Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Review: Slammed - Colleen Hoover

Slammed by Colleen Hoover.

Layken Cohen's father has just died. She's forced to pack up her life and move to a place that no one wants to live. Her hot neighbor, Will Cooper, is a sweet guy, and their romance is the best thing that's happened to Lake in a long while. Until it turns out they can't be together when she shows up at school on Monday and sees him again, in the front of the classroom as Mr. Cooper.

They toil through trials and tribulations, music mellows and manipulates many moments, and there will eventually be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The surprise hit that it was, I didn't pick this up for a long time, waiting for it to become available on one of my cheapskate avenues. The other night I plucked up the courage to load it onto my ereader and enjoy some forbidden romance. Instead, I found myself comparing it to Twilight and laughing really hard. While I knew this book is self-published, I also learned it was never intended for publication, written for and initially only shared among friends. Though it lacks sex, it's still slipped into the New Adult genre. A genre which I was whole-heartedly on board with until it turned out to be Romance about Younger Adults who-are-totally-legal, a my-first-romance, if you will indulge the idea. This does read like a self-published book that should have gotten a few more combings. It follows the cookie-cutter of the romance novel well enough that it feels uninspired.

I am, unabashedly, a fan of forbidden romance. I even like that borderline despicable romance about students and teachers. I honestly thought I would like this book. I thought I would be a shoe-in, and bounce from this popular book and into bold new adventures. But all my complaints feel shallow now that I know that this book wasn't intended for a mass market, but since it has since been deemed fit, I'm going to go for it.

It's overwritten, the similarities to Twilight are uncanny but thankfully infrequent, there are hilariously ridiculous portrayals of drama. He's authoritative. He talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. I would have abandoned this book 5 chapters in, but I was laughing so hard as things got increasingly serious and everybody was communicating in a very healthy fashion, but giving in to their emotions anyway. Dear lord.

And since I became a fan of spoken word poetry just before picking job this book I was not impressed by what the author brought. You can argue that it's like that in reality, not every performer is amazing, but this is fiction. I read it to escape. I was disappointed to find that the Avett Brothers are a real band, their lyrics used to prelude every chapter, which strikes me as lazy. When I reflect on my notes from reading they all run along the same line; irony between the intent that Hoover has and the advice that Layken's mother, Julia, gives her daughter. Which is, honestly, great advice, and does not match up with the romantic hero Hoover sets up. This book should have gone to an editor once it became more popular.

The final straw is the fact that Slammed can not even measure up to my favorite portrayal of an illegal student/teacher relationship, that of Ezra Fitz and Aria Montgomery in Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars. This book merely solidified my need to re-read and catch up with that series. Talk about interesting forbidden romance!

214pp. Amazon. 4th Jan 2012.
(Read/Skim/Miss) (Buy/Borrow)

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