Book Review: Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Author: Jessica Park

Publisher: Amazon’s Children Publishing

Release date: September 11, 2012

Rating: 5 stars – LOVED THIS TO PIECES!

Purchase from: Amazon


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’m going to try very hard not to be all gushy and a flat out girl. Even though, it is what I am. Sorry folks, can’t argue with biology.

Flat-Out Love was a book that was recommended to me by my Kindle Paper White the day I received it in the mail. I checked it out and after deciding that it was a good gamble I bought it. Needless to say, I do not regret my decision. I absolutely fell in love with Jessica Park’s unique, witty, and quirky writing style. It’s a fresh and new read that will have readers fully engaged and enthralled until the last page.

After Julie Seagle finds herself apartment-less in Boston, her mother, Kate, comes to the rescue. Kate contacts an old friend from college who resides in Boston and has her daughter there faster than you can say Nietzsche Is My Homeboy. Cue in incredibly smart, techy, cute, and sweet Matthew Watkins. It’s in that moment that Julie’s life becomes interwoven with the Watkin’s. She never expected to get close to them. Never expected to think of them and their house as home. And she most certainly did not expect to fall in love with Finn Watkin’s, the older son who she has never met but knows fully like she’s never known another boy before.

There’s a secret surrounding Celeste and what happened to her. Celeste is the youngest daughter in the family. She’s rather quirky and very mature for her age. From the moment that she walks into the Wakin’s home there is some mystery surrounding Celeste. Everyone seems to be walking on egg shells around her and oddly go around with her protective nature over Flat Finn – a life size cut out of her older brother. You see, Finn is traveling the world and Flat Finn is a way for Celeste to deal with her brother being away.

Of course, there is something more. The secret itself broke my heart because I didn’t see it coming whatsoever. I had my own theory, but I was very wrong. I mean how could I think that Matt had some sort of personality disorder? I am the worst at coming up with theories.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself here. Let’s talk characters. I loved Julie Seagle, she reminded me of my best friend Anna with her witty facebook status and how just….intellectual she was. Julie is passionate, funny, and witty. I loved her bantering with Matt. It just made me gush like a crazed teenage girl. Also, Julie was very relatable to me as a person because she was around my age. She’s just starting college and with that comes her journey on unknown territory, trying to navigate her way around school, friends, and matters of the heart.

Moving on to Celeste Watkins, who is a central character to the story. She’s a fragile young girl, trying to figure out who she is, trying to be a normal teenager. Her journey of self-discovery and healing is one that I will remember for a long time.

Then there are the novel’s two love interests, Matt and Finn. *sigh* Can I just have them? I mean…either one will do. Up first is Matt. I just loved how Matt was so brainy, techy, and sweet. He’s very protective of Celeste and loves her so much. It’s an admirable quality in a boy. And I think it’s just the sweetest thing ever. He’s also very broken…and I didn’t realize this until the very end when there is a scene where everything just falls apart and I just wanted to hug him close to me and tell him that everything would be okay, that I loved him.

See what I mean! This book….*sigh*

Next is Finn *cue in loving sigh* …who is just so dreamy. He’s that boy who we’ve never met in person but fall in love with because of his personality. Or that boy you’ve been writing love letters to but don’t know who he is.  Have any of you experienced that sort of thing? I have and…it can be so sweet at first and then shattering. Because you realize it just can’t work. Which is what happens in the novel but on a whole different level. Like I said, my heart was completely broken and I was trying to stifle my heart breaking cries at 2 in the morning! I didn’t want to wake up anyone with my blubbering whale noises.

Lastly, Mr. and Mrs. Watkins play a vital part in the novel because…well, they are never around. They are absentee parents, which arises a few questions in how it affects Celeste and Matt. All the members of the Watkins family are emotionally scrambled. They’ve lost who they were because of something that happened, something that emotionally unhinged them all.

There are of course other characters like Kate Seagle, Dana, Seth, and Mr. Seagle who play an integral part to the story and Julie’s life. Her relationship with her father is jarring and tugged at my heart strings.

I can’t fully express how much I loved this story! Indie books are a hit or miss in my opinion. Sometimes you come across really horrible ones that just make you lose your faith in self-publishing. But then there are others that are beautiful and utterly amazing. Flat-Out Love is one of those books. I recommend it to anyone, both young adult and adults. It’s witty, uniquely crafted, mysterious, humorous, devastating, dipped in social media, and wildly addicting. You just can’t go wrong.

Memorable Quotes

Got strapped to the roof of the car today for a trip to Starbucks. Would have loved to taste caramel mocha, but can’t move arms and so was forced to stare longingly at delicious, hot beverage. Will the taunting never end?

No. Definitely not. I promise I will take Julie somewhere nice. Dinner and then something else respectable to be determined.

Look, I appreciate an aggressive woman, but this is really getting weird.

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

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  1. This is indeed an amazing and totally original book. I loved it just as much as you did. The author is not only a great writer, but she is an all around interesting person on her own.

  2. I’m so glad you loves this!It was definitely an awesome book with an original plot.The ending totally took me by surprise-I didn’t expect THAT!
    I had a few a crazy theories about Matt too-personality disorder was one of them so you are not alone,Emma! 😀

  1. {Flat-Out Love} by Jessica Park {42¢} | fifty5cents book blog
  2. {Flat-Out Love} by Jessica Park {42¢} | Ménage à Book Blog

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