I feel like I'm the "last person alive" to read this book hehe
Seems like it's one of those must-read books not only because it's good but because of the story behind it. As I've heard Colleen wrote this book for her mother and also gave it to a few friends to read. Everyone applauded and told her she should self publish. Well, she did, and then a known blogger read it and recommended it and it went viral - so many people bought it and read it it just became a sensation. That's pretty amazing for the first book she ever published (though she has published more since) and especially since it wasn't something she thought to publish (as I've heard anyway :])
Though I'm a little far behind I grabbed this one and read it in two days, mainly one day - first day I was tired so I just read the first 8% then yesterday I read the rest in one gulp! As you can guess I REALLY loved it though in the beginning I had my doubts about it (Just hearing the word "high school" made me cringe).
I feel it's almost impossible to write a review of this book without giving away any spoilers so I'll do my best - meaning it will be a more vague review and probably shorter than usual though it does deserve a lot of praise!
18 years old Layken, her kid brother Kel and their mother Julia move from Texas to Michigan after her father dies of a heart attack. Layken isn't thrilled by the move but after meeting their new across the street neighbor - Will Cooper - she changes her mind, well, briefly changes her mind... They go on an amazing first date and can only expect more when reality make them realize they shouldn't (or maybe I should say mustn't) be together.
Layken find it VERY hard especially since she has to see him on a daily basis - her brother Kel immediately becomes best friend with Will's brother Caulder.
Layken has a lot to deal with, senior year in a new school, new (smallish) house, sexy unreachable / unapproachable neighbor and her mother going on too many errands she has no clue about.
Will is 21 years old. He and his kid brother Caulder are living together for the past 2 years after they lost their parents in a car accident. Will is doing his best to take care of Caulder, work his ass off to make a career that will support both of them. Just as everything is working according to plan, he has Caulder as first priority, his job second and his life third - he meets Layken his new neighbor. At first he is very excited but shortly after their first date he realizes their relationship is futile. It doesn't make him want her less it just make it difficult to have a friendly relationship with her.
If you were wondering what the name of the book is all about well, part of it is something called "slam" I haven't heard about it before. It stands for writing a short poem and reading it passionately in front of a crowd. People go to clubs and meet to hear Slams by others. Sounds an interesting concept I must say. I've been to an evening where poetry was read, some read what they wrote or work by others but it was delivered in a very "serious" way, like you would read an article. It was hard to understand and really get the meaning since the language was, well, poetic.. Basically I got bored and really wanted to just go home but since I came to listen to someone specific I had to stay for the most of it. I really wonder if where I live people actually meet to read passionately their poems, to speak their hearts this way.. I've never heard of it but it doesn't mean it doesn't exist...
This story is very touching. If you think it's a chic-lit - it's not! it talks about life and living and also dealing with the death of loved ones. I cried on Eddie's 18th Birthday (Eddie is Layken's best friend) and I was practically in tears over Julia's home made Halloween costumes for Kel and Caulder. and there were a lot of emotional scenes in this book. Yes, they are young the both of them, Layken is still in High School but what they deal with in live is relevant to all age ranges. I must admit that at first I didn't really appreciate the "main problem" for Layken and Will to be together but as the book progressed so beautifully I couldn't argue / complain about anything :)
I'm really looking forward to reading the next one! Probably dive into it today and finish it tomorrow if it flows like this one did :)
Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 311 pages, 21-22 January 2014 / On GoodReads