Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Flat-Out LoveTitle: Flat-Out Love 
Author: Jessica Park
Publishing Date: April 11th 2011
Pages: 391
Genre:  New Adult Realistic Fiction
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Kindle Edition


Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance.

Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.

When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That's because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie's suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

Flat-Out Love comes complete with emails, Facebook status updates, and instant messages.

I have seen this book around and honestly didn't know what to think about it. I wasn't much on the cover but for some reason I kept getting drawn back to it. I started to read reviews and they were really good reviews.... so I read it, I loved it, I can't get over it. 

Julie leaves home for college. When she gets to the address she supposed to live.. it doesn't exist. Her mother was conned. Now she is a stranger in a big city, no money, and no where to live. Julie's mother call and old college friend to the rescue. Julie now has a place to stay, still a stranger and no money, but a place to stay with a very interesting and odd family. The longer she stays at the Watkins house, the more confused she gets, and the more she falls in love... with everyone. Friendships are made and lost, hearts are broken, and devastating secrets are revealed. The Watkins house of mystery was not on Julie's college to do list, but its an experience she will never forget. 

Oh I so loved this book. It was a great love story, coming of age, realistic fiction, mystery, and comedy all in one book. I really didn't know what to expect when I started the book, but it didn't take me long at all to fall in love with the story, the characters, and everything in between. The writing was great, full of comic relief when needed and very well paced. I did see the end coming, the book was a little predictable for me but I have to admit, even when I predicted it...the book would start making second guess myself... just to find out I was right. It was a very entertaining and enlightening read. 

I loved the characters. Everyone who reads my reviews knows I am very character driven reader. I have to know my characters intimately. I felt that I knew these characters inside and out. I knew their reactions, their relationships, and their secrets... well I was pretty sure I knew their secrets. Every character was unique and had something to just adore about them. The main character Julie was amazing.. yes at times I wanted to knock her across the back of the head. She was clueless at times and very naive. That did change and she did grow throughout the story. What I loved about her was her attitude. She was very snarky... yup my favorite... but very positive and really wanted to do what she could for others.  Celeste won my heart from the very beginning. A very troubled but sweet little girl. Smart, adorable, annoying (in the good way), I just wanted to take her home to be my little sister. Oh and Matt... Wonderful but I hated him all at the same time. There were many times in the book I was yelling at him. He was so stupid at times, I knew his heart and wanted him to follow it... but what is there to say... Stupid boy!!!! Finn was a great character too. Very sweet, smart, almost too good to be true. 

For sure the best set of characters in any book I have read for a very long time! 

A very memorable read. It did cause a book hangover and I am not sure how long it will take me to get over it! Really read it, it's just that good. 


  1. YAY! I'm so glad you loved this! It was one of the very first YA contemporary novels (along with The Fault in Our Stars) that I read last January which started my obsession with the genre. I absolutely loved the characters! I had no idea what was going to happen and totally bawled like a baby toward the end. I loved it. I wish it got more attention! Great review. :)

  2. Someone else rec'd this to me the other day. I'm going to have to pick it up soon...I think I saw it on Audible. :) Great review!


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