Point of Retreat: A Novel (Slammed Book 2) by Colleen Hoover (Epub)

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Ebook Info

  • Published: 2012
  • Number of pages: 322 pages
  • Format: Epub
  • File Size: 0.22 MB
  • Authors: Colleen Hoover

Description

Sometimes two people have to fall apart to realize just how much they belong together.

Colleen Hoover entranced readers everywhere with her bestselling novel Slammed, the book that introduced Layken and Will, a young couple whose love overcame devastating hardships to emerge stronger and more resilient than before. Now, as Layken and Will’s emotion-packed story continues, a stunning and unforeseen revelation about Will’s past leaves them questioning everything that they thought they knew about each other. With the foundation of their relationship at risk, they must decide whether they are willing to fight for a future together, or to retreat back into solitude and heartache.

How far does Will have to go to prove to Layken his love for her will last forever? It will require something truly extraordinary to keep this couple together, and the decisions they make and the answers they find will change not only their lives, but the lives of everyone around them.

“Colleen Hoover’s second novel is just as brilliant and entertaining as Slammed. Point of Retreat is absolute poetry.” —Jamie McGuire, author of Beautiful Disaster

User’s Reviews

“Perfectly poetic. A beautiful follow-up to Slammed.” (Tarryn Fisher, New York Times bestselling author of The Wives )”Brilliant and entertaining as Slammed. Point of Retreat is absolute poetry.” (Jamie McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Disaster ) About the Author Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-three novels, including It Ends with Us, All Your Perfects, Ugly Love, and Verity. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded a nonprofit called The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly book subscription service that has donated over $1,000,000 to various charities to date. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. For more information, please visit ColleenHoover.com. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Point of Retreat 1. THURSDAY, JANUARY 5 I registered for classes today. Didn’t get the days I wanted, but I only have two semesters left, so it’s getting harder to be picky about my schedule. I’m thinking about applying to local schools for another teaching job after next semester. Hopefully, by this time next year, I’ll be teaching again. For right now, though, I’m living off student loans. Luckily, my grandparents have been supportive while I work on my master’s degree. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them, that’s for sure. We’re having dinner with Gavin and Eddie tonight. I think I’ll make cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers sound good. That’s all I really have to say right now . . . “IS LAYKEN OVER HERE OR OVER THERE?” EDDIE ASKS, peering in the front door. “Over there,” I say from the kitchen. Is there a sign on my house instructing people not to knock? Lake never knocks anymore, but her comfort here apparently extends to Eddie as well. Eddie heads across the street to Lake’s house, and Gavin walks inside, tapping his knuckles against the front door. It’s not an official knock, but at least he’s making an attempt. “What are we eating?” he asks. He slips his shoes off at the door and makes his way into the kitchen. “Burgers.” I hand him a spatula and point to the stove, instructing him to flip the burgers while I pull the fries out of the oven. “Will, do you ever notice how we somehow always get stuck cooking?” “It’s probably not a bad thing,” I say as I loosen the fries from the pan. “Remember Eddie’s Alfredo?” He grimaces when he remembers the Alfredo. “Good point,” he says. I call Kel and Caulder into the kitchen to have them set the table. For the past year, since Lake and I have been together, Gavin and Eddie have been eating with us at least twice a week. I finally had to invest in a dining room table because the bar was getting a little too crowded. “Hey, Gavin,” Kel says. He walks into the kitchen and grabs a stack of cups out of the cabinet. “Hey,” Gavin responds. “You decide where we’re having your party next week?” Kel shrugs. “I don’t know. Maybe bowling. Or we could just do something here.” Caulder walks into the kitchen and starts setting places at the table. I glance behind me and notice them setting an extra place. “We expecting company?” I ask. “Kel invited Kiersten,” Caulder says teasingly. Kiersten moved into a house on our street about a month ago, and Kel seems to have developed a slight crush on her. He won’t admit it. He’s just now about to turn eleven, so Lake and I expected this to happen. Kiersten’s a few months older than he is, and a lot taller. Girls hit puberty faster than boys, so maybe he’ll eventually catch up. “Next time you guys invite someone else, let me know. Now I need to make another burger.” I walk to the refrigerator and take out one of the extra patties. “She doesn’t eat meat,” Kel says. “She’s a vegetarian.” Figures. I put the meat back in the fridge. “I don’t have any fake meat. What’s she gonna do? Eat bread?” “Bread’s fine,” Kiersten says as she walks through the front door—without knocking. “I like bread. French fries, too. I just don’t eat things that are a result of unjustified animal homicide.” Kiersten walks to the table and grabs the roll of paper towels and starts tearing them off, laying one beside each plate. Her self-assurance reminds me a little of Eddie’s. “Who’s she?” Gavin asks, watching Kiersten make herself at home. She’s never eaten with us before, but you wouldn’t know that by how she’s taking command. “She’s the eleven-year-old neighbor I was telling you about. The one I think is an imposter based on the things that come out of her mouth. I’m beginning to suspect she’s really a tiny adult posing as a little redheaded child.” “Oh, the one Kel’s crushing on?” Gavin smiles, and I can see his wheels turning. He’s already thinking of ways to embarrass Kel at dinner. Tonight should be interesting. Gavin and I have become pretty close this past year. It’s good, I guess, considering how close Eddie and Lake are. Kel and Caulder really like them, too. It’s nice. I like the setup we all have. I hope it stays this way. Eddie and Lake finally walk in as we’re all sitting down at the table. Lake has her wet hair pulled up in a knot on top of her head. She’s wearing house shoes, sweatpants, and a T-shirt. I love that about her, the fact that she’s so comfortable here. She takes the seat next to mine and leans in and kisses me on the cheek. “Thanks, babe. Sorry it took me so long. I was trying to register online for Statistics, but the class is full. Guess I’ll have to go sweet-talk someone at the admin office tomorrow.” “Why are you taking Statistics?” Gavin asks. He grabs the ketchup and squirts it on his plate. “I took Algebra Two in the winter mini-mester. I’m trying to knock out all my math in the first year, since I hate it so much.” Lake grabs the ketchup out of Gavin’s hands and squirts some on my plate, then on her own. “What’s your hurry? You’ve already got more credits than Eddie and I do, put together,” he says. Eddie nods in agreement as she takes a bite of her burger. Lake nudges her head toward Kel and Caulder. “I’ve already got more kids than you and Eddie put together. That’s my hurry.” “What’s your major?” Kiersten asks Lake. Eddie glances toward Kiersten, finally noticing the extra person seated at the table. “Who are you?” Kiersten looks at Eddie and smiles. “I’m Kiersten. I live diagonal to Will and Caulder, parallel to Layken and Kel. We moved here from Detroit right before Christmas. Mom says we needed to get out of the city before the city got out of us . . . whatever that means. I’m eleven. I’ve been eleven since eleven-eleven-eleven. It was a pretty big day, you know. Not many people can say they turned eleven on eleven-eleven-eleven. I’m a little bummed that I was born at three o’clock in the afternoon. If I would have been born at eleven-eleven, I’m pretty sure I could have got on the news or something. I could have recorded the segment and used it someday for my portfolio. I’m gonna be an actress when I grow up.” Eddie, along with the rest of us, stares at Kiersten without responding. Kiersten is oblivious, turning to Lake to repeat her question. “What’s your major, Layken?” Lake lays her burger down on her plate and clears her throat. I know how much she hates this question. She tries to answer confidently. “I haven’t decided yet.” Kiersten looks at her with pity. “I see. The proverbial undecided. My oldest brother has been a sophomore in college for three years. He’s got enough credits to have five majors by now. I think he stays undecided because he’d rather sleep until noon every day, sit in class for three hours, and go out every night, than actually graduate and get a real job. Mom says that’s not true—she says it’s because he’s trying to ‘discover his full potential’ by examining all of his interests. If you ask me, I think it’s bullshit.” I cough when the sip I just swallowed tries to make its way back up with my laugh. “You just said ‘bullshit’!” Kel says. “Kel, don’t say ‘bullshit’!” Lake says. “But she said ‘bullshit’ first,” Caulder says, defending Kel. “Caulder, don’t say ‘bullshit’!” I yell. “Sorry,” Kiersten says to Lake and me. “Mom says the FCC is responsible for inventing cuss words just for media shock value. She says if everyone would just use them enough, they wouldn’t be considered cuss words anymore, and no one would ever be offended by them.” This kid is hard to keep up with! “Your mother encourages you to cuss?” Gavin says. Kiersten nods. “I don’t see it that way. It’s more like she’s encouraging us to undermine a system flawed through overuse of words that are made out to be harmful, when in fact they’re just letters, mixed together like every other word. That’s all they are, mixed-up letters. Like, take the word ‘butterfly,’ for example. What if someone decided one day that ‘butterfly’ is a cuss word? People would eventually start using the word ‘butterfly’ as an insult and to emphasize things in a negative way. The actual word doesn’t mean anything. It’s the negative association people give these words that make them cuss words. So, if we all just decided to keep saying ‘butterfly’ all the time, people would stop caring. The shock value would subside, and it would become just another word again. Same with every other so-called bad word. If we would all start saying them all the time, they wouldn’t be bad anymore. That’s what my mom says, anyway.” She smiles and takes a french fry and dips it in ketchup. I often wonder, when Kiersten’s visiting, how she turned out the way she did. I have yet to meet her mother, but from what I’ve gathered, she’s definitely not ordinary. Kiersten is obviously smarter than most kids her age, even if it is in a strange way. The things that come out of her mouth make Kel and Caulder seem somewhat normal. “Kiersten?” Eddie says. “Will you be my new best friend?” Lake grabs a french fry off her plate and throws it at Eddie, hitting her in the face with it. “That’s bullshit,” Lake says. “Oh, go butterfly yourself,” Eddie says. She returns a fry in Lake’s direction. I intercept the french fry, hoping it won’t result in another food fight, like last week. I’m still finding broccoli everywhere. “Stop,” I say, dropping the french fry on the table. “If you two have another food fight in my house, I’m kicking both of your butterflies!” Lake can see I’m serious. She squeezes my leg under the table and changes the subject. “Suck-and-sweet time,” she says. “Suck-and-sweet time?” Kiersten asks, confused. Kel fills her in. “It’s where you have to say your suck and your sweet of the day. The good and the bad. The high and the low. We do it every night at supper.” Kiersten nods as though she understands. “I’ll go first,” Eddie says. “My suck today was registration. I got stuck in Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes. Tuesday and Thursdays were full.” Everyone wants the Tuesday/Thursday schedules. The classes are longer, but it’s a fair trade, having to go only twice a week rather than three times. “My sweet is meeting Kiersten, my new best friend,” Eddie says, glaring at Lake. Lake grabs another french fry and throws it at Eddie. Eddie ducks, and the fry goes over her head. I take Lake’s plate and scoot it to the other side of me, out of her reach. Lake shrugs and smiles at me. “Sorry.” She grabs a fry off my plate and puts it in her mouth. “Your turn, Mr. Cooper,” Eddie says. She still calls me that, usually when she’s trying to point out that I’m being a “bore.” “My suck was definitely registration, too. I got Monday, Wednesday, Friday.” Lake turns to me, upset. “What? I thought we were both doing Tuesday/Thursday classes.” “I tried, babe. They don’t offer my level of courses on those days. I texted you.” She pouts. “Man, that really is a suck,” she says. “And I didn’t get your text. I can’t find my phone again.” She’s always losing her phone. “What’s your sweet?” Eddie asks me. That’s easy. “My sweet is right now,” I say as I kiss Lake on the forehead. Kel and Caulder both groan. “Will, that’s your sweet every night,” Caulder says, annoyed. “My turn,” Lake says. “Registration was actually my sweet. I haven’t figured out Statistics yet, but my other four classes were exactly what I wanted.” She looks at Eddie and continues. “My suck was losing my best friend to an eleven-year-old.” Eddie laughs. “I wanna go,” Kiersten says. No one objects. “My suck was having bread for dinner,” she says, eyeing her plate. She’s ballsy. I toss another slice of bread on her plate. “Maybe next time you show up uninvited to a carnivore’s house, you should bring your own fake meat.” She ignores my comment. “My sweet was three o’clock.” “What happened at three o’clock?” Gavin asks. Kiersten shrugs. “School let out. I butterflying hate school.” All three kids glance at one another, as if there’s an unspoken agreement. I make a mental note to talk to Caulder about it later. Lake nudges me with her elbow and shoots me a questioning glance, letting me know she’s thinking the same thing. “Your turn, whatever your name is,” Kiersten says to Gavin. “It’s Gavin. And my suck would have to be the fact that an eleven-year-old has a larger vocabulary than me,” he says, smiling at Kiersten. “My sweet today is sort of a surprise.” He looks at Eddie and waits for her response. “What?” Eddie says. “Yeah, what?” Lake adds. I’m curious, too. Gavin just leans back in his seat with a smile, waiting for us to guess. Eddie gives him a shove. “Tell us!” she says. He leans forward in his chair and slaps his hands on the table. “I got a job! At Getty’s, delivering pizza!” He looks happy, for some reason. “That’s your sweet? You’re a pizza delivery guy?” Eddie asks. “That’s more like a suck.” “You know I’ve been looking for a job. And it’s Getty’s. We love Getty’s!” Eddie rolls her eyes. “Well, congratulations,” she says unconvincingly. “Do we get free pizza?” Kel asks. “No, but we get a discount,” Gavin replies. “That’s my sweet, then,” Kel says. “Cheap pizza!” Gavin looks pleased that someone is excited for him. “My suck today was Principal Brill,” Kel says. “Oh Lord, what’d she do?” Lake asks him. “Or better yet, what did you do?” “It wasn’t just me,” Kel says. Caulder puts his elbow on the table and tries to hide his face from my line of sight. “What did you do, Caulder?” I ask him. He brings his hand down and looks up at Gavin. Gavin puts his elbow on the table and shields his face from my line of sight as well. He continues to eat as he ignores my glare. “Gavin? What prank did you tell them about this time?” Gavin grabs two fries and throws them at Kel and Caulder. “No more! I’m not telling you any more stories. You two get me in trouble every time!” Kel and Caulder laugh and throw the fries back at him. “I’ll tell on them, I don’t mind,” Kiersten says. “They got in trouble at lunch. Mrs. Brill was on the other side of the cafeteria, and they were thinking of a way to get her to run. Everyone says she waddles like a duck when she runs, and we wanted to see it. So Kel pretended he was choking, and Caulder made a huge spectacle and got behind him and started beating on his back, pretending to give him the Heimlich maneuver. It freaked Mrs. Brill out! When she got to our table, Kel said he was all better. He told Mrs. Brill that Caulder saved his life. It would have been fine, but she had already told someone to call 911. Within minutes, two ambulances and a fire truck showed up at the school. One of the boys at the next table told Mrs. Brill they were faking the whole thing, so Kel got called to the office.” Lake leans forward and glares at Kel. “Please tell me this is a joke.” Kel looks up with an innocent expression. “It was a joke. I really didn’t think anyone would call 911. Now I have to spend all next week in detention.” “Why didn’t Mrs. Brill call me?” Lake asks him. “I’m pretty sure she did,” he says. “You can’t find your phone, remember?” “Ugh! If she calls me in for another conference, you’re grounded!” I look at Caulder, who’s attempting to avoid my gaze. “Caulder, what about you? Why didn’t Mrs. Brill try to call me?” He turns toward me and gives me a mischievous grin. “Kel lied for me. He told her that I really thought he was choking and I was trying to save his life,” he says. “Which brings me to my sweet for the day. I was rewarded for my heroic behavior. Mrs. Brill gave me two free study hall passes.” Only Caulder could find a way to avoid detention and get rewarded instead. “You two need to cut that crap out,” I say to them. “And Gavin, no more prank stories.” “Yes, Mr. Cooper,” Gavin says sarcastically. “But I have to know,” he says, looking at the kids, “does she really waddle?” “Yeah.” Kiersten laughs. “She’s a waddler, all right.” She looks at Caulder. “What was your suck, Caulder?” Caulder gets serious. “My best friend almost choked to death today. He could have died.” We all laugh. As much as Lake and I try to do the responsible thing, sometimes it’s hard to draw the line between being the rule enforcer and being the sibling. We choose which battles to pick with the boys, and Lake says it’s important that we don’t choose very many. I look at her and see she’s laughing, so I assume this isn’t one she wants to fight. “Can I finish my food now?” Lake says, pointing to her plate, still on the other side of me, out of her reach. I scoot the plate back in front of her. “Thank you, Mr. Cooper,” she says. I knee her under the table. She knows I hate it when she calls me that. I don’t know why it bothers me so much. Probably because when I actually was her teacher, it was absolute torture. Our connection progressed so quickly that first night I took her out. I’d never met anyone I had so much fun just being myself with. I spent the entire weekend thinking about her. The moment I walked around the corner and saw her standing in the hallway in front of my classroom, I felt like my heart had been ripped right out of my chest. I knew immediately what she was doing there, even though it took her a little longer to figure it out. When she realized I was a teacher, the look in her eyes absolutely devastated me. She was hurt. Heartbroken. Just like me. One thing I know for sure, I never want to see that look in her eyes again. Kiersten stands up and takes her plate to the sink. “I have to go. Thanks for the bread, Will,” she says sarcastically. “It was delicious.” “I’m leaving, too. I’ll walk you home,” Kel says. He jumps out of his seat and follows her to the door. I look at Lake, and she rolls her eyes. It bothers her that Kel has developed his first crush. Lake doesn’t like to think that we’re about to have to deal with teenage hormones. Caulder gets up from the table. “I’m gonna watch TV in my room,” he says. “See you later, Kel. Bye, Kiersten.” They both tell him goodbye as they leave. “I really like that girl,” Eddie says after Kiersten leaves. “I hope Kel asks her to be his girlfriend. I hope they grow up and get married and have lots of weird babies. I hope she’s in our family forever.” “Shut up, Eddie,” Lake says. “He’s only ten. He’s too young for a girlfriend.” “Not really, he’ll be eleven in eight days,” Gavin says. “Eleven is the prime age for first girlfriends.” Lake takes an entire handful of fries and throws them toward Gavin’s face. I just sigh. She’s impossible to control. “You’re cleaning up tonight,” I say to her. “You, too,” I say to Eddie. “Gavin, let’s go watch some football, like real men, while the women do their job.” Gavin scoots his glass toward Eddie. “Refill this glass, woman. I’m watching some football.” While Eddie and Lake clean the kitchen, I take the opportunity to ask Gavin for a favor. Lake and I haven’t had any alone time in weeks due to always having the boys. I really need alone time with her. “Do you think you and Eddie could take Kel and Caulder to a movie tomorrow night?” He doesn’t answer right away, which makes me feel guilty for even asking. Maybe they had plans already. “It depends,” he finally responds. “Do we have to take Kiersten, too?” I laugh. “That’s up to your girl. She’s her new best friend.” Gavin rolls his eyes at the thought. “It’s fine; we had plans to watch a movie anyway. What time? How long do you want us to keep them?” “Doesn’t matter. We aren’t going anywhere. I just need a couple of hours alone with Lake. There’s something I need to give her.” “Oh . . . I see,” he says. “Just text me when you’re through ‘giving it to her,’ and we’ll bring the boys home.” I shake my head at his assumption and laugh. I like Gavin. What I hate, however, is the fact that everything that happens between me and Lake, and Gavin and Eddie . . . we all seem to know about. That’s the drawback of dating best friends: there are no secrets. “Let’s go,” Eddie says as she pulls Gavin up off the couch. “Thanks for supper, Will. Joel wants you guys to come over next weekend. He said he’d make tamales.” I don’t turn down tamales. “We’re there,” I say. After Eddie and Gavin leave, Lake comes to the living room and sits on the couch, curling her legs under her as she snuggles against me. I put my arm around her and pull her closer. “I’m bummed,” she says. “I was hoping we’d at least get the same days this semester. We never get any alone time with all these butterflying kids running around.” You would think, with our living across the street from each other, that we would have all the time in the world together. That’s not the case. Last semester she went to school Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I went all five days. Weekends we spent a lot of time doing homework but mostly stayed busy with Kel’s and Caulder’s sports. When Julia passed away in September, that put even more on Lake’s plate. It’s been an adjustment, to say the least. The only place we seem to be lacking is getting quality alone time. It’s kind of awkward, if the boys are at one house, to go to the other house to be alone. They almost always seem to follow us whenever we do. “We’ll get through it,” I say. “We always do.” She pulls my face toward hers and kisses me. I’ve been kissing her every day for over a year, and it somehow gets better every time. “I better go,” she says at last. “I have to get up early and go to the college to finish registration. I also need to make sure Kel’s not outside making out with Kiersten.” We laugh about it now, but in a matter of years it’ll be our reality. We won’t even be twenty-five, and we’ll be raising teenagers. It’s a scary thought. “Hold on. Before you leave . . . what are your plans tomorrow night?” She rolls her eyes. “What kind of question is that? You’re my plan. You’re always my only plan.” “Good. Eddie and Gavin are taking the boys. Meet me at seven?” She perks up and smiles. “Are you asking me out on a real, live date?” I nod. “Well, you suck at it, you know. You always have. Sometimes girls like to be asked and not told.” She’s trying to play hard to get, which is pointless, since I’ve already got her. I play her game anyway. I kneel on the floor in front of her and look into her eyes. “Lake, will you do me the honor of accompanying me on a date tomorrow night?” She leans back into the couch and looks away. “I don’t know, I’m sort of busy,” she says. “I’ll check my schedule and let you know.” She tries to look put out, but a smile breaks out on her face. She leans forward and hugs me; I lose my balance, and we end up on the floor. I roll her onto her back, and she stares up at me and laughs. “Fine. Pick me up at seven.” I brush her hair out of her eyes and run my finger along the edge of her cheek. “I love you, Lake.” “Say it again,” she says. I kiss her forehead and repeat, “I love you, Lake.” “One more time.” “I.” I kiss her lips. “And love.” I kiss them again. “And you.” “I love you, too.” I ease my body on top of hers and interlock my fingers with hers. I bring our hands above her head and press them into the floor, then lean in as if I’m going to kiss her, but I don’t. I like to tease her when we’re in this position. I barely touch my lips to hers until she closes her eyes, then I slowly pull away. She opens her eyes, and I smile at her, then lean in again. As soon as her eyes are closed, I pull away again. “Dammit, Will! Butterflying kiss me already!” She grabs my face and pulls my mouth to hers. We continue kissing until we get to the “point of retreat,” as Lake likes to call it. She climbs out from under me and sits up on her knees as I roll onto my back and remain on the floor. We don’t like to get carried away when we aren’t alone in the house. It’s so easy to do. When we catch ourselves taking things too far, one of us always calls retreat. Before Julia passed away, we made the mistake of taking things too far, too soon—a crucial mistake on my part. It was just two weeks after we started officially dating, and Caulder was spending the night at Kel’s house. Lake and I came back to my place after a movie. We started making out on the couch, and one thing led to another, neither of us willing to stop it. We weren’t having sex, but we would have eventually if Julia hadn’t walked in when she did. She completely flipped out. We were mortified. She grounded Lake and wouldn’t let me see her for two weeks. I apologized probably a million times in those two weeks. Julia sat us down together and made us swear we would wait at least a year. She made Lake get on the pill and made me look her in the eyes and give her my word. She wasn’t upset about the fact that her eighteen-year-old daughter almost had sex. Julia was fairly reasonable and knew it would happen at some point. What hurt her was that I was so willing to take that from Lake after only two weeks of dating. It made me feel incredibly guilty, so I agreed to the promise. She also wanted us to set a good example for Kel and Caulder; she asked us not to spend the night at each other’s houses during that year, either. After Julia passed away, we’ve stuck to our word. More out of respect for Julia than anything. Lord knows it’s difficult sometimes. A lot of times. We haven’t discussed it, but last week was exactly a year since we made that promise to Julia. I don’t want to rush Lake into anything; I want it to be completely up to her, so I haven’t brought it up. Neither has she. Then again, we haven’t really been alone. “Point of retreat,” she says, and stands up. “I’ll see you tomorrow night. Seven o’clock. Don’t be late.” “Go find your phone and text me good night,” I tell her. She opens the door and faces me as she backs out of the house, slowly pulling the door shut. “One more time?” she says. “I love you, Lake.” –This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition. Read more

Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:

⭐ Another great book by Colleen Hoover! I love Will and Layken’s love story so much. They may be young but they are such strong, resilient characters. Yes, they make some stupid mistakes and have some drama to overcome, but it is expected since they are both still so young.The side characters are all amazing – well, that is except for Vaughn and Reece… I wanted to smack the ‘butterfly’ out of them! I think Kiersten is up there high on my list of favorite book characters ever! Just love her spunky, tell-it-like-it-is attitude!The end of part one – my heart dropped. I almost didn’t finish reading because I was terrified of what was going to happen, but I made myself continue and I am so glad I did. This is definitely another must-read from Colleen Hoover!

⭐ I love this author like crazy. I for some reason never read this book series but have read pretty much every other book she has out.It was ok. I didn’t have much like for the main character honestly and it never really resolved. I’m reviewing both books, because I won’t be reading the third. Read the synopsis and I’m kind of over this storyline. 3.5 stars. Definitely not the reading crack I’ve been accustomed to with her, and I’m glad I didn’t read these first after all.I’m in the minority here, I get it. But that said I feel like her latter works are amazeballs.

⭐ Hardships and heartache brought Layken and Will together and now it will tear them apart. They have proved that their love can get through anything, until someone from Will’s past returns, 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.”Point of Retreat jumps about a year forward from where Slammed ended. When I first realized this, I thought we might miss out on a lot of detail, but as usual, the author wrote it very well. I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed Slammed. We get to know all of the characters; Will, Layken, Gavin and Eddie even better in this book. We also finally get to see the dynamics of Will and Layken in an actual relationship. This book is told from Will’s point of view, where as the first book, Slammed, was told from Layken’s point of view. I liked the way this book progressed and I liked the story line. It never got boring, but I can honestly say that about everyone of the author’s books. This book also focuses on themes such as changing family dynamics, non-traditional families, love, relationships, grief and friendships. This book has Layken questioning the things their relationship is built on and if they would still be in a relationship if their circumstances were different. Layken knows that she loves Will and that Will loves her, she just wants to make sure it’s for the right reasons. This slightly annoyed me at first, but after a chapter or two I completely understood where she was coming from.Just like when I finished Slammed and immediately started reading this book, I immediately started reading the next and final book, This Girl, again thank goodness for e-readers. I usually buy all the books in a series before I start reading it because I am not very patient when it comes to books. Most of the author’s books are stand alone books and it is actually funny that I am now reading the first books she wrote after reading almost every single book she has written. I still have Hopeless and the sequel to that book to read, but I am saving it in case Colleen Hoover doesn’t release another book for a while! Happy reading!

⭐ You have fallen in love with Will and Lake, no there is more to the story. I am so glad that these two went through all of there obstacles, faced so many feelings and come out they way they did in the end.Colleen Hoover is an amazing story teller through her books, lyrics, and poems. This book, this series.. Wow! I have now read all three books a few different times, and each time I cry, I laugh, and I learn something new.Coleen Hoover as with all of your books, I am profoundly moved.

⭐ I would like to start off by saying that I was shocked/confused when I started reading this book because it is in Will’s POV. That’s not a bad thing or anything, it was just unexpected.I thought this was a good follow-up to Slammed, but I wish the poetry had been used more throughout the whole story like it was in the first book. It was still there and definitely played a key role in parts of the story, but it wasn’t as seamlessly woven throughout the book as a whole like in the first one, and I kind of wish it had been.This book has some shocks and lots of tears and kept me reading.Even though we did not read Lake’s POV in this book, I felt like I still had a pretty good idea of what was going on in her head most of the time. I guess I knew her well enough after Slammed that I could guess what she was thinking. Plus, she does a pretty good job of telling Will what is going on despite him thinking that she is always “carving pumpkins.” I kind of wished he would stop accusing her of that because I didn’t think she was.There were a couple of new characters in this book that I thought fit in well with the others, and of course, all of the good characters are back.Overall, if you enjoyed Slammed, you don’t want to miss out on Point of Retreat.

⭐ About my reviews:I am by no means a book scholar; I read for entertainment purposes only. I couldn’t care less about grammar and spelling as long as I can follow the story (I’m still a novice when it comes to the English language and I am 30+ years old and English is my first and only language…I’m a 0’s and 1’s kinda girl). With that being said, I do appreciate those who have the gift of bringing good characters and stories to life via written words evoking all my “girlie” emotions. For the most part I’m a sucker for likable characters, good chemistry, angst, heartbreak, and happy endings. I judge books by how I feel while reading them and I am always looking for my next “5 star book” high!I wanted to share my opinions on the books I’ve read recently because Amazon ratings can be misleading at times; however, I don’t want to spend too much time on reviewing a book when I could be reading the next “5 star book” (hence this template). You will not get any spoiler alerts or harsh critiques from my reviews…nope, you will simply get a star rating based on the following:5 stars – I could read this book over and over again…everyone should read this book!!!4 stars – I could read this book more than once!3 stars – Okay book…one read was enough2 stars – I just about got through this book1 star – I could not finish this bookHopefully this will help you identify some good reads and avoid some not-so-good ones!

⭐ Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In BooksThings I’ve learned from reading this book, well Slammed as well so I guess you can say the whole series:1. Suck and Sweet is probably the best daily family event/game ever and I think everyone should do it. (We’ll see if my 15yr old agrees…lol)2. Butterfly and all it’s many possible forms is the absolute best curse word on the planet. And it sounds pretty saying it.3. No matter how prepared you think you may be for anything, sometimes life will slap you in the face and show you how very much you really aren’t. So prepare for the unthinkable.4. Family isn’t defined by your mom, dad, brother, sister, etc. Family isn’t always blood. Sometimes family can be your friends, your neighbors. Blood doesn’t define family. (It was worth repeating.)5. Always. ALWAYS. Seriously always, tell the person you love what’s going on in your head. Don’t hide things. Even harmless things. Even if you’re afraid they’ll jump to conclusions now or be hurt now. It’s easier to fix it in the now than them finding out down the road and trying to explain why you didn’t tell them then. (Always been my philosophy.)That’s all. There’s more. But these were my favorites. The serious and the funny.I really don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe that since Slammed ended on such a good high that possibly we could have an entire book two filled with nothing but rainbows, sunshine, puppy dogs and cupcakes. Was that too much to ask? Yes. I was entirely unprepared for this book. I wish I could lay blame to a “rookie mistake” But I can’t. I should of known better by now.Emotional Roller Coaster. It should be a new genre. And Colleen Hoover would be it’s reigning queen! This one was entirely in Will’s POV. It was butterflying fantastic. I loved being inside his head, so to speak. So much happens, I mean after everything we go through (yes we!) with Slammed you can’t help but hope for a tiny break. And we get it… in the beginning. Then we get knocked to the floor and picked back up and knocked to the floor and picked back up. Up and down. I think I’m emotionally spent.I wanted to quit a couple times. Like when the first shoe dropped. And I saw it coming, I just knew before–but that’s all I can say, really, without spoilers. And then next thing I know, I’m crying again. But the good cry. The beyond good type of cry and smiling and just happy. And it’s only like 60-ish%, so I’m cautious and waiting for the other shoe to drop. And then it’s the end of Part One. And there’s two words that end it. And if you’ve read this then I’m sure you know what I mean. I cried. I turned off my Kindle. I just didn’t want to know what those two words would turn into. I couldn’t move on to Part Two. Not yet. I almost quit again! It was getting to be too much.It took me about an hour to be able to pick it up again. Honestly I couldn’t not know. And I think from that point on is where I was really touched by the definition of their family. Lake, Will, Kel, Caulder, Eddie, Gavin, Kiersten and Sherry. I mean they have other people in their lives but when push comes to shove those people would all do just about anything for each other. And it was awesome. I was a bit suspicious at first with the addition of Kiersten and Sherry but by the end I don’t think anything would have been the same without them. Especially Kiersten who taught me my last thing. Sometimes it feels good to stand up for yourself and just say “Butterfly you”.

⭐ Point of Retreat was every bit as good as Slammed! We getting to see the ups and downs of Will and Lake’s relationship. As ever Colleen’s writing has me in tears but most of all I found myself shaking my head at Will and the way he did almost everything in this book. Colleen knows her characters and knows how to tell a great story.Will number one problem in this book was he just didn’t know what to do in his relationship with Lake it was so not like any other relationship he has had before. (oh and that comes into play in the story too) Will did a lot of stupid stuff when it can to Lake, keeping things from her and then not expressing his feeling to he in away that she new he meant what he was telling her. All she wanted was his actions to follow his words but they weren’t exactly matching up.Lake and Will’s relationship takes hit after hit in this book and when we think everything is going to be ok with them again we get blind sided with something else. I can tell you this Colleen really knows how to keep her reader into a story. We get to meet a few new characters so good some not so good. My fav. New characters are Sherry and her daughter Kiersten. Kiersten is the same age as the boys and the wacky things that come out of her mouth just make you go WTH. I really like it that she give better advice than most of the other older characters. Sherry is just as out spoken as Kiersten, Eddie, Lake, and Julia. I love that we feel the spirit of Julia through out the book, that Lake and Will wouldn’t be where they are with out her.The poems in the book is one of most heart warming and funny parts. (butterflying lol) Through out the whole book surprises kept popping up and from different angles. I liked that we got to see Point of Retreat from Will’s side of things it really gives you a look into his head. It shows you how much he cares for Lake when in Slammed you really aren’t to sure. I am excited to read the last book in this series but at the same time I wish I could have more its that kind of series. Here are some of my fav. Quotes ( it was hard to pick just a few because I highlighted most of my ebook copy)“Love is the most beautiful thing in the world. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest things in the world to hole on to, and one of the easiest things to throw away.”“I wonder if this is how parenting is with real parents. A bunch of pretending to be responsible grown-ups.”“She loves me. She just doesn’t like me right now.”“My grandmother rolls her eyes at my perceived ignorance. 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.”“I decide to grab inspiration out of the jar. I unfold the star and read it life’s hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid -John Wayne I sigh. I miss Julia’s sense of humor.”“There are moments in every relationship that define when two people start to fall in love.”“Okay. Would you rather I looked like Hugh Jackman or George Clooney? Johnny Depp, she says. That answer was a little too fast for my comfort. What the hell,Lake? You’re supposed to say Will! You’re supposed to say you want me to look like me! But you weren’t one of the options, she says. Neither was Johnny Depp

⭐ This is the second book in the Slammed series by Colleen Hoover. This book is told through Will’s POV. It starts a few months after Lake’s mom died; and the beginning of the new college semester. Things are going really good for Lake and Will. They have a nice routine set with Kel and Caulder, and Eddie and Gavin. We get introduced to a few new characters, Kiersten being one who stole every scene that she was in. As history seems to repeat itself with a Colleen Hoover book, when things are going too good, she likes to throw in some angst. A couple of people from Will’s past show up, one whom could change Will and Lake’s relationship. Is Will and Lake’s love strong and true enough to survive his past? Once again, I am just in awe of what Colleen Hoover writes. Some of the things in this book are just beautiful. One page had me swooning, the next had me laughing, the next had me on the edge of my seat, the next had me shedding tears, and the next had me turn around and be so happy for these characters. Every part of this book was pure satisfaction. I didn’t go more than a couple of pages without finding a new favorite line of the book. We get to see a few more slams that are just perfection. How does Colleen Hoover do it?! I’m very excited and a bit sad to start the next book in the series, This Girl, because I can’t wait to read more from Colleen Hoover; and I will have read every book from Colleen Hoover when I finish. It’s bittersweet. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite lines: ‘Sometimes two people have to fall apart to realize how much they need to fall back together.’

⭐ WOW this was the perfect sequel to Slammed! 6 stars!! I LOVED IT!! An absolute MUST read! A butterflying amazing book!!!This series is definitely going on my favorites pile. I finished reading it with my cheeks wet with happy tears. But boy is this book intense !! It had me laughing and crying, it made my heart race and I swear it stopped beating all together for several chapters. Just like with the first book, I love how absolutely none of the characters make stupid decisions or do stupid things. I love the love that Will and Lake share both for each other and for their brothers. I love how each and every one of the side characters and main characters were characters I’d want to read whole books about. I have come to love slam poetry (well, at least the ones from this book, I don’t really have any other experience with it). I loved that this book was from Will’s perspective. I love how the author integrated lyrics, and poetry throughout the story bringing deeper meaning to an already intensely emotional read. And I loved the HEAThis story is about realizing and holding on to love and about how love (both romantic love, friendship love, and family love) can be found in the most unlikely of places. It’s also centers on a lot of themes of responsibility and maturity. I love the unusual family unit that is built in this story. I’d love to read more about all the characters in this book… Honestly, I think I’ll read anything Ms Howard writes next. I love her writing style. Its simple, beautiful, powerful and keeps you riveted to the page.Definitely be sure to read book 1, Slammed, first. I’d recommend these books to pretty much anyone and everyone who loves to read. Truly wonderful books <36 stars

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