March 26, 2014

It Runs in the Family: It's Time to Jump

My sister Melissa is back on the blog to be a (semi) regular reviewer starting this month! Mel reads a lot of paranormal YA, as well as NA novels, so she'll be posting about books that I might not necessarily read (or haven't gotten to just yet). 

Flat Out Love - Jessica Park
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Publication Date: April 11, 2011
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

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. 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. 

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 was flat-out amazing. There, I said it. It made me laugh a lot, made me cry just a little – but all things considered, for such a simple story, there’s a lot of depth to it. I would like to say it’s an easy read, but if you’re the emotional type (and I say this because I can totally relate), this book will really hit the mark. I could not seem to put it down, which made me miss one too many stops on the subway.

+ The Story: What I love most about the story is the fact that it’s centered on more than just the romance. If anything, it’s about family. Julie didn’t see this one coming when she moved to Boston for college. To have to deal with freshman year is already something, right? But adding a whole family to the mix? It definitely changes a lot of things, especially when the Watkins we’re talking about seem to be anything but normal. Between the odds and ends, it’s easy to predict what caused all the unusual quirks and personalities (I’m sure you’ll be able to guess why too), but it’s fascinating to see how Julie navigates her way through and how the family in turn, is changed forever.

+ The Characters: I’d have to say Flat Finn is one of my favorites. You’ll get what I mean when you read the book. Besides, “You can never be too rich or too Finn.” I also have a soft spot for Celeste. She’s the youngest of the Watkins, and by far the most interesting. She’s always had a quirkiness about her which can be quite awkward at times, but that’s just who she is – beautiful, incredibly smart and full of curiosity. You know those types of people that thirst for knowledge and revel in it? She’s one of them. And of course there’s this other thing – which I just can’t tell you. You’ll have to find out for yourself, and how this makes Celeste even more unique than she already is.

+ The Main Man: Oh Matty, you’re already swoon-worthy with your good looks and the fact that you’re a family guy. Add intelligence to the mix? Sold. He’s one hot nerd, that’s for sure. A good son, and an even greater brother – that’s already thousands of good points in my book. Add on these other amazing things about his personality that he desperately tries to hide? I’m telling you guys – mystery or no mystery, nerd, family guy…I’ll take them all. Honestly, I don’t know what turned me on more: his way with words or his ability to throw out random facts about anything and everything? Did I mention that he’s a Math geek? Definitely, my kind of guy.

+ The Romance: Predictable, yes. Ordinary, no. 

+ The Unforgettable Lines:

“Good. I think I’m falling for you. Let’s not pull this chute.”

“Obviously, you don’t like the way I do things, and you don’t like me the way I am. Fine. I couldn’t care less. But stop trying to change me. You don’t get to pick which parts of me you find acceptable and throw away what you don’t.”

“But that’s what love does to you. Gut-wrenching, overpowering, crushing, fulfilling, complex, bring-you-to-your-knees love.”

The Watkins are certainly an interesting bunch, but so is our dear Julie. If not the unusual way of doing things, the silly conversations, the endless knowledge debates, or unique personalities, it’s the heartwarming journey itself that will reel you in. This book deserves *snaps* and I would definitely recommend that you give it a read. In Celeste’s own words: Now, it’s time to jump.


  1. So glad you enjoyed this! FOL is one of my favorites because it includes not only romance, but interesting family dynamics. Celeste's story is ocming out very soon, can't wait!!

  2. Flat-Out Love is one of my all time favorite books. I love Matty so so much, and Julie's narration is both hilarious and emotional. Did you hear she's writing Flat-Out Celeste?! Ohhhh and you have to read Flat-Out Matt too!

    1. I couldn't agree more! And yes, both of these are on my to-read list! Can't wait <3

  3. I loved this one, too. I was expecting a lot of fluff, but I was not expecting to fall in love with the characters. Matt in particular. Such a great little book, and I will definitely be reading the book from Matt's POV soon!

  4. ALEXA! I am so pumped up to hear that Flat Out Love is flatout amazing, ha ha. I have this on my Kindle and I've really been on a New Adult bender these past few days, like I whipped my way through the Marked Men books and I do not even know what to read next and maybe this might be my next New Adult, although I am kind of prone to reading physical copies.

    Anyways! I can't wait to read this and to meet Matt and Julie and the Walkers!


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