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review 2016-03-02 12:07
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park - Review
Flat-Out Love - Jessica Park

I admit, the only reason I read Flat Out Love was because it was this month pick of my book club BookCirle. I would have never picked it up since I find the German title sounds childish and the cover not very attractive. But in the end I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.


The book is about “Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of the Watkins family’s Boston house. 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.” (Goodreads)


I enjoyed the beginning of the book very much. I had discovered that I really like stories about Freshman College when main characters enter the “adult-world” and find their way around campus. So the beginning of Flat-Out Love played exactly into this. Unfortunately, the story soon focused on the family dynamics. While I still enjoyed that - because the family is just a huge mess - I was disappointed that the college experience was completely ignored.


Like I said the story focuses on the characters. We have the main character Julie, who I found kind of bland. Beside her tainted relationship to her father there was nothing interesting about her. She is pretty, but not too much, smart, but not too much, kind, but not too much. Everything about her is just very, very perfectly ordinary.


The Watkins parents drove me nuts. They were nice and all, but they completely failed as parents. Matt, the one brother who is an MIT student, was kind of interesting but I found his character not very thought through. On the one hand he was supposed to be this nerd who is socially awkward, but on the other hand he was always socially perfect and self-confident when it fit the author’s mood. Somehow those two sides of him didn’t fit together.


Then there is Finn, the older brother and love interest of Julie. He seems like a dream guy. Good looking, smart and fun to be around. So to me the hardest part were all the facebook posts and email exchanges. I don’t like reading those. I can’t build a connection to characters through that.


The most interesting character in this book is Celeste who carries around a cardboard cut-out of her brother Finn. From the beginning the reader can tell that something has happened in this family and trying to figure out what it was, is what carries the story. There were many moments in this books where I thought, that everyone was just ignoring and tolerating behaviors and obvious malfunctions just to keep the secret hidden. That was something I really did not like.


At the end I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought. It is a light, quick read. I think most readers will guess the secret sooner or later but it is still an enjoyable book.

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review 2016-02-10 00:00
Flat-Out Love
Flat-Out Love - Jessica Park This review was originally posted on Bookish Things & More

Quickie Review

While listening to this book, it reminded me a lot of the movie Running with Scissors.  The Watkins are really quirky, and unconventional.  They are hiding something but Julie can't figure it out.


There are some hilarious moments.  The status updates would have me giggling, and the way Julie responds to situations are funny at times.  She takes it all in, and just goes with the flow.


I kind of figured out what was going on by the middle of the book, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable.  I loved seeing how Julie's presence help this family.  Things needed to be said and actions needed to be taken in order for the Watkins to become a family again.


There are ups and downs, broken hearts, and tragic situations.  Overall, there is growth and coming to terms with things that have happened.

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review 2015-10-05 00:00
Flat-Out Love
Flat-Out Love - Jessica Park http://megansbookmaddness.blogspot.com/2015/10/flat-out-love-by-jessica-park.html

um... I don't know how I feel about this book.. I know I am gad I didn't pay for it. It was cute... I mean it was obvious what was going on from the beginning and the whole thing was just strange. The characters were funny and thats the only thing that saved the book for me because I wanted to punch Julie so many times. Who falls in love with someone on Facebook?? Someone who they have never met or haven't even talked to on the phone. Finn could have been a 500 pound middle age woman. So I kinda hated her. and Matt.. really? yeah what a dick. I really don't understand what he was thinking like at all..at all. I don't get it. Even after I know the ending and I know everything I still do not understand why he did what he did. I am so confused by this book. I. am. done. I tried to talk about it with a coworker and she thought I was on crack. seriously try to explain this book to someone.. I dare you.
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text 2015-07-21 05:13
FLAT-OUT LOVE By Jessica Park $1.99
Flat-Out Love by Park, Jessica (2012) Paperback - Jessica Park
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review 2015-02-10 00:00
Flat-Out Love
Flat-Out Love - Jessica Park,Julia Whelan Audiobook rating: 3.5 stars
Book rating: 3 stars

Initial thoughts: Well, Flat-Out Love was something. The resolution was twisted and yet I kinda expected it by the time I reached about a third of the book. Personally, I thought Matt was a disturbing character but in light of all that had happened, the plot and the characters did fit together. Some parts went rather slow but listening to the audiobook at 3x speed helped me pull through in the end. My favourite character was definitely Celeste. She obviously suffered from some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder and her family had no idea how to deal. I liked seeing how she slowly opened up and got better with Julie (the MC) around.

On a side note, Flat-Out Love is a perfectly good standalone book. It doesn't need the two companion novels about Matt and Celeste. With that, here's to adding to my uncompleted series count because I'm downright certain that I won't read the other two books in the series.
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