I loved the addition of his poems to the story). It doesn't hurt that he is incredibly good looking but that isn't the most appealing thing about him by a long shot. I loved watching how things developed between him and Lake, if there was ever a relationship I've been routing for it was theirs.
Colleen Hoover has perfectly captured the feelings of first love and she makes you live through those emotions again right alongside her characters. The story is one of grief and loss, secrets and betrayal, friendship and hope but above all it is a story that shows that no matter how bad things get life always goes on. It shows that horrible things happen to good people and there is never an easy way to get through them but once you come out the other side things will get better. It will make you appreciate the things you have and feel thankful for your family and friends. Slammed took me on an emotional roller coaster - I fell in love, I had my heart broken, I laughed and I cried but by the end I was left with a huge smile on my face and I can't ask for much more than that from a novel. I can't recommend the story highly enough for YA / new adult contemporary romance fans.