Flat-Out Love

Flat-Out Love

4.5 221
by Jessica Park
     
 

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Chosen as a 2014 YALSA Amazing Audiobook for Young Adults

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

Overview

Chosen as a 2014 YALSA Amazing Audiobook for Young Adults

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
09/01/2015
Julie, a young student, moved to Boston for her freshman year of college, without a place to live. She goes to live with one of her mother's friends and finds herself growing closer to this strange, eccentric family, especially brothers Matt and Finn.
Heather Webber
Humorous, thoughtful, clever, and at times heartbreaking, Flat-out Love is about love, loss, and the great lengths a family will go to protect one of their own. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll root for a seemingly elusive happily ever after. No doubt about it, Flat-out Love is flat-out fabulous.
Lindsay Jones
This book was so outrageously good... It's at the top of my favorites. It has surpassed...dare I say it?...my deeply beloved Nicholas Sparks. Park wrote a novel unlike any other... Characters? Check. Fantastic writing? Check. A book that clearly stands out among any other? Check. A book that is so wonderful that I practically demand that you buy it right now so we can talk about it? Check.
Ashley Booklabyrinth.blogspot.com
I loved it so much that I’m already considering how long I should wait before re-reading it. Yes, I loved it that much... The romance in this one is amazing because it’s a slow building, feel it in your stomach kind of love...
Caitlyn Henderson
This is a beautifully written novel with incredibly crafted characters. Every person in the story feels like someone I know personally. I was drawn so deeply into the story that I stayed up all night finishing the book. The end may not be what everyone expects but the journey is everything.
Shel Franz
Jessica Park has put out a YA novel that pushes the boundaries. Instead of another vampire book, she chose to treat us to a look at a uniquely dysfunctional family. Absorbing reading for any student of psychology, or just humanity in general; this book explores what happens when you drop a stranger into a family who is adept at covering up their past pain - to the point of denying it.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781477810255
Publisher:
Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
09/11/2012
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
202,765
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
15 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Jessica Park mines the territory of love’s growing pains with wit, sharp insights, and a discernible heat and heartbeat. Her previous novels include Flat-Out Love, Relatively Famous, and she authored the e-shorts What the Kid Says (Parts 1 and 2) and Facebooking Rick Springfield. Visit her at jessicapark.me.

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Flat-Out Love 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 221 reviews.
Meg-ABookishAffair More than 1 year ago
Oh man, I had to fight with myself to not try to read this book too quickly. I didn't want it to end (the mark of a really good book). Julie moves into her mom's old college roommate's house with her and her family. Off the bat, Julie notices something is wrong with the family. They all seem to be living different lives under the same roof. There's a mystery here but Julie doesn't know if she'll figure out what's going on. I kind of figured out what was going on pretty early in the book but the secret is so strange and interesting, I couldn't help but keep reading to figure out what was really going on and how everything was going to come together. Park does a great job of giving hints little by little. I kind of want to go back and read the book again to see if there were any hints that I missed. I really, really liked how the dialogue was written. I thought Park did a great job capturing the different voices of all the characters. I also really liked how Park was able to incorporate using Julie, Finn and Matt's Facebook statuses to set the scene of each chapter. This is a great book for YA lovers. I think you're in for a real treat. Bottom line: This is a fun read with sparkling dialogue and characters that you will really fall in love with.
LiteraryFool More than 1 year ago
It's not often that I'm sucked into a book as bad as I was with this one. Maybe it's just me trying to re-live my college days (just turned 30) or maybe I'm just a sucker for reading about the young love I never experienced, but this book was great! I thought something hokey was going on and I did figure out what really happened about half way through, but that didn't change anything. I shed some tears towards the end and snickered quite a few times. The storyline wasn't far out there, it was something that could actually (or maybe already did) happen to someone/some family. I thought the dialogue between Julie and her professor was well placed and provided insight into what was really going on in the family. Good, easy and fast read. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found myself chuckling out loud at many places in this story, Julie finds herself stuck with no apartment when she moves to Boston as a college freshman, and her mom calls her old college roomie who welcomes Julie into their home. It turns out to be a house filled with lots of mysteries, absentee parents, two brothers, Finn, the traveling older hottie brother, and Matt, the cute geek brother, and Celeste, the very mixed up younger sister. Even as the romance between Julie and Finn heats up on Facebook, could Matt be falling for her too? So much sexual tension in one house makes for a GREAT BOOK!! As a side-note, I loved how every chapter begins with each main characters' Facebook statuses. Readers from 16-50 will enjoy this. The humor reminded me of Bridget Jones.
LibraryMom4 More than 1 year ago
If you love to laugh and cry...read this book. It was so touching and wonderful. I keep re-reading my favorite parts. Jessica has really created wonderful characters, each with their own story. It's about sadness, family life, love....everything that we have experienced. Jessica has included social networking and writes with passion and zeal. I am going to buy a paper copy and give it to my library. This is a must read. Thank goodness...NO VAMPIRES or anything squishy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let me just get this out there, I LOVED this book. This is one of those books that captures your attention and pulls you through the book at an alarming speed. I didn't want to put the book down; I stayed up to obscene hours of the night reading just because it was that good. Julie Seagle has always tried to fit in but hasn't really found her place in the world. She believes that college is the new start for her, so she embarks on this journey in Boston miles away from everyone she knows. She finds herself a victim of a craigslist scam and with no home or money; she does the only thing an eighteen year can she calls home. Out of pure desperation she finds herself staying a couple of days with her mom's college friend. This is where the journey begins for Julie. This story was about finding yourself and helping others in the process. You also get a look into the lives of a very dysfunctional family. Julie finds herself tangled in the mix of what makes this family run and how they deal with some of the issues that they are faced. The romance in the story wasn't rushed but perfectly paced and the timing of the events was on point. I didn't' feel like I was being rushed through the story at all. Usually when you read a book you connect with the main character and don't always connect with the secondary characters, this isn't the case in this book. I connected with all of the characters, Julie, Celeste, Matt, Finn and Erin they each brought something to the story with their unique traits. The story was intricately woven to pull you through this emotional rollercoaster ride with Julie. There were moments in the book when I laughed out loud, found myself smiling, and then there were times when I cried. I loved the Facebook updates in the beginning of each chapter, I thought they were genius. There was also a sky diving scene that I loved, the description has me mesmerized and ready to jump out of a plane. This is one of the few books that actually stole my heart and I was sad to see it end. This book had me enchanted well after I turned the last page. I am not a very big fan of YA contemporary but this story was the exception. If you haven't read it, you definitely need to. You would be so glad you did. I give this book 5 stars!
BookLabyrinth More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I loved it so much that I had to tweet about it after finishing it. I loved it so much that I'm already considering how long I should wait before re-reading it. Yes, I loved it that much. There was just a really special feel about this book. It totally gripped me in this really interesting way, and I hope that my descriptions can do it justice. What I really loved about this book is that it is the perfect mix of family issues and love and romance. It is filled with impecible characterizations: even the smallest characters had personality. No one felt like they were just a filler name and face. Julie, our main character, is lovely. I felt like I knew her. In fact, all of the main characters felt real to me. It was a true family unit, and I cared about their situation. Contemporary romance is one of my favourites, and the romance in this one is amazing because it's a slow building, feel it in your stomach kind of love. I also love love when it's not the only story being told, because that's what real life is. Life is messy, with all kinds of issues getting in the way, and 'Flat-Out Love' doesn't shy away from that. Like I said, this is also a story about a family and their issues. That drama spearheads the book and has the spotlight just as much as the romance does. My one minor qualm is that I wish there had been more about Julie's first year in college, since that was what the book started off being about. However, I can understand why other things were focused on, and it didn't minimize my enjoyment of the book. Basically, this book just grabbed me and drew me in. The romance was quiet but lovely, and the family drama was always there, whether it be in the foreground or background. At times this story is intense with emotion, and other times it's just funny, or sentimental, or silly. It has a delightful quirkiness to it (a whole character that is a lifesized cut-out of the absent brother? what?), yet you can tell throughout the story that there's some deeper, possibly sinister, reality to it all. Unravelling the whole plot was fascinating, even when I made some correct guesses before Julie did herself. I don't often say that I highly recommend a book, but in this case: I highly recommend this book! Please check it out and support this awesome self-published author who has a ton of talent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked this book a lot. Good, interesting story. I did figure out the secret, but still liked it. Great storyline. (On a separate note I was a bit turned off by the author's 'lecture' at the front of the book about not using illegal file sharing sites. I personally did not appreciate this especially after paying for the book. Not everyone is accessing books illegally. There was probably a nicer way to get her point across).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. Started off slow in the beginning but overall AMAZING. Gave me stomach flips from the romance. (Reminds me of perfect chemistry) :)
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
A wonderful mix of quirky and smart humor. At the center we have a freshmen headed to school left without housing and must call on a distant family friend for temporary housing. This housing becomes anything but temporary and I am not sure even after finishing if she affected the family more or if the family she stayed with affected her more - up for debate. A few twists and turns, some I predicted, some came out of nowhere, but all fit great into the story. The one issue that affects the entire family - I was able to predict from pretty early on. But you know what, it didn't ruin the reading for me. I actually enjoyed it because I was able to spend the book waiting for the main character to find out what I already knew and how she found out and when she would find out. I don't often compare books to other books and things, but each time I cracked this book open it took me back to the days of watching Gilmore Girls. Have you ever read something and known that the conversation was just bouncing back and forth, well this book's quick conversations kept me going - I loved it. A book worth picking up on your next trip to the bookstore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the BEST books i have ever read on my nook. It keeps you interested and intrigued. It also gives you a surprise twist ending. Once you start reading this, you'll be hooked. I wouldnt recommend you a crappy book. If you like a good, page turning, stay up way too late, cry afew tears, and laugh out loud kinda of book....get this one! Its a very good read. Inspiring actually. Hats off to the author! Superb job and thanks for writing such a amazing book....and if you are thinking about buying it....do it! I promise its worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved loved loved this book. I finished it yesterday and still retain feelings about it! Amazing book!
sneps More than 1 year ago
In some ways, this was a modern tale of Mary Poppins, only this family is a bit more tragic. While Julie is seeking independence from home and moves away to attend college, she moves in with a family friend. Witnessing firsthand how far independence can push away people, how pain and time do stand still when not dealt with, and that people only see what they want, Julie faces some hard truths and realizes that nothing is ever at it seems. I FLAT-OUT LOVE this book, love the characters, and thought the book dealt with issues everyone can resonate with. I cried, I laughed, and overall enjoyed this book!
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
I flat out loved Flat Out Love. This story is so well written it pulled me right into it. I started thinking about it being one of my daughters going off to school and how they would react if their housing fell through and they were hundreds of miles away. I felt an immediate personal attachment to Julie. Thankfully she was a very mature college freshman because she was dropped into a very extraordinary situation. This is a true contemporary romance complete with the snippets of social media, a good bit of humor and mystery too. I have to say I ran the whole gambit of emotions while reading this wonderful story. The characters are eccentric, off beat and you may even use the word peculiar, but they are written so true that you can't help to fall for each and every one. You will also be surprised, shocked, mad, sad, heartbroken, happy and joyful all in the span of less than 400 pages. You will be laughing out loud one minute and ready to reach into the pages and slap a character the next. Plus the love story is amazing. This book hit me in a whole different way that any book I have read in a long time. Yes, I loved it as I have others, but this book was FUN!!! It was like a day out with a good friend, a day you didn't want to end. I found it to be inspiring. I immediately handed it to my 20 year old daughter and said "you have to read this!" There are very few books that I would call awesome, this is an AWESOME book. This book has earned a place on my keeper shelf because I know I am going to want to take this journey again and again. Five stars does not cover it, this book is off the charts. Have your ordered your copy yet? I am telling you this is a must read, A MUST READ!!! Then please come back and share your thoughts with me. I want to talk to everyone I know about this book!!! Jessica Park you have hit this one out of the park!!!!!!! I can't wait to read whatever you are working on next!!!! Disclosure of Material Connection: This book is from my private collection I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Book_WhispererJO More than 1 year ago
Flat-Out Love is a heart stopping love story that took my breath away. This young girl that finds herself about to begin college, and homeless after being scammed through the internet. Luckily, a family that happens to be her mother college buddy takes her in. Julie seems to make a sudden acclimation into this family. I was impressed by the author's ability to keep this from seeming unrealistic. It was entertaining to see the seeming sibling banter between Julie and Matt, and the older sister role that Julie embraces with Celeste. As the story begins to unravel the courage is evident in Julie to embrace the situation; rather than move on. She becomes determined to find a way to help Celeste and the rest of her family. She is aware that everything happening with Celeste is not only a danger to her, but Matt as well in that he no longer has a life of his own. Knowing full well that this was a romance novel; the author was creative in establishing relations with various characters. Readers will question "Is this it?" throughout the story. Although, I must say that once you have begun the romance it clear and concise. With a twist it this relationship it will transform, but it still breath taking throughout. This is by far one of the best romances I have read in my book blogging journey. This will definitely be a story that I will read many times over. I found myself up way into the morning hours just to finish this truly lovable story. The wit and charm of the novel with carry readers way. With just the right mixture of love, loss, and tragedy Flat-Out Love promises for a memorable spectacular read.
Heather-Webber More than 1 year ago
Humorous, thoughtful, clever, and at times heartbreaking, FLAT-OUT LOVE is about love, loss, and the great lengths a family will go to protect one of their own. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll root for that seemingly elusive happily ever after. No doubt about it, FLAT-OUT LOVE is flat-out fabulous.
BookBurn16 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored this book. The characters were really interesting to me, and I appreciated the intellect and dialogue and was compelled to read on. Their lives interested me. I knew what was happening early on, but this book isn't a mystery, this is about her experience with this family. I loved them all and I wanted to know them, I think it makes for good reading when we feel that way. I am someone who loves to read about family dynamics and friendships, so I enjoy books like these so much. I find them quite emotionally satisfying, like spending an afternoon with a friend. You find their stories interesting in a very relaxed and contemplative way. That is how this book made me feel. I think fans of Fault in Our Stars would enjoy this. I read that book before this one and found that I appreciate reading about young people that are smart, funny, witty as opposed to overtly vulgar and spoiled. I bought Flat Out Celeste and can't wait to read it. Jessica Park is on my short list for authors to look out for. This is the best self published book I've ever read and I've recommended it to so many people.
BecsL More than 1 year ago
I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book! Everyone kept telling me how wonderful it was and I was not disappointed. Jessica Park has written a true gem with Flat-Out Love. This book is enthralling from start to finish and absolutely one of a kind! Jessica Park has assembled a vibrant collection of characters that all bring unique voices and fun quirks to the story. Our heroine, Julie is smart, fun, and brilliantly sarcastic. Her interactions and conversations with the very nerdy and socially awkward Matt are perfectly amusing. Their witty banter kept me laughing, while their undeniable chemistry kept their relationship constantly on my mind. Matt’s little sister, Celeste is a very odd kid that I couldn’t help but love. Honestly, I had no idea that things would go the way they did. I knew there was a huge secret lurking around the corner, but I did not anticipate the magnitude or the emotional devastation, that would soon take over this journey. As much as this book was hysterical and daring, it was also honest and raw. Jessica Park isn’t afraid to discuss the tough stuff, tackling mental health issues, loss, betrayal, elusive joy, and hope all at once. Her character development is exquisite and as we felt time move forward, it was evident that Julie and the other characters were maturing and writing their own stories. I can’t wait to hear Matt’s side of this story and I am looking forward to many more books from Jessica Park.
Heather_Summers More than 1 year ago
I really liked this story, and loved getting to know the different characters. The conversations between the characters in this book were so funny, and I liked the way the story flowed. I loved Matt's character, but would have loved to know what was going on in his head during the story, so I can't wait to check out Flat Out Matt and Flat Out Celeste to see the other character's points of view.
songbirdsue More than 1 year ago
I found this story to be an emotional roller-coaster both heart warming and heart wrenching. You feel from the very start that each character has some form of dysfunction in their lives. It is an experience learning what each one is dealing with and how they deal or not. Trying to figure out all of the dysfunctional attributes of each character and then watching them begin to heal kept me engaged from the start.The banter between Matthew, Finn and Julie is clever and witty. Each character is vivid and real, with deep relationships that draw you in. I definite recommend. It does deal with some issues that I believe are better for older teens.
WolfFaerie17 More than 1 year ago
Julie Seagle thought she had an apartment all set up before coming to Boston but obviously that's not the case. Julie's mom Kate calls an old college classmate Erin Watkins to help. Julie meets the rest of the family~Matt, Roger, Celeste, Finn, and Flat Finn. Julie thinks the family is decidedly odd even though Julie's fixer tendencies come out in full force. As Julie gets to know the family better, discovers that not all is as it appears at first glance. Celeste is obviously hurting and uses Flat Finn as coping skill. Julie tries to encourage Celeste into new experiences much to Matt's dismay. Julie begs to know what the family secret is but to no avail. She tries to accept this but has difficulty doing so. Julie dates but finds that her feelings lie elsewhere. Julie's rotten relationship with her father doesn't help matters either. What is the family secret? Where do Julie's feelings lie? Can Celeste let go of Flat Finn? Your answers await you in Flat-Out Love. I'm stunned by the complexity of this book on so many levels. Julie is determined to fix things in others lives except her own. The Watkins Family is hiding something no one is willing to talk about period. This emotional rollcoaster starts from first page to last page. Be prepared to have tissues handy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FINALLY a well written book! Witty prose, well developed lovable characters and a creative fresh storyline. 5+ stars!!!!!
Rosemary_Montgomery More than 1 year ago
I loved this book I have seen this book around for a while now but I never thought it would be something I would be interested in reading, but after reading Left Drowning by Jessica Park, I decided to give it a go.  And I am so very, very glad I did. It is one of those books that I could get lost in and just put the world on hold. The story had my full attention from page one and I must say my heart broke for this family.  Everyone seemed so disconnected from life, and each other, yet tried to pass themselves off as a fully functional family, but it was not working, they were slowly falling apart. The characters were truly wonderful, especially Celeste and Matt.  The author did a truly amazing job with Celeste's character - she came alive on the page, her quirks and mannerisms and the way she spoke were amazing to read.  She was a complex and troubled young girl with depth and wisdom not usually found in someone her age, but the author got it so right – I would love to have followed her path to adulthood.   Celeste is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite characters (she is right next to Willy from Clash of the Otherworlds by Elle Casey). Matt, what a great character he was too.  He had the world on his shoulders and tried so hard to keep his family from falling apart, I felt truly sorry for him - he was strong and caring, but the burden was taking its toll on him.  He needed someone to rescue him and his family from the disaster which was waiting to happen - and then Julie entered their life quite unexpectedly, and she turned their life upside down and inside out and each family member was touched by her presence.  Even though she never knew the secret the family was harboring, she instinctively knew how to help Celeste, and in doing so, helped the entire family. The story took a really unexpected turn towards the end.  I was not expecting it at all, but it was the perfect ending to a truly lovely story.  Perfection. I loved this book.  It is beautifully written with a fantastic story line and wonderfully quirky and unusual characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ginger-Read-Reviews More than 1 year ago
Flat-Out Love surprised me, in more ways than one. It starts off as such a light and easy going read then turns into a quirky, smart story and then plummets into the depths of such raw emotions. I'll admit my head was spinning by the end. In the most amazing way. Julie has just arrived in Boston, for her first year of college, to find that the apartment she rented is in actuality a burrito joint. Her panicked mother in Ohio quickly comes up with the idea of calling her old college roommate, a professor at nearby Harvard, for a little help. Which leads us to Julie becoming the house guest of the Watkins'... a.k.a. the strangest family around. Mom & Dad Watkins are work-aholics, hardly ever home and over absorbed in their demanding, yet successful, careers. Matt, a junior at MIT, spends all his time either studying or caring for his thirteen year old sister, Celeste. Which brings me to Celeste. Outwardly, adorable and gorgeous. Inwardly, total odd-ball who idolizes her older brother Finn so much that she carries around a life size image of him that she has named, Flat Finn. And, Finn...the oldest of the siblings who travels the world doing dare devil stunts and sticky sweet volunteer work. The entire family seems to cater to Celeste and her infatuation with Flat Finn. She takes him everywhere except school, therefore she hardly ever goes anywhere. She has no friends and is completely socially stunted but extremely intelligent. It quickly becomes apparent that something happened to Celeste and she has created Flat Finn to fill in as her hero, while the real Finn is absent. Question is, what happened? No one wants to dole out any details to Julie. Celeste responds well to Julie being around and the family seems intent on keeping her around for the young girls sake. As Julie becomes ever frustrated with trying to find ways to help Celeste, she turns to Finn for help. Between emails, instant messages and Facebook, Julie and Finn form a strong bond and a mutual crush. He is always (virtually) there for Julie plus he's gorgeous and charming. Problem is, Finn has no immediate plans to return home and it is becoming increasingly more important for him to as his unconventional family, that Julie has come to love, crumbles in front of her. What I loved the most about Flat-Out Love is its smart dialogue and its geeky/ nerdy humor. I'm unclear on the distinction between geek and nerd. Geek, to me, lends more of a video game or comic book flavor. Where as nerd would be more science and analysis. Considering that to be true, this would be more a nerdy humor. Somewhat of a Big Bang Theory type funny. Regardless - Julie, Celeste and especially Matt are all so damn clever and I just could not get enough. Then, just when you are filled up with the cute warm fuzzies...bam! Park delivers some absolutely gut wrenching crap and you'll feel like a giant ugly troll is sitting on your chest poking your heart with thousands of fat sharp needles. Yeah, it's one of those kind of books. And I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago