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.
WOWZA. I have heard about Colleen Hoover’s books. But damn. I’m not sure anyone could prepare you for the emotional roller coaster that they are until you actually read one.
My thoughts on this are a bit up and down too. It’s pretty hard not to feel a strong connection to a book like this–the whole point is to whip you around so you hang on for dear life. And that is exactly what Hoover is great at. The writing is fast-paced and there are so many twists and turns that you want to keep reading until you’re holding your eyes open with toothpicks.
I had a few problems with the characters, though, as if there were just pieces missing.
First of all, where was this mysterious Brenda the whole time? She was a big enough part of their lives for them to move across the country to be closer to her, but she never made a true appearance. She stayed solely in the background–except for one brief drive-by.
Secondly, Eddie. I loved Eddie, don’t get me wrong. But where the heck did she come from? Even in Mean Girls the two emo kids made friends with Cady because she sat in the wrong seat. This was just…weirdoutoftheblueimyourfriendnowhi. Holy Extrovert.
Lastly, there’s the whole teacher-student thing. I know she’s 18, and he’s only 21. And the whole story is based on the fact that they are trying to not be a couple, but hormones. Still. It’s a bit creepy.
Of course, the beauty of Hoover is that she KNOWS that is an issue. That’s the whole point. And she’s really good at keeping you rooting for them, even as she’s pulling them away from each other. And pushing them back together. And pulling them away. There is definitely no denying her brilliance at this sort of story. A few holes, but none that will keep me from picking up another one of her books.