The story begins about a year later from where Slammed ended. Layken (Lake) and Will are in school, she in her first year of college and he in graduate school, both raising their brothers, Kel and Caulder respectively, as a team. Their relationship is deepening and they’re taking things slowly. Kel even has a “girlfriend” at eleven years old who is much wiser than her tender years would suggest. All seems well, right? Not so fast. When someone important from Will’s past makes an appearance again after four years, he fails to not only tell Lake about it, he never reveals anything about this person who once played a significant role in his life. You can hear the train wreck coming.
the heart of the story…
There were many more lovely moments in this story before things hit the ditch. Despite not having parents in their lives to provide guidance and counsel, Lake and Will do a remarkable job of parenting, making it up as they go along, while managing two households, school and jobs. However, Lake’s mother Julia left an incredible gift for them that was inspiring, giving them pieces of wisdom when their lack of experience and maturity got in the way. Will’s mistake was boneheaded, made simply because he didn’t know better, but it threatened to permanently destroy all that he and Lake had created. And, poetry slams continue to be a vital element here I adored, normally a foreign concept for me.
Since Will provides the narrative this time, we have a new voice for the story. I liked his tone, which was youthful but not young. He sounded like I thought the character actually would and I enjoyed his performance.
the bottom line…
As much as I loved Lake and Will, the secondary characters were just as crucial, again providing comic relief, texture and additional layers. From the younger brothers and Kel’s girlfriend to Eddie & Gavin, Will and Lake’s best friends, they all made this a meaty story with lots of range, conflict and character development. I’ll never again be able to hear the word “butterflying” without smiling (you need to read this to understand) and am really glad I read both books back to back. There was strong continuity, making this even more enjoyable. While it ended in a good place, I’m excited for the next chapter and will be reading the final story in the series soon.
- Release Date: September 27, 2022
- Series: Slammed #2
- Narrator: Kamran R. Khan
- Audio Length: 6 hours, 48 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)