This Girl, by Colleen Hoover, is the third book in The Slammed Series. Since I had not read the first two books in the series, I decided to read them before reading This Girl. I thought this would make the third book a more pleasurable read, since I would know the characters, the story arc, and the backstory. Unfortunately, my strategy completely backfired on me. My enjoyment of Slammed and Point of Retreat made This Girl an echo of the reading pleasure I experienced in the first two books.
The plot of The Slammed series centers around Will and Layken. Will is a twenty-one year old teacher who is raising his younger brother. When new neighbors move in, Will becomes attracted to Layken, the seventeen-year old daughter. In Slammed, their relationship begins. It is complicated by children (Layken also has a young brother), Layken’s mother, some unexpected news, and Will’s position as a schoolteacher. Woven through these obstacles is Will’s love of poetry slams (hence, the title of the book). I found Slammed to be engaging, unique, and creative.
Point of Retreat moves the relationship between Lake and Will forward. Once more, they are faced with renegotiating life in the midst of family and career changes. While not as engaging as Slammed, I still liked Point of Retreat. The poetry, familiar characters, and the growth of Layken and Will made the book fun.
This Girl, instead of being a continuation of the series, was more like a rehash of Slammed. It is Slammed, but rewritten from Will’s point of view. (Layken was the narrator of Slammed.) This might have worked had there been many new insights that Will would give, or if there were some plot points that had been unknown in the first book. Unfortunately, this was not the case. It felt to me like I was listening to someone retell their love story—for the fiftieth time. What I had enjoyed so much in Slammed, now read more like a tedious, immature mess of a relationship.
I am not sure how much I would have liked This Girl had I not read the other books in the series first. I probably would have put it down and gone to find Slammed, since it seemed to be a retelling of that novel anyway. So, I am not sure how to rate this one. If you want to read Colleen Hoover’s best book, read Slammed. This Girl might add to your collection or might satisfy your need to have series closure, but otherwise, I would say skip it.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Regina