4.5 StarsI'm not really sure what to say about this book. Until about 60% it was very like any other YA book you've read or heard about. It was good, but not great and in a few places, even a bit "cheesy". Then, BAAM!The last 40% of the book was just one BOOM after another. What did I like about this book?1 -- The story itself. Slammed is a phrase used for a poetry reading that is so raw it has to be acted out. I can't even describe it. At times it is so revealing by the participants, that even reading about it makes you uncomfortable. I've never thought much about poetry really. But, this book brings it to a whole other level. It is so much a part of who Will is, it is almost like the air he breathes.***spoiler alert***There are so many stories, inside of stories in this book. You have an 18 year old girl trying to finish her senior year after her father dies of a sudden heart attack. Her remaining family relocates, so you have this "new school" dynamic too. Then you have her meeting a best friend that also happens to be a foster child. And Eddie is remarkable. Then, Layken moves in across the street from a boy who is raising his brother after their parents die and they fall immediately into a deep relationship... then she finds out he is an intern teacher at her school, making their relationship taboo. Then, if this isn't enough, she finds out her mother moved them not because the house was too expensive to maintain in Texas, but because she wanted to be closer to family in Michigan because she is dying with lung cancer.WOW! You can't imagine all this working in a story, but it does. And, the last 30 pages or so I was just bawling. Boo.. Hoo.. bawling. I was so not prepared for this, but like a car wreck you can't look away from, this book just made me keep reading; very compelling.So, I wouldn't recommend to someone wanting a light read. Or to someone who maybe doesn't need or want to shed a tear, but I would recommend to really anyone. It is a story with a great deal of life tackled head on by some really remarkable people, who are really everyday you and me people. And, there is strength in that!Happy Reading!Oh, why not 5 stars? Because there was a bit of cheese in the beginning and it was a bit annoying!