Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover | Book Review

TITLE: Point of Retreat
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover
SERIES: Companion Book to Slammed
SOURCE: For Review from Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads / Author's Website

I want to love these books you guys, I really really do. That's why I keep reading them. I keep hoping that I'll just pick up the right one and suddenly understand the major love the Slammed books get, but so far I don't. It's not that I don't like them. Every time I pick one up I get totally sucked into the story, but there's something that always feels a little off for me as a reader, taking me out of the story. Be warned, this review will definitely have spoilers for Slammed and possible a few for Point of Retreat as well so stop reading here if you want.

Point of Retreat is the companion book to Slammed. Set a few months after the first book ends, Point of Retreat is Will's point of view on his relationship with Layken. Layken's mother has died and the couple is now raising both their younger brothers while going to college and trying to keep their relationship going.

Point of Retreat read a bit like a soap opera for me. It just felt contrived. There are now two college students living on the same block raising much younger siblings who are the same age? Okay fine, that might not be the most realistic scenario in the world, but I can get past it. It is fiction after all and we all need to willingly suspend disbelief every once in awhile. But here's the thing, it didn't stop there. There was just so much contrived drama that it had me feeling like I was reading some sort of what romance should be fantasy.

Basically, Will and Lake are in a pretty good place. They've kind of gotten into a relationship stride and then out of nowhere Will's ex shows up. Okay, some jealousy sure, they were together for awhile, but these characters always have such over the top reactions that it takes me right out of it. Lake doesn't just argue, she basically bails on the relationship. Seriously, you throw away a year long relationship because your boyfriend's ex wants him back? Shouldn't you, I don't know, stop and hear his side of the story first. Like it's that kind of contrived drama that has me rolling my eyes while reading.

Plus once drama number one is sorted out, drama number two pops up. It wasn't a surprise because there were quite a few pages left so obviously there had to be more drama before the book could be resolved, but seriously? There's only so many OH MY GOD moments I can take while reading, especially when I'm not invested in any of the scenarios.

What I liked about Slammed was that it was a totally engaging read and yes, it had its eye rolling moments, but I also felt like there were times when I really got to know the characters, outside of the drama, outside of their relationships. Lake was a girl who was missing her dad and struggling with feelings for the boy next door who happened to be her teacher. She had friends, she had other people she cared about. She was pretty selfish and their were times I hated her, but I could also forgive her for being a teenager in mourning. I felt like she existed outside of her current drama. That was kind of lost with Point of Retreat. I didn't get a feel for who Will was. He really loves Lake, he really loves his brother, and then it's drama, drama, drama. I didn't see what was keeping them together, what the still loved about each other after a year or how their lives had changed. Not really. It just felt like we jumped from one dramatic situation to the next without giving enough thought for depth of character or growth.

I realize this is a pretty negative review; I had some serious issues while reading this one. However, that's not to say I don't enjoy Hoover's book as a whole or that I hated every moment reading this one. I did get sucked in by the drama and finished this book relatively quickly; I just didn't love it and have enjoyed some of Hoover's other books more in the past. I will  be reading This Girl the final novel in the Slammed series because I feel pretty invested in the characters even if the second book was a bit of a letdown for me.

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