Layken “Lake” isn’t your typical 18 year old girl. She lost her father due to a heart attack, and while his death caused a massive blow to her, she knew she needed to be there for her mom and younger brother so she pulled herself together.
Lake is definitely more mature than other girls her age. Her mom moves her and her little brother away from their home in Texas to Ypsilanti, Michigan at the beginning of her senior year of high school. She just knows she is going to hate it there. Well, that is until she meets her neighbor across the street, Will.
Lake and Will hit it off instantly, and go out on a date that sets off a spark to the electrifying connection that is between them. Then, circumstances that were unknown to them when they met, means they can’t be together. Lake and Will still must interact with each other every day, and these interactions just tear at them emotionally and confuse them both along the way.
Will has had to step in and take responsibility for his younger brother and will do what he has to to make sure that his brother is taken care of; including sacrificing his happiness. Will performs Slam poetry and introduces Lake to it. They use it to heal their own wounds and express their feelings. He tries so hard to do the right thing and stay away from Lake, but you can see how hard it is for him. He is there for her when she needs him the most, and for me that just showed how great of a guy he really is.
Throughout this book I laughed, I cried and had my heart broken. I laughed at both Lake’s and Will’s younger brother’s antics, I cried for their shared histories and events that are beyond their control, and my heart broke when Lake found out devastating news about her mother.
If you are not a fan of poetry, you will be after reading Slammed. I never knew the definition of “slam poetry” until this book. I love poetry in all forms, but now I want to see a Slam performance in person. It is really moving when you can feel the poet’s emotions through their words. While this is a Young Adult book, it deals with real life tragedy and real feelings. This is not a happy go lucky book, but it does open your heart and emotions, and in the end it leaves a smile on your face even when you want to cry. I am from Michigan and went to Eastern Michigan University, which is in Ypsilanti, this book really reminded me and make me miss being back home.