When Layken and her family move across the country following her father’s sudden death, the last thing on her mind is falling in love.
Layken Cohen has had a rough couple of months at the beginning of Slammed. She has to leave her whole life behind to move from Texas to Michigan, and she’s trying to stay strong for her mom and much-younger brother. Within a week of moving into the new house, she and her charming neighbor, Will Cooper, go on a date. Everything seems normal, and she feels a connection to Will that she’s never felt with anyone else. But then she shows up to school the following Monday and…
Wait. No. Not again!
Yeah, I know. The New Adult genre is rife with student-teacher romances. I’ve now read four, and I think I’ve reviewed all four now, as well. Anyway, back to the story…
It turns out that Will is the young teacher of Layken’s poetry class (and is especially fond of slam poetry), finishing up his final semester of college while acting as single-parent to his own much-younger brother after his parents died in a car accident. So… yeah. Another student-teacher romance book. But this one is… let’s go with “different.”
What does different mean?
So, okay. I get that the whole thing is frowned upon, and that Will could definitely lose his job if it was discovered that he was dating Layken while she was his student. But they never do more than kiss. I think they talk about it once, but that’s it. There’s no sex. So… sure, it’s still frowned upon. But it’s not as bad as some of the other student-teacher books I’ve read.
What’s the verdict?
I will say that I was invested in the story, entirely because of Will. He’s a sweet guy who is raising his brother all on his own. I wanted something good for him, and even though I didn’t personally like Layken all that much, it seemed like that was what he wanted. So I, as the reader, wanted it for him. But man, did I have some problems with this book, all aside from not being able to relate to Layken at all.
First, there is only one character in the book with an ethnic-sounding name—he’s Latino, and he’s portrayed as the troublemaker throughout the entire book. And then he essentially tries to assault Layken out of nowhere. Oh sure. Maybe the one POC a bad guy. That’s not a trope or anything.
Second, I’m going to hang my Nerd Flag out the window for a second. I spent about six months writing Master’s thesis on how bloggers and freelancers are affected by intellectual property laws. And every single chapter of this book begins with lyrics from Avett Brothers songs. Does Hoover have permission to print the lyrics (since this was published by both Atria and Simon & Schuster at different points, I would hope so)? But this started as a self-published book. Did she always have the rights? It was enough to take me out of the story when I needed something to hold me inside it, which definitely affects my feelings on the book.
Slammed gets a B-.
There was so much that bothered me, but it was still an entertaining quick read.
Images/ (1) Giphy