June 8, 2011

Review: Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Published: April 2011
Available for purchase via Amazon, Barnes & Noble

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. {Synopsis from Goodreads}

Let me just get this out there, I LOVED this book. This is one of those books that captures your attention and pulls you through the book at an alarming speed. I didn’t want to put the book down; I stayed up to obscene hours of the night reading just because it was that good.
Julie Seagle has always tried to fit in but hasn’t really found her place in the world. She believes that college is the new start for her, so she embarks on this journey in Boston miles away from everyone she knows. She finds herself a victim of a craigslist scam and with no home or money; she does the only thing an eighteen year can she calls home. Out of pure desperation she finds herself staying a couple of days with her mom’s college friend. This is where the journey begins for Julie.
This story was about finding yourself and helping others in the process. You also get a look into the lives of a very dysfunctional family. Julie finds herself tangled in the mix of what makes this family run and how they deal with some of the issues that they are faced. The romance in the story wasn’t rushed but perfectly paced and the timing of the events was on point. I didn’t’ feel like I was being rushed through the story at all. Usually when you read a book you connect with the main character and don’t always connect with the secondary characters, this isn’t the case in this book. I connected with all of the characters, Julie, Celeste, Matt, Finn and Erin they each brought something to the story with their unique traits. The story was intricately woven to pull you through this emotional rollercoaster ride with Julie.
I loved the Facebook updates in the beginning of each chapter, I thought they were genius. There was also a sky diving scene that I loved, the description had me mesmerized and ready to jump out of a plane.
This is one of the few books that actually stole my heart and I was sad to see it end. This book had me enchanted well after I turned the last page.
I am not a very big fan of YA contemporary but this story was the exception. If you haven’t read it, you definitely need to. You would be so glad you did.
I give this book 5 stars!


  1. I just bought this book on my nook b/c of this review! It sounds really good and I can't wait to start it. Thanks!

  2. Ok wow...just saw that the book is 765 pages. Oh well, still looks good :)

  3. Kristina:
    Yay! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. When your reading it, it doesn't seem that long.

  4. Thank you for the awesome review!

    Um... the book is 80,000 words, though. It is definitely not 765 pages! Where is it listing as being so ridiculously long? Oh, no...

  5. OK, I am all straightened out. I had no idea that the book looked so long when downloaded, LOL! It's not a scary length, though, I promise. :)

  6. oh this sounds like a fabulous book! Definitely added to my list! Great review!

  7. This isn't usually my kind of thing, but it does sound really good. Plus i like a long book sometimes. Will have to get this.


  8. This book sounds really cute! Nice review :)

  9. FB updates?? That sounds awesomsauce! Knock you to your kness romance AND you cried? I must check this out!

    Great review!


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