Renee Conoulty: Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park


Saturday, 20 June 2015

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.

Hey! Here's my review.

A fun quirky NA romance. 

Julie has left home to go to college. She organised somewhere to live via Craig's List, and finds out the hard way about online scams when this housing falls through. With no idea where to turn, she calls home. Her mum contacts an old friend, who takes her into their quirky household. With three potential love interests, all of whom I loved, I was always second guessing which one I thought Julie would end up with. No alpha males here though - all down to earth, nerdy, romantic, regular guys.

The pace of this novel was perfect and kept me engaged the whole way. I loved the random Facebook statuses scattered throughout. As well as these light fun aspects, there was a much deeper level dealing with more serious issues. 

I borrowed this book through the Kindle Unlimited program with a free upgrade to the audiobook. The narrator was fantastic, she breathed life into all the characters, even the flat ones.


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