Flat-Out Celeste

Flat-Out Celeste

by Jessica Park


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For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she's too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation.

But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.

Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her-that is, if she'll let him.

Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple-two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.

Whether you were charmed by Celeste in Flat-Out Love or are meeting her for the first time, this book is a joyous celebration of differences, about battling private wars that rage in our heads and in our hearts, and-very much so- this is a story about first love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781499646702
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/22/2014
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 710,600
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Jessica Park is the author of FLAT-OUT CELESTE, LEFT DROWNING, FLAT-OUT LOVE, the FOL companion novella, FLAT-OUT MATT, and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. Jessica grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After spending four years in the frigid north, including suffering through one memorable Halloween blizzard, Jessica hightailed it back to the east coast. She now lives in (relatively balmy) New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dogs named Fritzy and Finn, and a selfish cat. When not writing, Jessica indulges her healthy obsessions with Facebook and complicated coffee beverages.

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Flat-Out Celeste 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know why, but I hesitated to grab this book. Then I started to remember how much I loved the first and decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed! Celeste really was my favorite part of Flat-Out Love, and she was just as remarkable in this book. You will not find characters like her in other books and it's so refreshing! I'm so sick of reading the same plot/characters over and over. Buy it, and you'll be laughing and crying and so darn glad you gave it a try.
miztrebor More than 1 year ago
Even though this goes against my reviewing norms, I have to say that I flat-out LOVED this book. Yea, cheesy I know, but it's true. Like the books I've read from Park in the past, this one has also blown me away. I read Flat-Out Love, and it's companion Flat-Out Matt last year as an introduction to Park's work. Those two books, to this day, have stuck with me for their characters, story, and more. When I first heard that Jessica Park was taking one of my favorite characters from FOL and giving that character her own book...I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Celeste, Matt's sister, was a big reason why I enjoyed the other books. She, like the rest of the Watkin's family, went through major trauma and developed some issues from that. In FOL we see her in her early teens, and while we sympathize with her, we don't get her POV really. Now, in Flat-Out Celeste, Celeste is a senior in high school. She also still has major anxiety in social situations, no friends, and the pressure of trying to be as "normal" as she can be. It's not easy, though we can see early on that she's changed since we first met her. Her peculiarities (and the fact that she still doesn't use contractions often, if at all) made her easy to sympathize with, while not being one to pity. Park created Celeste to be an oddball, but she's more than that. I think readers can see themselves to an extent in the character. No one's perfect. Many people have some thing that causes anxiety, especially in social situations. Following along with Celeste as she deals with a first love and the pressure of choosing a college brought it all home in a way. Even though she might exhibit her quirks in an extreme way, I felt I could relate to much of what she was feeling and much of what was going through her mind. Justin Milano was also a great character. In many ways he was the opposite of Celeste, while having his own quirks. I found the chemistry between them perfect, and that alone would have made a great story. We also get to enjoy Matt, with his great collection of geeky shirts, and some other secondary characters new and old. If I continue, I run the risk of either fan-girling too much or spoiling the book, or both. Fans of Flat-Out Love are likely to love this book, as well. Even new readers could pick this one up and enjoy it, but for the full effect, I'd recommend reading FOL first. I loved seeing Celeste's character grow. I think it has a great romance element, but there's an even more important message about fitting in and being comfortable with who you are that I think Park presented in an expert way through her out of the ordinary characters. FOC is already one of my favorite books of the year and will be tough to top.
Tarri More than 1 year ago
can't recommend Jessica Park's books more highly. Her characters are real, flawed, and always trying to heal from their pasts. Flat-Out Celeste is the third in the Flat-out series and I think book one Flat-Out Love is a must before reading (or listening to) Flat-Out Celeste. I believe that you will be drawn into Celeste's life as she finally makes some friends in her senior year. She also falls in love with a young man who is as quirky as she is, but with different quirks. It is a true coming of age story with some sadness and lots of growing up.
indiebrag More than 1 year ago
We are proud to announce that FLAT-OUT CELESTE by Jessica Park is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
BecsL More than 1 year ago
I am at a complete loss as to how to explain this book and all of the incredible things I felt while reading it. Like it’s predecessors, Flat-Out Celeste was hilarious, smart, witty, intelligently designed, and emotionally honest. Celeste’s story is beautiful, complex, heart-wrenching, and without a doubt, a shining example of human nature at it’s best. The life lessons that pass through these pages are certain to leave you feeling changed. Celeste is an original. She is a character like I have never seen before and that drew me in immediately. I was overwhelmed by the staggering character growth Jessica has orchestrated. Celeste’s transformation is the best part of this book. Her journey to self-acceptance was inspiring and filled my heart with so much love and respect for the message Jessica was putting out into the world with this book. Celeste and Justin are nothing less than the perfect partnership of real and resolute love. From the start, this original and quirky duo had me falling for their easy, and often strange, conversations. Celeste and Justin both have such unique personalities, and together they were unquestionable perfection. Everything about Celeste and Justin’s relationship was genuine. Their journey came complete with misunderstandings, romance, insecurities and the satisfaction of overcoming outside forces. Jessica Park has taken me on an emotional ride. The ups and downs of this journey were, at times, overwhelming in their honesty. Every second of this story captivated me. The fast-paced banter, unknowingly flirty emails and truthful admissions kept me grounded in this book. I cried and I laughed and I finished this book feeling like a better person for having read it. I can’t wait to see what Jessica writes next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Astonished, amazed, inspired… Flat-Out Celeste is a quite simply put…a masterpiece. Jessica Park has managed to make me fall in love all over again with this amazing series. She is brilliant and I am in awe. This is an absolute must-read!   Let me backtrack a bit and come clean. When I first read Flat-Out Love, book one in this extraordinary series. I wasn’t sure of my feelings. In fact, I do believe my initial reaction was, “entertaining and hilarious, but predictable.” Now wait, don’t fret, I was a moron and I’ll be the first to admit it. My ridiculous reasoning at the time is not even worth mentioning…yet as time passed I still couldn’t get this book out of my head…it took a couple of weeks for me to realize I was a complete idiot and I actually rather loved this book. So, what did I do next you ask? Well, I reread it of course.  On second glance…ok, it was a bit more than a glance…more like a thorough examining, but all I could think is, “this Jessica Park lady is brilliant.” She made me love all the characters and when Flat-Out Matt was released I was overjoyed and once again…I fell in love. The announcement of Flat-Out Celeste put me over the moon. I was elated and I didn’t even know what to expect, all I knew is I had to have it. I was captivated with Celeste’s quirky personality since Flat-Out Love. Of course I had questions, what had become of this eccentric yet brilliant girl? Had she developed better social skills? Did she make more friends? Would she fall in love? I needed answers and I needed them like yesterday!   See, Jessica Park doesn’t just draw you in with her writing, she makes you fall in love…you actually want to live in these books and know more about every single person you encounter. I fell in love and connected with Celeste from the very first book and I needed more. The wait was grueling, but when I finally had my hands on Flat-Out Celeste, I devoured EVERY…SINGLE…WORD. Celeste is highly intelligent, but she has rarely allowed emotions to rule her or get in the way of important decisions. This book highlights her struggles to fit in, her path to both finding love and self-love. Celeste’s story is one that you may relate to on different levels. She is quite unique and there are discernible differences between her and many others characters, however, at the core, her battles aren’t so very different than those that many others face. The awakening that Celeste experiences in this book is life changing. She grows, loves, learns and experiences the world in a way that makes you appreciate the struggles. And while Celeste’s story takes up a great deal of the book her story wouldn’t be complete without Matt and Julie. Woohoo…so, yeah, you’ll see their return and hopefully appreciate the way things unfold.   Flat-Out Celeste lived up to all my expectations and then some. I won’t go and repeat the synopsis or summarize the book. I want you to experience this book for all that it is. It’s an extraordinary story with a beautiful and powerful message. Celeste is a character you won’t soon forget. Her story is one that is beautiful, heartbreaking and incredibly brave. I laughed, I cried and I fell hopelessly in love…again.   I could go on and on about this book and the series, but I want you to read this through so I’ll end by saying this book is beyond my greatest expectations. Jessica Park gives life to characters in a quirky and absolutely endearing manner rendering you speechless at times. The wit, humor and raw honesty in her writing is powerful and evocative. This book takes you on an incredible journey with a reminder that sometimes different is perfect and sometimes all you need is the perfect person to help you find your way. I give this book a gazillion stars…yeah I said it, it’s really that good! Go forth and read my friends this one is a must-read for all!    PS: I hope there will be more to the Flat-Out Love Series…I need more like now…hook me up to a Flat-Out Love IV. I fear I may not survive without it…seriously…ok maybe I won’t die…or maybe I will…why even risk it Jessica? Take me out of my misery…just say there will be more…pretty please with a cherry on top! ;-) 
PuttingPentoPage More than 1 year ago
In this follow-up the Flat-Out Love, we're back in Boston with a slightly more grown-up Celeste. Now a senior in high school, Celeste is beginning the process of  selecting a college. She still that slightly, awkward girl who broke your heart in Flat-Out Love, but is more comfortable in her own skin. Mostly.  The prospect of the social aspects of college have her a bit on edge, and so begins her  journey for this book. As usual, Park's pacing and plot-line are fantastic. The romance isn't rushed, and develops sweetly. But the characters....this is what MAKES a Jessica Park book. She brings the characters to life so well that you ache for them, laugh with them, and feel with them. It is a rare gift to create characters so life like that you experience their journey with them. Park will always be an auto buy for me because of this. 
ChooChooTre More than 1 year ago
I just want to start off by saying that this can be read as a standalone, but to get the full experience and to really know Celeste, you should really read Flat-Out Love first.  Not only will you truly understand Celeste's personality, but you also get to know about her older brothers Matt and Finn and her dear friend Julie.  They also play a big role in this story and her life and I would hate for you to not get the whole Flat-Out Experience.  So if you haven't read Flat-Out Love, go read it first, then get to know Celeste even more. Flat-Out Celeste takes place 4 years after Flat-Out Love.  Celeste is now a senior in high school and is preparing to go to college.  She doesn't fit in with her other classmates so she puts all her energy into her academics.  Celeste figures getting into a good college will give her the happiness that has eluded her for so long. Being recruited by the best colleges in the country, she's surprised when she is contacted by Justin, a student liaison from a college in California.  She didn't plan on applying to this school, she hadn't even heard of it.  Celeste and Justin start exchanging emails and he invites her to a recruiting event that he will be hosting in Massachusetts. Celeste finds that she starts looking forward to Justin's emails and they eventually meet.  There's definitely a connection between them and a romance starts to develop between them.  They both find comfort in each other.  Celeste feels misunderstood by her peers and Justin has felt that way in the past.  Celeste is definitely scared of this new experience.  After all, she's never had a boyfriend, but Justin is there for her and is willing to take it as slowly as she needs to.  Celeste starts to open up after Justin comes into her life.  Her walls start to come down and she begins to have a social life with the people in her school.  Celeste is starting to find her own place in the world, and I for one couldn't be happier for her. I hope there are Justins out here in the real world.  He is so patient and so understanding of Celeste.  He has his own funny little quirks that you can't help but find endearing.  I loved the two of them together and it made me so happy that Celeste found someone like him.  If I ever have a daughter, I'm making her read this book so she knows exactly how her boyfriend should treat her. I know this will sound crazy, but I am very protective of Celeste.  Yes, I know she's a fictional character!  After meeting her in Flat-Out Love, I wanted her to find happiness.  I hated that she's felt so much pain at such a young age and I just wanted her to be ok.  Celeste is so much more than the damaged, broken person she feels she is.   She's such a beautiful soul and deserves to know that.  There was not a sentence in this story that I did not love.  I adored every single page in this book.  Jessica Park always writes beautifully and her stories are packed with so much emotion.  I laughed, I awwww'd, I cried, then I cried again.  And don't you worry Flat-Out fans, Matt, Finn and Julie all play parts in this story as well.  I was hoping this story would satisfy me, but all it's done is left me wanting more! 
KatieGTBC More than 1 year ago
Let me start off by saying I loved Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park. It was one of those books that so profoundly impacted me. I have shouted it from the rooftops and suggested it to anyone who would listen. Some books just need to be read by EVERYONE. Flat-Out Celeste has been added to that list for me.  Celeste Watkins is still the quirky, damaged girl we met in FOL. Although she has made strides in opening up her world, and Flat Finn is securely tucked away in the attic, she is still that socially awkward, matter-of-fact, and brutally honest person that we know and love. High school has not been easy for her. She tries very hard to keep a facade up for her family, but her life is anything but that of a typical teen. The other students think she is strange and they avoid her, so in turn she focuses solely on her academics and keeps to herself. Completely alienated. It is a lonely life. Matt tries so hard to bring her out of her shell but he is dealing with his own heartache and his own studies. Celeste believes that she just needs to hold on until college. College will be the place where she will finally feel at home. Where academics will be the common denominator and she will excel without any social pressures (obviously she has a very skewed idea of college life). Excited at this prospect she very aptly applies to all the Ivy League schools and receives early acceptance letters. Now she only has to decide which one to attend and her plans will fall into place. Enter Justin... he is a student recruiter for Barton College in San Diego, CA. He has been given the task of wooing the talented Miss Watkins into considering Barton at the suggestion of one of her teachers who is an alumni. There are a few problems with that, it's all the way in California and Celeste doesn't fly and she never applied to Barton. None of that discourages Justin especially once he meets Celeste. Quirky in his own right and with a vast understanding of what it is like to be different; Justin is just what Celeste needs. He somehow puts Celeste at ease like no one else ever has. He helps her to see that being different isn't such a bad thing and that it is more than okay to be who she is without having to change for anyone. Can she let down the walls she has built? Is she brave enough to step out of her comfort zone and give people a chance to know and love her?  Well let me say WOW. WOW WOW WOW! The message in this book is so powerful. There is ABOSLUTELY nothing wrong with being different! Did you hear that????? NOTHING! Whether it be your appearance, your sexual orientation, your family situation, your stutter, your propensity to over annunciate, your disability, your love for piercings or body art... whatever you are is perfectly okay and YOU ARE PERFECT and WORTHY OF LOVE just the way you are. Period. My mother use to tell me "There is someone for everyone" and that is so true. There is someone out their that will find all that you are endearing. You just have to love yourself first. We are all guilty of rushing through life looking right over people. Never looking any deeper than the surface. Just like a book we judge them by their cover and not by their content. We miss the enchanting part of them. Shame on us... we are the ones who miss out.  Our Celeste is the opposite of that. She judges no one. She doesn't see anyone’s flaws when she looks at them even when they look back at her with judgment. I have loved her since book #1 and my love for her only grew in this one. Thank you Jessica Park for writing this series. Thank you for giving us a life lesson and study of ourselves in such a beautifully written story. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Fun Fact: I read Celeste in a proper British accent and I think she would appreciate that. Favorite Quotes: (there are too many I highlighted to include them all so I'll pick four) "I had expected the turnip metaphor to go over better, but it seems not everyone appreciates a clever philosophically grounded root vegetable reference." "Why would you being who you are bother me?" "It will be lovely to see you again. I have missed you, and I don't have occasion to miss many people"  "today is about bravery"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
This review will be spoilery if you've not read Flat-Out Love. DO NOT keep reading. Go buy Flat-Out Love (and Flat-Out Matt) and come back here once you've finished.  *** Ignore everything you think you know and listen only to your heart, without doubting anything.  Five stars aren't nearly enough for this book and no review that I write will do it justice. I was a little late to the Flat-Out Love party, but I've read it twice in the last few months. (It's come to my attention I never wrote a review and that's something I must rectify immediately.) The characters were the driving force of the book for me. They were unique and witty, slightly awkward and endearing. I fell in love with every single one of them. When the truth was revealed, it took me entirely by surprise and broke my heart. By the end of the book, however, my heart had been repaired, I had cried buckets of tears and I was even more deeply in love with each and every one of the characters – and with Jessica Park for bringing them all to life. I devoured Flat-Out Matt and crossed my fingers that Celeste would get a book. I could have done cartwheels when I found out she was and I actually squealed when I got my hands on a review copy. *** Life was getting better for her. Very slowly, bit by bit, she was allowing the walls she'd so carefully constructed to come down. Every move felt to be a most dangerous risk, but she was taking those risks and they were paying off. The world might not be such a hateful place after all, and there was the faint hope that she might just be able to find a place in it. Celeste has come a long way since the first book when she was carting Flat Finn around everywhere. Her character growth in Flat-Out Love was nothing compared to the progress she makes in this book. She was brilliant. Charming. Adorable. I just wanted to befriend her and give her a big hug. She's making new friends and putting herself out there. Sure, the quirks are still there and there were at least two scenes that ripped my heart out. She's so strong, but still vulnerable. That's what makes her so real and lovable. She really does meet her perfect match in Justin.  *** Justin: You're the one saving me, and I'm not letting my woman of salvation travel around the dangerous streets unaccompanied. #chivaltryaintdeadbaby #sendhelp #sendshrimp #hashtagsgoneinsane #hashtagsdonotbelonginatext #whatever I'll pick you up at 7, ok? I don't have words to describe how much I loved Justin. He was quirky and clumsy and talked non-stop and was just as much of a mess (I mean that in a totally lovable way!) as Celeste. They were perfectly matched and I loved watching them fall in love with each other. It was that perfect first teenage love and it totally warmed my heart. I loved too the added parallel to Flat-Out Love that they fell in love long-distance through emails and texts. Of course, nothing is ever easy and sometimes characters are their own worst enemy.  *** "Sometimes love is not enough, and it doesn't matter how much you want it. Want him. And even if nobody else compares to that person, it doesn't mean that you're supposed to be with him." Ok, now the hard truth. I'll be the first to admit, that I was less than thrilled to learn that Matt and Julie had broken up and, worse yet, been apart for two years. TWO YEARS. :( I loved them so, so much in Flat-Out Love and it more than broke my heart that they didn't make it. It was obvious they still loved each other. I loved that Celeste was as unwilling as I to believe they were over. Once the truth behind their breakup came out, I understood why it was all necessary. I won't say anything else but that the characters more than made up for their lack in judgement by the end of the book. I was totally squeeing before it was all over with.  *** I lose myself and find myself at the same time with you.  Just like Flat-Out Love, Flat-Out Celeste is full of feels and believe me when I say I felt ALL OF THEM.  From the witty banter I've come to expect from these characters to the scenes that ripped my heart out and left it shredded on the floor to the ones that patched me right back up until I was whole again, it was all sheer perfection. I just love everything about these characters and this series. As anxious as I was to finish this book, part of me wanted it to last forever. So many big, fuzzy, feel-filled hearts for Jessica Park and this book.  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version.