Friday, August 2, 2013

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park


He was tall, 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 the 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 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 looked up Flat-Out Love after reading post after post of glowing recommendations from several blogs I follow.  After reading the Amazon description, I rolled my eyes a little at the thought of yet another story with a love triangle being the main point.  However, after reading a few books with the brooding bad boy/soul-mates at first sight scenarios, I was ready for something a little lighter & decided to give this one a chance. What I found was a story that was so much more than I imagined.

The characters were all well written. For once, I didn't have an obvious pick for who to root for in the love triangle. Both Matt & Finn are wonderful in their own ways, but they almost became secondary to me because who I was rooting for the most was their little sister Celeste. She was so original. Quirky & dysfunctional, but likable in her oddness.  I kept picturing this little girl carrying around a life-sized cardboard boy & laughing. I laughed a lot while reading this book. The online interaction between Julie, Matt & Finn made me wish that I was that witty...or that my friends were.

I figured out the main plot about a third of the way through. At first I was mad...I was enjoying the book so much I wanted it to be more surprising. It's not atypical for me to figure out where books are going these days, but I was sad that I had figured this one out so early. However, as I kept reading, I discovered that the further I got into the story the less it mattered. ME not knowing what was going on wasn't the point. The point was that Julie didn't know what was going on. And then I discovered this quote I had missed just inside the cover:

“It's not what you know-or when you see-that matters. It's about the journey.”

Well, Jessica, I'm glad I went on the journey with you! Thank you for your wonderful characters and this amazing story!

I will resist saying more because I believe that the less you know going into this story, the better.

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