Layken Cohen has just turned eighteen and life has already dealt her more heartache than she feels due. Six months ago her father died suddenly and now her mother is uprooting the family from Texas to Ypsilanti, Michigan to begin a better paying job. As she pulled into the driveway of their new home, there’s a young boy in the yard who’s the same age as her 9-year old brother, Kel. He immediately connects with Caulder Cooper, whose older brother Will comes to retrieve him. Will and Layken are “slammed” by their immediate connection and attraction, even going out the next day. However, when she starts high school on Monday, everything comes to a crashing halt.
the heart of the story…
Will and Layken, who he calls Lake, are the epitome of star crossed potential lovers. Their initial romance was something you could actually feel and though I knew it was impossible for them to continue for the moment, I couldn’t help hoping they’d find a way that wouldn’t be problematic. Their efforts to keep away from each other were valiant but so very heartbreaking. But the one element that connects everything in this story is slam poetry. It surprised me how much I loved it since I’m not normally a fan. I think it might be because it was so relevant and poignant, perfectly timed and placed. For all the responsibility on Lake’s shoulders, which she handled extremely well, there were times she showed her immaturity. It just made her appear even more authentic.
This is my first experience with this narrator and I liked her interpretation of Lake who tells this story. She was youthful without sounding too young and made Lake seem like a real person. I liked everything about her performance.
the bottom line…
I’ve wanted to read this story for years after so many of my Goodreads friends raved about it and was thrilled when the opportunity to listen to it presented itself. There are so many angles and emotional moments, sad and heartening, that provide a host of layers to an already intriguing story. I liked and admired Lake and Will for stepping up and taking on responsibilities beyond what they should have at their ages. They made great choices most of the time and when they blundered, they owned it. While this first phase of their story is done, their journey isn’t and I’m jumping head first into the next book now. My friends definitely didn’t over hype this story, even better on audio.
- Release Date: September 27, 2022 (originally 2012)
- Series: Slammed #1
- Narrator: Heidi Baker
- Audio Length: 7 hours, 14 minutes
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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)