A SOCIAL MEDIA LOVE STORY OF OUR GENERATION!
Title: FLAT-OUT LOVE
Author: Jessica Park
Genre: Young Adult – Collage Romance
He was wall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read “Nietzsche Is My Homeboy”.
So that was Matt, Who Julie Seagle likes A Lot. But there is also Finn. Who she flat out loves.
Complicated? Awkward? Completely.
But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with a family of an old friend of her mother’s? This was all supposed to be temporary. Julie wasn’t supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she’s never quite met. But what does that really matter? Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have a connection.
But here’s the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations—it always throws you a few curves. And no one ever escapes unscathed.
I really enjoyed reading this book because it was unlike any other book that I have read to date. At first, I was unsure if I was going to enjoy it, since the first few chapters were a bit slow but I kept on reading and I am glad that I did! Once I had finished the book it stayed with me and was constantly on my mind for a few days. I kept thinking back on clues I missed or assumptions I made along the way, which made me go back through the book and re-read parts to see it in a different light once all the twists and turns had been unveiled.
Flat-Out Love is romantic, sad, mysterious, witty and quirky. This book is very well written and has a unique storyline. Flat-Out Love is an epic love story which blossoms through social-media platforms we have available to us today, such as Facebook. Jessica Parks did a fantastic job of creating romantic tension and chemistry throughout the book through her expressions of cyber communication. This somewhat eased the avid romance reader’s desire for physical chemistry that wasn’t delivered until the end of the book, and I must admit I would have been happy with a little more after all the attraction that was created between these two characters!
While I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot, I will just explain that this story is about a girl named Julie Seagle, from Ohio who moved to Boston to start her freshman year at collage only to find out that the accommodation she had arranged through Craigslist had been a hoax. Her mum ends up contacting her long lost friend from college, Erin Watkins, and arranges for Julie to stay with Erin and her family. Once Julie meets the family, it is clear that there is something majorly wrong, especially with Erin’s daughter Celeste. Celeste is thirteen and is extremely intelligent but lacks interpersonal and social skills. She is extremely attached to her older brother Finn, who has left home on a travelling adventure. What Julie finds the most strange is that the family goes along with Celeste’s attachment to Finn like it is normal for her to be that way. Julie finds herself on a mission to discover what happened to Celeste to cause this attachment, but with Celeste’s Dad constantly travelling for work, her Mum who is a workaholic and her brother Matt who is very protective and private regarding his family and particularly Celeste, the only other person she can try and get answers from is Finn. Through her communications with Finn, a relationship blossoms and Julie finds herself falling in love. What she discovers through her time with this very dysfunctional family, who are desperately trying to keep it together by wearing a mask of normality, is that each family member is battling their own turmoil and guilt. As it would turn out, Julie is exactly what this family needs to come together again and breathe and be happy!
Thinking about this story, I believe Jessica Park wrote a very clever, heartwarming book that is full of meaning. I got emotionally involved with each and every one of these characters in a way I hadn’t anticipated, maybe because the situation is so plausible for any modern family, that I could relate to these characters on different levels and understand what they were going through. I was elated that the Watkins family found a light at the end of the tunnel which guided them towards a happy ending.
Definitely give this book a read, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you will enjoy going on a journey of self-discovery with these characters.