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Point of Retreat: A Novel (Slammed Book 2) Kindle Edition
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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I absolutely adored Slammed, the first book in this series. I loved Will and Lake and their relationship. I loved everything about it. I thought that Slammed ended almost perfectly. No. I thought that it ended perfectly. But I wanted more anyway, so I was eager to begin this book right away. I knew after reading the blurb for this book that there was going to be some sort of misunderstanding involving someone from Will's past, and I knew that it was going to be the long lost ex-girlfriend. I knew that Lake was going to have issues with this and spend a good deal of time "carving pumpkins" (check out book one to see what this means). So all of those elements of a book two romance that I so dislike seemed to be coming my way. I was nervous. I didn't want to see my happy couple facing this sort of obstacle. But I read on.
As soon as Will decided that it would be best to not let Lake know that Vaughn was taking one of his college classes with him I knew there was going to be trouble in Will's immediate future. Oh how I wished that Will had some sort of soundboard of a friend to share his decision with so that that friend could knock him upside the head and tell him he was being an idiot. By not telling her about the situation he was going to make the situation seem much more important than it really was. I know that he was annoyed by Vaughn and wanted nothing to do with her. But Lake didn't have the advantage of seeing inside Will's head like I did. Trouble is coming his way.
I have to say that I am so glad that this story is told through Will's point of view. I think I would have been terribly irritated with Lake as she pushes him away again and again, despite all of his efforts to make this situation correct. I am no big fan of the silent treatment as a tool in conflict resolution, so her tactics weren't making me happy at all. Even when they did choose to bring things out in the open I thought that she was too quick to cut him off and throw away all of the good experiences they had shared together. I think that hearing the story through Will's point of view helped to maintain the love connection that exists between these two. Although Lake never loses it, she does spend a good deal of time angry. I preferred to hear Will's desperation to the anger.
Changing to Will's point of view in this book accomplished two things for me. First of all it made a difficult situation that normally irritates me into a better one. It isn't that the situation improved simply by having Will tell the story. No. It was still bad. But his refusal to let this relationship die and his determination to do whatever it takes to bring Lake back to him made this a story of strength rather than simply a story of a relationship funk. I appreciated that. The second benefit to Will as a narrator was that I was able to relive some of my favorite scenes of the first book through his memories. I LOVED that. Seeing those amazing scenes in his eyes added another amazing dimension to scenes that I already adored.
So this was a book that potentially could have ruined all of the good feelings I was feeling at the end of Slammed, but instead it was another wonderful addition to the story. I am totally going to have to follow Lake's mother's lead and make a vase full of origami stars containing words of advise for my children to pull out on days when things get difficult, whether I am dying of cancer or not. That was brilliant! I loved all of her advise, but I especially loved these words:
"Sometimes two people have to fall apart to realize how much they need to fall back together."
I absolutely loved this, and that sums up the theme of this book perfectly. I knew that Will and Lake had a great relationship at the end of Slammed, but at the end of this book I knew that they had an endurable and everlasting relationship. The struggles of this book when added to the things that they have lived through in their past combine to show the beauty of this love story.
And Will. Ahhhhhhhh Will! I absolutely love this character! I think he might be giving Dimitri Belikov (Vampire Academy) a run for the title of my favorite book male lead. I loved his actions at the end of the book so much, but as in Slammed, it was his poetry that pulled me into swoon-a-thon territory. The poetry doesn't take as much of a role in this book as in the first book, but it is there, and it is an essential part of the resolution of the issues in this book. There were some excellent poems written by the younger generation at the end that were wonderful. But Will's poem performance with props got me giddy. So amazing! I felt as if I got to relive the highlights of their relationship right along with them. Beautiful! I can't give this moment the right amount of justice in a review. You just have to read the story yourself.
So if you are someone like me who shies away from the stories in series where a relationship faces a major trial that could break it ... do not fear. Colleen Hoover does a great job of relating this story in such a way that I never felt annoyed. Instead I just felt this overwhelming need to continue to read. I needed for things to be made right for these two characters who I loved so much. I couldn't stop reading until I was content. And am I content? Oh yes. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Hurray for a beautiful end to a beautiful story.
I think I heard a rumor that there might be another addition to this story spotlighting a secondary character. I hope that that is true because I love these two stories so much, and I think that there is more to explore in the lives of some of the other characters introduced through this story. I hope the rumor is true. I know I have found a new favorite author to add to my list!
Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover takes place soon after the events in Slammed. This time, we see the story through Will's eyes instead of Lake's. Lake's mom has just passed away, and the two of them are raising their brothers simultaneously in neighboring houses. Some events happen to make Lake really question their relationship (and me to question why she is questioning it and punishing Will so much for it), and for Will to get very defensive and whiny, similar to how Lake was in the first book.
The strengths of this book are in a couple of places-- a vase that Lake's mom has left for them as a fount of advice, which pulls some heart strings. The second is a moment where we see one of the younger brothers do a very moving slam. It was the first slam that I actually got and FELT.
My issues with this book are similar to that of the first book. The YA tropes are again generic and the teenaged issues seem very forced. The Point of Retreat is their label for avoiding sex for the time being to respect Lake's mother's wishes. We see Will overexpressing his feelings physically for her in front of his GRANDMOTHER for peet's sake and he doesn't realize until later how Lake feels about that? There are other forced plot twists that make me want to just shake both characters and tell them to communicate for ONCE, and stop saying "carving pumpkins" over and over as if that's a meaningful phrase.
OK, end of rant. Again, if you loved the first book, read this one because you'll enjoy it. If you didn't love the first book, pass on this one as well.