mstan's Reviews > Flat-Out Love

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
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Mar 04, 12

bookshelves: american, src-spring-2012, young-adult, kindle
Read on March 04, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

This self-published ebook has received a ton of rave reviews on goodreads. It's not something I'd normally read (I don't really do realistic YA romance... except Gayle Forman) but it was really cheap on the kindle, so I bought it.

Eh, it was slightly better than OK, I guess. It was mildly amusing, but the protagonist is extremely off-putting. 18-year-old Julie Seagle proclaims her love for learning and English several times, and expresses enthusiasm about her freshman year at a fictional college in Boston, but makes merciless fun of her friend/son of her hosts, an MIT 'geek' named Matthew, and hardly talks about her academic pursuits beyond some token declarations. Her overwhelming confidence is something I find quite incredible - the story is based on her impromptu move into her mom's old college friend's house for her freshman semester/year, and within a couple of weeks of her move in, she begins to try to fix/revamp relationships/entire psyches in her dysfunctional host family. And oh, everyone is in love with Julie, from the high-achieving Erin (mother of the family) to the random waiter at the cafe to the Math programme at her college (which keeps accelerating her). She seems incapable of doing any wrong.

Another extremely annoying feature of the book was what a smartass every young adult was. Sadly, this is not unrealistic, and reminded me a lot of some personal experiences I have had with such wisecracking, condescending persons who write (or would write) awful Facebook status updates they expect everyone to affirm for their wit.

This book is really more a 2.5-star read for me, but I gave it 3 stars for the rather intriguing family dynamics it describes, as well as the sheer oddness of 'Flat Finn', the cardboard cut-out of the eldest son in the family the youngest (13-year-old) daughter, Celeste, carries around.
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