Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge…how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins’. (Goodreads synopsis)
First things first, this is the second novel in the (now) three book series by Colleen Hoover. The first book is Slammed-so if you haven’t read it, please go and do that right away!
I first read Slammed in February 2013 and then Point of Retreat immediately following. The series is that good. I didn’t have a blog back then but I knew that I would have to reread and revisit this series to share how “butterflying” amazing I felt after reading. (You’ll understand the “butterfly” reference after you read) Now there is a third and final book in the series titled This Girl, which is available in print on August 13th, 2013. It’s available on Kindle and Nook, but I am waiting to complete my paper copy set. Yep, book nerd at it’s finest.
Series book, trilogies, novellas sometimes worry me. Can the author possibly keep stories alive and interesting when continuing from the first book? Can it live up to the reader’s initial feelings that were developed. It depends on how the first story ended and how you felt while reading. I can say without hesitation that this series is nothing short of excellent.
Point of Retreat is different from Slammed in that it is told entirely from Will’s point of view. Each chapter starts with his journal entry to document his feelings and thoughts in response to what he has been through the past three years with his own parents and with situations that occurred in Slammed. (See, you must read it…can’t spoil it for you). Let me just be brief if stating that Will has to be one of my favorite male characters. He is not perfect by any means but his goodness, kindness, thoughtfulness, sexiness, consideration, patience, resilience, maturity, chivalry…I can’t think of any more…is refreshing. I hope one of my daughters finds a man like him and if I had a son like him, no girl would be good enough! 🙂
And I must say that Colleen Hoover writes the most steamy, sexy, passionate scenes without any sex, smut, or vulgarity. I’m not against that sort of thing, but it would cheapen this story and miss the point of what is most important to Will and Layken at this time in their lives: friendships, relationships, family, love and trust.
All the characters you love from Slammed return in addition to some new comers who are equally well developed. New neighbors Kiersten and Sherry become not only ally’s in the lives of Will and Layken but newfound family members. Kiersten like her mother is a force to be reckoned with and boy does she dole out some sage advice for being eleven.
“Sometimes things happen in life that you didn’t plan for. All you can do now is suck it up and start mapping out a new plan.”
Will’s grandparents are more involved in this book and it’s nice to see them supportive and engaging with Caulder and Grandkel<–cute! Even Grandma who is unsure of the relationship between Lake and Will has words of wisdom to dispel. I love when an author gives each character a voice and importance to the entire story. They are not just added in to fill up space and create drama. Their importance to the story is necessary and poignant. Even if they are only in few scenes.
After Will confides in his Grandmother about hurting Lake’s feelings and messing up with her: “A man can tell a woman he’s in love with her until he’s blue in the face. Words don’t mean anything to her when her head is full of doubt. You have to show her.”
Yes, unfortunately someone from Will’s past returns, ex-girlfriend Vaughn to shake things up. Her purpose is to undermine Will’s relationship with Layken and put doubt in their heads. But, not to worry, her return backfires forcing them to examine their relationship for what it truly is.
The poetry and poetry slams are top notch once again and younger siblings Caulder and Kel and new friend Kiersten get to experience them first hand and even dabble in their own poems to deal with middle school angst.
Without giving anything away, my favorite part of the book was the vase from Julia. That is all I can say on that topic. Made me so emotional and yet I absolutely loved the idea. And so I will close with a quote from said vase which pretty much sums up the feeling from the book:
“Sometimes two people have to fall apart to realize how much they need to fall back together.” ~Author Unknown
*be sure to check out my follow-up video for this book…it’s a good one and goes perfectly with it!*