Review: 6 Stars for Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Posted August 27, 2014 by FMA in 6 Stars and above - It left me with a book hangover!

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

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.

It’s not what you know – or when you see – that matters. It’s about a journey.

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. When Julie’s off-campus housing falls through, her mother’s old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side … and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there’s that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That’s because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie’s suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that … well … doesn’t quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

Flat-Out Love comes complete with emails, Facebook status updates, and instant messages.


My Review

6 of 5 stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Favorite’s of 2014

Pardon me for sounding cliché, but this was ”FLAT-OUT FANTASTIC”!

Jessica Park took me on an emotional journey. What an amazingly, sweet, romantic book. Her writing is so fluid and her story telling is so effortless, that one minute you are laughing and the next, in tears and you are not quite sure how you got to that point. I was fascinated with the way in which she reached the arc of the story. It was slow, yet I was never bored. The characters and their lives were so interesting and so beautiful that I was so involved in them that I was never left with the thought, “OKAY, let’s get there”. (Yes, I know, I am rambling, I can’t help it.)

There were several themes in this story: accepting other’s for who they are, and being kind to them regardless; caring for others enough to not just stand on the sideline while they are hurting; guilt, depression and love; fighting to become the person you want to be.

There are so many reviews explaining what the book is about that I don’t feel it is necessary for me to do the same. I will however, say that if you have not read this, DO NOT READ ANY REVIEWS. You do not want to have your experience ruined.

There were so many wonderful quotes in this book, like this:

After Julie had learned her mom secured her a temporary place to stay and the son of Erin Watkins would be picking her up in front of the burrito restaurant:

“OK. Matt. Dangerous town. Blue Volvo. If I get into the wrong car and get myself murdered and dumped in an alley, I want you to know how much I love you. And don’t look in the third drawer of my desk.”


One of my favorite scenes was the elevator scene. 🙂 It was so sweet and endearing. Finn Watkins, (Erin’s other son) had me swooning and held me captive with his words:

“You’re safe. Tell me you trust me.”

“I trust you.”


This is one of those books that you start reading and instantly know you have hit the reading jackpot. I had a smile on my face from the first page that never left. Even through the sadness I smiled, because it was that good. The writing never missed a beat. It had the perfect blend of humor, a little angst and romance. The characters were so thoroughly developed that I became so invested in the story I felt like I was reading about my friends.



About Jessica Park

Jessica is the author of CLEAR, LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE, the companion novella FLAT-OUT MATT, FLAT-OUT CELESTE, and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

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