Book Review: Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Flat-Out Love
Author: Jessica Park
Pages: 400 Paperback
Reading Level: YA
Published: April 11th 2011
Review Source: Author
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound

Summary: (from goodreads) 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.

Flat-Out Love was an insanely charming book. I haven't fully read a book in one day in a long while. It had me captivated before the first chapter ended.

Julie is a college student just starting college in Boston, but gets screwed on her apartment. She ends up staying with a friend of her mothers, and meets a very eccentric family. There are parents who are teachers and are very upbeat it seems, a middle son who attends MIT and wears amazingly awesome t-shirts, to a younger daughter who is slightly on the quirky side. The daughter, Celeste carries around a Flat Finn, which is a cut out of her older brother Finn who is travelling around the world.

Finn is very elusive but Julie makes contact with him through facebook and a connection is made. It keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out why the sister carries around a cut out of her brother plus many other family dynamics. Matt, the middle brother has an amazingly dry humor that you cannot just be enchanted by him and Celeste makes you want to just sit down and listen to her speak.

Flat-Out Love has many laugh-out-loud moments and times where you want to just cry your eyes out. The characters have facebook updates throughout the book that make it very relatable with how much technology is used nowadays. This book is a definitely a GREAT book that is a MUST read.


  1. Thank you so much, Monica! I will carry around the words "insanely charming" with me for weeks.

  2. You're very welcome Jessica! I loved the book so much i think i was recommending the book to my friends before i was even finished! :)


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