Release Date: January 5, 2012
Goodreads Rating: 4.39 stars
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Content Rating: PG (Nothing more than kissing)
Colleen Hoover’s romantic, emotion-packed debut novel unforgettably captures all the magic and confusion of first love, as two young people forge an unlikely bond before discovering that fate has other plans for them.
Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken becomes the rock for both her mother and younger brother. She appears resilient and tenacious, but inside, she’s losing hope. Then she meets her new neighbor Will, a handsome twenty-one-year-old whose mere presence leaves her flustered and whose passion for poetry slams thrills her.
Not long after a heart-stopping first date during which each recognizes something profound and familiar in the other, they are slammed to the core when a shocking discovery brings 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 forces that tear them apart. Only through the poetry they share are they able to speak the truth that is in their hearts and imagine a future where love is cause for celebration, not regret.
I read Layken’s slam poem on someone’s blog and was very intrigued – so much so that I had to pick this book up at the library right away. I’m so glad that I did! The story follows Layken and Will, who form an instant connection, but can’t be together because of circumstances beyond their control. Okay, honestly that description doesn’t sound that compelling, but the book was really amazing! Read on to find out why –
What I loved:
- The slam poetry. Okay, this book totally made me want to go out and see some slam poetry performances. And, trust me, this was not something I thought I would ever want to do. These poems had me completely entranced – I had to read some of them over and over again. I’m really hoping that there is more slam poetry in the next books in the series!
- The little brothers. I loved the friendship between Layken and Will’s little brothers. I just thought that the boys added a fun and sweet element to the book that was very refreshing!
- The romance. This book included something I am not usually very fond of – insta-love. But, somehow in this book it worked for me. I so wanted Layken and Will to end up together and I completely felt their pain when they were kept apart (by real circumstances, no less!). Okay, there were a few times when they talked about their instant connection that made me cringe, but most of their relationship rang true to me. It was heartbreaking and exhilarating all at the same time!
- The emotional journey. This book definitely made me cry. There were so many moments that just left me feeling wrecked, but in a really good way. I loved that Layken really grew emotionally throughout the book too.
What I didn’t love:
- Some questionable moments. There were a few points in the story that I felt like I needed to employ a little bit of suspension of disbelief. Like how did Layken’s circumstances (which I won’t say more about so I don’t spoil anything) not get discussed on the couple’s first date? (To give the author credit, everyone in the story itself seems to think this is crazy too and they all acknowledge it.) And I also didn’t completely understand how Will got a paying job at this stage in his career (again I can’t say more without spoiling things) and why he would say that he would almost have been willing to give it all up for Layken right from the beginning (and why on earth would Layken ever think that this is something that maybe he should do?). Still, these were nitpicky issues because, overall, I was sold on the story.
I was so emotionally invested in this book – it was fabulous! I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in the series! 4.5/5 Stars.