Latest Read: Flat-Out Love

Here are the basics ...
BookFlat-Out Love
Author: Jessica Park
Category: Young Adult 

My thoughts...
Summary:  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.  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. (Adapted from Goodreads)

The good:  I'm kind of in love with Flat-Out Love right now (cheesy but true).  It's such a deceiving book.  Even though I knew the story involved a dysfunctional family, the cover and title make you think it's going to be a cute, light read.  But it's much more complex than that.  Almost every character is well-developed.  Julie is 18 years old and starting college.  She doesn't really fit into any specific stereotype which was probably my favorite thing about her.  She's smart and enjoys learning, likes to have fun but isn't a crazy party girl, quirky and honest. Completely comfortable in her own skin.  (This is my favorite kind of female protagonist; and if I'm being completely honest, the type of gal I hope I am / want to be).

Julie ends up forming relationships with almost everyone in the Watkins family, but especially with Matt, Celeste and Finn.  Celeste becomes the little sister she never had and it's rare that you read about this type of relationship in a YA book.  Matt.. I'm not sure how to describe how he ends up fitting into Julie's life but I kind of love him.  And Finn.  I want a boy to send me Facebook messages and IM me the way he does.  Which leads me to my other favorite aspect of the book - all the social media! (I'm such a nerd.) But  all the references to Facebook and Twitter felt so true to life; it made the book seem more up-to-date compared to the other YA novels I've read.

The bad: The dialogue in the book is very witty and at times, I would find myself wondering if people really talked like this.  I don't think it's a bad thing per se because a lot of the conversations made me laugh but it's something to think about if that sort of thing bothers you.

Do I recommend?:  Yes! The day after I finished the book, I ended up re-reading my favorite parts (always a good sign).  I couldn't stop thinking about it.  Even when I thought I had the book all figured out, it still managed to surprise me in this tremendous way.  Definitely read this one.

Happy reading!


with love,