Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover (Slammed #2)

Point of Retreat (Slammed #2)
In the second book in the Slammed series by New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, Layken and Will's relationship has endured through hardships, heartache, and a cruel twist of fate, further solidifying the fact that they belong together. But the two lovers could not have expected that the things that brought them together may ultimately be the things that tear them apart. Their connection is on the brink of being destroyed forever and it will take an extraordinary amount of willpower to keep their love afloat.

Layken is left questioning the very foundation on which her relationship with Will was built. Will is left questioning how he can prove his love for a girl who can't seem to stop "carving pumpkins." Upon finding the answers that may bring peace back into their relationship, the couple comes across an even greater challenge—one that could change not only their lives but the lives of everyone who depend on them.
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 10, 2012 (Originally published February 25, 2012)
Kat's Review
I read Slammed and Point of Retreat back to back, and I fell in love with Layken and Will.  The way they manage to juggle all their responsibilities towards their brothers with such poise and maturity, but then show their youth in the way they allow certain issues to come between them made them feel real.  Having other adult characters around made things more believable too- Kiersten's mom, Will's grandparents, even Layken's mom through the advice she left behind, all serve to remind the reader that these two main characters are barely more than children themselves and helps to take some of the pressure off them.
There's something very authentic in Colleen Hoover's writing.  The emotions are real, and even characters that are a bit larger than life like Eddie or Kiersten manage to come across as likeable and very true to life.  Also, the two little brothers, Caulder and Kel, provide great comic relief and really focus the narrative around the mundane, day-to-day tasks that define parenthood.  Working out how to deal with a suspension while simultaneously worrying about college courses and finding time to be alone together gives their relationship adult concerns, despite the fact that they're still working out how to be a couple.
I thought it realistic for their commitment to each other to be tested at some point.  It was inevitable that the day would come when one or the other would wonder if what they had was based on something real, or was based on circumstance and convenience.  Watching them struggle through that, only to face something even more devastating was heartbreaking, but showed the depth of their commitment to each other.  This book really demonstrates the idea of love being a verb.  Something you do, rather than something that just happens to you.  Layken and Will must decide to love each other, to put in the effort it takes to maintain that connection under even the most difficult of circumstances. 
Rating: A Good Read
I have to say, I've become a Colleen Hoover fan.  I read Hopeless first, and then decided to go back and read Slammed and Point of Retreat, and I enjoyed all three books.  The slammed series is more about love and commitment than typical romance.  Sex doesn't really factor in.  Instead, the books are about responsibility, commitment, attraction, maturity, friendship, and love. 
I was provided a complimentary copy of this title in return for an honest review.

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