Slammed (Book# 1) by Colleen Hoover
4.5 out of 5 stars (recommended by Benita)
"Your heart says not again. What kind of mess have you got me in? But when the feelings there it can lift you up and take you anywhere." ~ The Avett Brothers, "Living of Love"
Colleen Hoover not only has you falling in love with this amazingly written book, but you also fall in love with the Avett Brothers. I had to google the Avett Brothers because the lyrics were so powerful in black and white (or kindle). Colleen picks the right words from the right songs to start the scene for each chapter.
Layken is a smart and strong high school senior that leaves her home in Texas after her father dies. She is almost designed to keep the family together, which plays a key role in the story to come. She has a strong relationship with her mother (Julia) and her little brother (Kel). And let me tell you Kel is the coolest little brother ever. He does this whole backwards day thing - for instance Kel would say "rocks backwards talking" and we would say "talking backwards rocks." He will even order a pizza in reverse order - I love this kid.
First day in Michigan - they meet Wil and Caulder (the brothers across the street). Caulder is the same age as Kel and the two immediately become friends. As for Layken (Lake) her and Wil might have experienced love at first sight. Wil doesn't waste much time asking her out - but he makes sure it is not the typical date...no asking the typical questions, grill cheese on the way to the destination, and playing a game of "Would you Rather." They end up at a Poetry Slam and Wil answers all the questions that may have clouded Layken's mind in a poem. A beautiful poem that will have you in tears (and the book just started).
This book is so AMAZINGLY written you will cry all the way through...but you will love every minute of it. The depth of the characters is like no other book. They take you on a real life journey through love, heartache, and happiness. It is really hard to give this book justice in a review!
Point of Retreat (Book# 2) by Colleen Hoover
5 out of 5 stars
"Sometimes two people have to fall apart to realize how much they need to fall back together." ~ advice stars
Normally a sequel is not as good as the first book or the movie. But that is not the case with Point of Retreat. Colleen Hoover had our emotions running wild in Slammed, but with this book our emotions are twisted and tied in knots.
We liked how even though the family dynamics changed in Layken's life...that Julia's presence was still felt throughout the book. Julia left Layken and Wil a vase of stars, and each each star had a great piece of advice. It was like Julia was there whenever they needed her - we loved the vase of stars! The stars help as Layken and Wil struggle with relationship issues and being parents to their brothers. Layken questions if her and Wil are together by default (like tragedy has brought them together) or if Wil love her past all the tragedy. And no one can explain their feelings better than Wil - especially in a poem.
The heart of a man
is no heart at all
If his heart isn't loved by a woman.
The heart of a woman
is no heart at all
If her heart isn't loving a man.
But the heart of a man and a woman in love
Can be worse than not having a heart
Because at least if you have no heart at all
It can't die when it breaks apart.
The best addition to the book was the new characters - Kiersten and her mom, Sherry. Kiersten is the same age as Kel and Caulder, but she is a free spirit with no filter. Her mother has raised her to speak her mind and she does just that. She is like a fresh of breath air!
We could not put this book down! It was so BUTTERFLYING AWESOME!!!!!