Nomes's Reviews > Flat-Out Love

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
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's review
Sep 01, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 2011, older-ya-protag, riding-the-older-ya-vibe, kindle
Read on August 31, 2011

Flat-out love has an effortless writing style which makes for a breezy, quick read. The writing is sharp and quietly quirky and the characters are really quite different to any I have come across in YA recently.

It's hard for me to think of comp books for Flat-out love as it really was rather unique (not only in plot, but also in writing style). The vibe of this book was more about family than romance (I had assumed it would be more about the first love/long-distance crush bit).

I figured out the gist of the secret/mystery about half-way through, although I still was waiting for that moment of confirmation. I think it's complicated writing a story where information is withheld from the reader ~ and when the revelation is revealed everything makes sense in hindsight. The danger with this strategy is things that occur as you're reading can seem inconsistent, plot-hole-y or unlikely. Things like that always seem to niggle at me ~ and even though when everything finally unravels (in the last 10%) it all makes logical and perfect sense in the new context, I still spent the majority of my reading time with the book feeling slightly irked. So ~ my advice ~ just go with the flow.

I have mixed feeling about the premise in general:

I liked the premise and thought it was very well handled emotionally. I actually felt quite bereft in the end, as a reader invested in characters and relationships and also on behalf of the characters and their sadness.

On the other hand, I really tried to invest my efforts in rooting for certain relationships and I felt a bit blindsided in the end ~ MAJOR SPOILER: (view spoiler)

Other things on my mind:

It was written rather well in third person. Very close third, you would almost think you were reading first person.

I think it could have been a bit sharper at 10k less (just given it more edge with timing some of the tension, etc) ~ it occasionally felt rambly with many conversations that showed some characterisation but didn't move the plot forward.

I liked the Flat Finn idea. Reminded me (loosely) of Ryan Gosling in Lars and the Real Girl ;)

The social media was a fab way of moving the story forward and making it fun to read. It was not derivative at all (as some YA books using facebook, etc can be)

In conclusion: I had a good time reading this (although I do think my expectations were rather too high) and am curious to read more work by Jessica Park.
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~Tina~ I got the e-book for this, just need to find time to get to it! Great review, I feel like I know more going into this story now:)

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