All tagged Colleen Hoover

Review: Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

Despite that Colleen Hoover’s Slammed was a frustrating read, there was a part of me that found it strangely readable and enjoyable. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for its wholly unnecessary sequel, Point of Retreat.

Point of Retreat picks up where Slammed left off. Frankly, I was surprised to learn that there was a sequel, since the original novel ties up most of the loose ends and put the characters on a path toward happiness, despite the challenges they faced in the first novel. Despite my reservations about Slammed, I was intrigued about where Hoover would take these characters as they tackled their new independence, responsibilities and burgeoning relationship. 

In Point of Retreat, Will and Layken find themselves embroiled in even more drama, but the core of the story is two-fold:

  1. Will they ever actually have sex? *eye roll*
  2. Will Will’s evil ex-girlfriend destroy their happiness? *eye roll*

[Note: Please do not continue to read this review, should you plan on reading Slammed and want to remain unspoiled.]

[Seriously, if you don’t want to be spoiled for Slammed, don’t keep reading, okay?]

The first—no sex for a year—is absolutely absurd.

I was curious about Colleen Hoover’s Slammed after I saw Tammara Webber (whose book Easy, I very much enjoyed) raving about it and then it subsequently landed on the ebook bestseller list. However, I tend to shy away from self-published books* unless they’re by an author I’m familiar with or it’s a book that’s been recommended by a reader whose taste I trust. 

Once Atria (a Simon & Schuster imprint who’s seemingly buying every popular self-published novel) purchased Slammed and reissued it, my curiosity resurfaced. 

Slammed begins with high school senior Layken (yes, there are weird names in this book, and yes, Layken sometimes goes by “Lake”) moving from Texas to Michigan with her mother and brother, following the sudden death of her father. Naturally, she meets the 21-year old hottie across the street, Will, immediately after she pulls the moving truck into the driveway. They go out on one date—a pretty strange date—that includes homemade sandwiches, little personal information exchanged and a visit to a slam poetry event. 

We both finish our sandwiches, and I put the trash back in the bag and place it in the backseat. I try to think of something to say to break the silence, so I ask him about his family. “What are your parents like?”

He takes a deep breath and slowly exhales, almost like I’ve asked the wrong thing. “I’m not big on small talk, Lake. We can figure all that out later. Let’s make this drive interesting.” He winks at me and relaxes further into his seat.

(I actually thought Will was kidnapping Layken when I read this—thankfully, they just went to a poetry slam.)

The poetry slams like the one the pair goes to on their first date are probably the strongest element of Slammed, creating an interesting backdrop for Will and Layken’s story. Hoover does a nice job of capturing why this expressive form of spoken-word performance would so grip people, especially teens.