I read all three of these books in the span of two days. I simply could not stop. I realize that I am late to the party, Slammed came out in Sept of 2012, after all. But, I am glad I waited so that I could read all three at once. If you click on the titles above, you'll be kicked to Goodreads for the summaries.
Lake’s point of view in Slammed drew me in and tugged at my heart. I loved Kel, her strange little brother, and Eddie, the positive girl, who became Lake’s friend whether she wanted her to or not. The poetry slams were an excellent device to share the emotions of the characters, and back stories without feeling like you were being taken out of the story for a “flashback.” I had issues with Will being so young for a teacher, until I remembered my own son will graduate college early, and wondered if maybe the teaching credential rules are a little different in Michigan. I know you couldn’t do your student teaching, in MIssouri, without a cooperating teacher in the room. I also was taken out of the story when Lake would say ”y’all.” I know she was from Texas, but that was the only time we really got a hint of the southern accent, so it was jarring to me. Also, after almost day to day plotting, we suddenly jump months at a time at the end. Even with those things--I gave it five stars.
Point of Retreat was from Will’s POV, and I enjoyed knowing his thoughts and feelings. I have never liked the plot device of “secrets kept for someone else’s good,” so when that came back to bite him, I felt like it was deserved, but I hated it! Vaughn does bring up some pretty good questions though. Julia, Lake’s deceased mom, still has a lot of influence on the couple (paper stars instructions here). I hope I would be so proactive if I were dying. Point of Retreat is not smooth sailing to the HEA for our couple, more tragedy (almost over the top to me) awaits them, with a very easy “hey! everything’s going to be okay now!” wrap up. I gave this one four stars.
This Girl made me feel cheated. There was very little new story. I wanted so much more than Will’s POV from Slammed. I realize Jamie McGuire used the same device to get two books out of Beautiful Disaster. Maybe because I liked Travis the best I was okay with Walking Disaster being a retelling, just not this time. I did love finding out the ocean was Vaughn’s eye color; knowing that makes the declaration love poem that much more meaningful. The epilogue satisfied me some, but there is so much more to know, in my opinion. Eddie and Gavin’s story should be a novella at least. I gave this one only two stars. I will buy the whole set for the high school--I know plenty of my girls who will love this series.
I do think that Jutine Timberlake does a great job of summarizing the story.