For those who read my post ‘A Letter to a Friend’, which I wrote to one of my friends who has recently passed away, you would have noticed that I used a quote from “one of my favourite novels”. That novel is Slammed.
There is so much to say about the novel, but the only thing that I can say is that Slammed is not a novel I cantell you about, it is a novel you experience. Because yes, you don’t just read it, you experience it.
With her father’s sudden death, Layken and her family move to Yipsilanti because her mother can no longer maintain payments on their family ranch in Texas. As much as Layken does not want to leave the house and memories behind, she knows she needs to do the right thing and move with the family.
But after pulling into the driveway of her new house, Layken meets her new neighbour, the attractive Will Cooper and she finds that the move might not be that life devastating after all. Having a mutual attraction, Layken and Will quickly start spending time together finding that their attraction only becomes more intense with time.
Will reveals one of his life altering events to Layken through slam poetry, which is one of his passions. But, while Will and Layken find the time to share their most life-changing events with each other, they forget to share the simplest of information. A mistake that costs them the chance to be together and a mistake that costs them a lot of heart break.
There are so many things that are right about this novel. As per a typical new adult contemporary, Slammed includes aspects of a story that deals with the coming of age, there is a love story and then, there is the unpredictable twist that nobody is expecting but it is the twist that everybody loves.
There are various reasons why I love Slammed, the unpredictability of the story is one, and the structure of the text is another. Slammed is told through both prose and poetry. A novel told through the narrative style of both poetry and prose? Yip, that happened. And it’s brilliant.
When Will or Layken slam at the poetry club, the poem is included for the reader. While this adds an extra dynamic for the aesthetics of the novel, it also adds an extra dynamic of emotion. The poetry in the novel conveys emotions that the prose could never. And poetry later becomes the medium which Layken and Will use as the primary means of communication, when speaking face-to-face no longer becomes an option.
Also, every chapter starts with a preface, which are lyrics from various songs from folk rock band, The Avett Brothers.
Prose, poetry and music? I told you Colleen Hoover is Queen.
I feel like everything I’ve just said in no way justifies the brilliance that is Slammed and I want to buy everyone a copy of the book so that we can all bask in the awesome-ness that is Colleen Hoover.
“ Tell me about yourself” Will says.
“Um, no. That’s so cliché”, Layken answers. (I’m craving to use this in real life)
“It feels exhilarating. Or I feel exhilarated. I can’t tell which.”
“Is it possible that I had a momentary lapse of sanity?”
Slammed is the most defaced novel I own, simply because I’ve read it multiple times and with each read something new pops out which needs highlighting. But these are the lines which stick out to me each time.