Complex and real characters.
Great life lessons.
And most of all, the love for family.
A nicely refreshing and satisfying new adult contemporary.
Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.
Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.
This is the first new adult and Colleen Hoover book I’ve read. I was a bit hesitant going into in. I’m just not a fan of mushy, gushy, dramatic romance. But this was everything but mushy gushy. The story is driven by and the decisions by the characters are made based of the love for family from both main characters.
This isn’t about two teenagers throwing their lives and the ones of the people around them away, because they are so, oh so madly in love. No this is about being madly in love, but being rational and putting your family first.
It’s also about loss and the stages of grief and moving on in more than one way. It’s about learning what’s important in life and how to live it by everyone around you.
The story begins with a bit of backstory. We learn what’s going on, why it’s going on and how Lake feels about it. This means that when the story really gets going, we already know and understand Layken. The romance starts of really easy going, not too shy, not too extreme. This makes the transitions in the relationship between Lake and Will a lot easier. Romance isn’t the priority. It’s always in the background though. There are a lot of different things going on in different aspects of Layken’s life and all these story lines are very well and fast developed, which saves it from being a I’m so miserable and heartbroken and I don’t know how I’ll ever be able live again story (New Moon). But Will is always on Lake’s mind even tho she won’t admit it.
The development of the story lines and the relations between characters keep the story interesting. There are some twists, but it all makes sense and you understand why it happened. That’s another great thing about this book, everything makes sense. There aren’t any decisions made that make you think “You’re such an idiot, why would you do such a stupid thing without any reasoning?” (Bella).
Slam poetry is a big part of the story, a lot of backstory about several characters is revealed through their slam. At first the performances made me a little uncomfortable, but it really grew on me.
By the end of the story I didn’t even care how everything ended up, all the characters had already learned so much and had overcome so many obstacles and I was already absolutely satisfied with how everything turned out.
Like most contemporaries, this book is driven by characters. All of the characters are just so different and complex and real and are just what the story needs in different ways. All the decisions that are made, made total sense which made them believable. The characters all teach lessons about life and how to make most of it.
The two boys were absolutely amazing and I loved them right from the start. They really lighten up the story and give a great perspective on the story.
Layken’s mom was just the sweetest and wisest woman ever. She cared so much about her family and tried to learn her children as much as possible about life. Her relationship with Layken, especially towards the ending, was just great.
Eddie is such a great, great, great best friend. She was everything Layken needed at all times. She listened, gave advise, helped her out and stood by her side at all times. I wasn’t sure about her at first, because she came off a bit strong at the beginning, but right now I wish I had one of her in my life.
Will is just very mature and nice and sweet. I did get very annoyed by his lack of self control. But at the end he just wanted the best for everyone and I love him for that.
Layken is a character with a strong mind, she is very emotional, but still rational. She thinks with her head, not her heart. But her love for her brother was the best part of her, it make her very human and real. She develops a lot throughout the story and even though everything takes place over such a short period of time, you feel like you really know her already.
This was an overall refreshing read. The characters and the story are just so complex and well done. Everything made sense and the love for family made it a very satisfying read.