Have you ever read a book and you consider it life changing? That is exactly how I felt after reading Slammed by the wonderfully talented Colleen Hoover. Colleen has a wonderful knack of writing stories that play on the reader’s emotions. When you open the pages of a book by Colleen prepare yourself for a wonderful roller coaster ride of emotions. You in fact will fall in love, have your heart-broken, and piece the broken parts together.
Slammed was the second book I had read of Ms. Hoovers, and it didn’t disappoint, in fact it inspired me and spoke to me in ways no other book has in the capacity of life. I’m a sucker for a good love story. I always kid that since I don’t in fact have a love life of my own, I live vicariously through the characters in the books I read. In really well told stories you connect with the characters and feel like you are those characters. Layken and I shared so many similarities to be so different.
Spoiler Alert for those who have not read this book, do not read any further….
Layken, her mother Julia, and her younger brother Kel moved to Ypsilanti from Texas after her father died. On the first day in her new town she meets her hot neighbor Will. Sparks fly and the two are totally smitten…until they find out Will is in fact Lake’s new poetry teacher! *gasps*
Layken is faced with many emotional ups and downs over the entirety of the book. From forbidden love, to coping with the loss of her dad, meeting her new Best Friend, Eddie, to being forcibly kissed and punched by a creep, and most of all being slapped by the reality that her mom in fact has terminal cancer.
Two years ago, I received similar news that my Mom has an incurable disease, Pulmonary Hypertension. That same year she was given 2 different life expectancies…. Six to Twelve months and Twelve to Twenty-Four hours. I was like Lake, I chose to carve pumpkins for a while and not really face reality…. I have to admit I still tend to carve those damn pumpkins, but after reading this book I have a new understanding of life.
“It wasn’t death that punched you, Layken. It was life. Life happens. Shit happens. And it happens a lot to a lot of people.”
I have a new realization about life and death. Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed even. For the past two years I have let my mother’s illness control my life as well as hers. I live in constant fear that at any given moment she may take her last breath. And my mother always says little things about when she is gone, I need to do this and that. And she is getting things done to the house so I won’t have to worry about it….and reading Colleen’s words, especially this particular part, helped me realize she’s not trying to make me sad, she’s preparing me.
“In the first line when you said that death was the only thing inevitable in life…you emphasized the word death. But when you said it again at the end of the poem, you didn’t emphasize the word death, you emphasized the word life. You put the emphasis on life at the end. I get it, Will. You’re right. She’s not trying to prepare us for her death. She’s trying to prepare us for her life. For what she has left of it.”
Death is something I’m not comfortable with at all. I just seem to shut down, but now I have a new way of looking at it, thanks to Colleen.
Every day that my parents are both here, I savor and enjoy the little things, for one day they will just be memories. But isn’t that what life is about enjoying the little moments and making memories?
Slammed will always hold a special place in my heart for the lessons I learned from it. I may be a 30-something girl, but I definitely got “Schooled” by reading Ms. Hoovers works of art! Thank you Colleen for every single word you’ve written, for it inspires, comforts, and makes you feel hopeful.
This book and series will most likely be referenced in future blogs because of how it has inspired me, so if you haven’t read it…Do yourself a favor and read it, you will not be disappointed!