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.
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace (July 27, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1461085977
- ISBN-13: 978-1461085973
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.
About the book from Goodreads:
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.
My take on this book:
Flat-Out Love is fantastic! The story easily drew me in. Julie Seagle is a girl from Ohio who heads to Boston to attend Whitney College. When she arrives in Boston though the housing her mother had arranged for her fell thru, well actually it was a deal gone bad on Craigslist. So Julie is in Boston and has no place to go until her mother calls her old college friend Erin Watkins. Erin immediately sends her son Matt to pick Julie up inviting her to come stay with them until she can find a place to stay. The Watkins family welcomes Julie into their lives, but something doesn't seem right. Erin and Ron seem a bit distant, Finn the older brother is traveling abroad, Matt is immersed in school and thirteen year old Celeste is carrying around a life sized cut out she calls Flat Finn which is a life sized cut out of her older brother Finn. As Julie continues to grow closer to the Watkins will she figure out what's going on in the family?
I loved the main characters of Matt and Julie, the banter between the two was great. Matt was labeled a geek, but actually I felt like Julie was a geek as well, although she tried to hide it. She was a smart, witty girl who was dealing with a father who was not only absent but clueless as well. For me she was easy to connect with. I really liked the character of Celeste, it was so nice to see her change and grow through out the story.
This is one of those stories that takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride, there were several laugh out loud moments, but many serious ones as well. While I sort of guessed early on what the secret was it was still a bit of a shocker when it was actually revealed. Even though this book is geared toward young adults I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading family drama,and yes there is a romance but what kept me reading was the strong ,well developed characters and great plot. Recommended!
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About the author:
Jessica Park is the author of FLAT-OUT LOVE, the YA novel RELATIVELY FAMOUS, and five Gourmet Girl mysteries (written as Jessica Conant-Park). She grew up in the Boston area and then went to Macalester College in frigid St. Paul, Minnesota. During her freshman year, there was a blizzard on Halloween, and she decided that she was not cut out for such torture. So she moved back to the east coast where, she'd forgotten, it still snows. Oh, well. She now lives in New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dog named Fritzy, and two selfish cats. When not writing, she is probably on Facebook, pining over 80s rock stars or searching for a caffeine fix. Oh, and she's a complete Gleek.
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