Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Book Synopsis:
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 give this book at 4.75 out of 5 stars!  I FLAT OUT LOVED IT!  I was drawn in from the get go!  Poor Julie's college experience was not starting out on the best foot at all and then she gets thrown into the Watkins family who has there own quirks!  She is great about it though and just rolls with the punches.

I was instantly taken with Celeste she is quiet the character.  Then there is Matt who although seems like the total geek I really liked him and loved his friendship with Julie.  Finn was the mysterious older brother off living the adventurous life.  Then there was the odd parents who never seemed to be around.  Something was just off and as much as I tried to put my finger on it I just wasn't sure?!?!

This book has some really funny moments!  Love the Facebook status updates--they are fabulous!  The instant messages between Finn and Julie go from make you laugh to OMG!! When you get to the elevator IM's you will know what I mean.  Matt's T-shirts are funny!  This book will just take you in!! You will laugh, cry, your heart will beat fast and your stomach will get butterflies!

When the big secret comes out I was so upset for Julie, for the Watkins family for everything they have been living through.  It was almost too much.  My heart was truly breaking.  So I stayed up into the wee hours of the night to finish the book and see what would happen.  I don't want to give anything away so all I will say is you MUST READ THIS BOOK!!!


Some of my favorite lines:

  • “If you can't stop thinking about someone's update, that's called "status cling.”
  • “Normal people can become very annoying if put in annoying situations.”
  • “You can look back now and see how you should have known, but you were focusing on the facts instead of the feeling.”  
  • “So we've pulled the chute, and we're drifting, riding the sky. It's just you and me. You can hear me now that we're falling like this, remember? I tell you that I don't want this to end. I don't want to land and reach the real world, because I like our world up here better.”
  • “He just wasn’t the guy, you know? I want the guy. The everything guy. Not the dumb Prince Charming, nauseatingly-perfect everything guy. That’s pathetic. I want the flaws-and-all everything guy.”

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