Aestas Book Blog's Reviews > Flat-Out Love

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites

Wow! I absolutely FLAT-OUT LOVED this book!!!

"...that's what love does to you. Gut-wrenching, overpowering, crushing, fulfilling, complex, bring-you-to-your-knees love."

It was beautiful!! It kept me hooked right from the beginning. It was amazing, heart warming and a little heart wrenching, with light and funny moments, as well as deeply emotional ones. The dialogue was clever and witty and had me laughing out so many times. But this book was not a fluff read - it was deep, touching, and bittersweet. Oh, and it has the best midnight drunken phone call ever! :)

"I'd just have to meet the right guy. Someone who isn't ordinary. Someone who gets me. Someone I fit perfectly with. I want heat, chemistry, an undeniable connection."

Julie has a wonderful voice. The story had me smiling from the first few pages. It starts when Julie moves to a new city for college. The apartment that she rented off of Craigslist turned out to be a scam and she ends up staying with the family of an old friend of her mom's for the year. The family is kind and loving but Julie senses an undercurrent of something deeply wrong and hurt with them and she can't stop herself from wanting to help them heal even though she has no idea what is wrong. There is Matt, the hot yet nerdy brother who seems to take care of everyone, Celeste, the sweet and extremely bright 13 year old sister who carries around (everywhere),talks to and interacts with a life-size cardboard cutout of her eldest gorgeous brother Finn who is off traveling the world, to the absent yet loving parents who immerse themselves in their work. Julie is given Finn's room to stay in and she connects with him through Facebook and despite having never met him, feelings begin to develop for this charming, fun-loving and deeply caring guy that she just can't get out of her head.

The characters in this book seemed so vivid. You really get the feeling when reading it that you are experiencing the story and its partly because of how much it integrates everything into the it - Facebook statuses, emails, private messages as well as the regular dialogue and story. It really helps to immerse you in the story and connect with the characters. You can very quickly garner so much from someone's Facebook status about their personality that just doesn't feel the same if you were told it. Most chapters start with each characters' Facebook statuses and through them, which helps you learn so much about them in a really cute and adorable way.

" Matthew Watkins I need an afternoon pick-me-up. I accept cash and/or prizes that can be exchanged for cash. Also, hobbits.
Finn is God If you get off your high horse, you'll notice that it, too, poops.
Julie Seagle Mixed emotions regarding Twitter continue. Am again facing warnings about unprotected Tweets, but it's not my fault the condom won't fit over the laptop. "A" for effort and whatnot, I think."

This book is about relationships. Not just romantic ones, but also about deep family connections. It deals with many painful hurts that the family has experienced and throughout the book we see their healing process as this dysfunctional family puts the broken pieces of their lives back together.

I loved how caring Matt was - how he was always looking after everyone, I loved how quirky yet so perceptive Celeste was, and I loved how flirty and understanding Finn was.

This book made me misty-eyed several, it made my heart race and would often keep a smile on my face for pages on end. I totally felt sucked into Julie's world - into the affection she feels for Matt and his charming yet geeky personality, to the acceptance she shows Celeste and her strong desire not to give up on helping her heal, and to the growing attraction that she feels for Finn - as she slowly falls in love with him over their online communication. Honestly, I never thought I could fall in love with a character without actually 'meeting' them but boy was I wrong!! Finn had me falling in complete 'swoon' with him in no time.

The writing is very fluid, the pacing is excellent - there are no slow points and no points where you feel like you missed a big chunk of time, Ms. Park's storytelling is addictive - I didn't want to put this books down. Given a choice, I would totally have read it in one sitting!

There is a big family secret that leads to a twist to the end of the book! I had a gut-feelingin the beginning that turned out to be right and I'm curious to see how many of you also guess it :)

The story has a wonderful HEA though - no worries!!

I'd definitely call this book a must-read! I'd highly recommend it! And I think it's definitely a book that I will be re-reading.
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Reading Progress

January 26, 2012 – Shelved
June 11, 2012 – Started Reading
Finished Reading
June 12, 2012 –
0.0% "starting this out now - I'm so excited!!"
June 12, 2012 –
3.0% "This is just the kind of book I needed right now :)"
June 12, 2012 –
15.0% ""Hi, I'm Dana. I don't know anybody here, and I'm hoping you're a normal person and will be nice to me. Unlike the man on the T this morning that humped my leg. Although he seemed to think he was being nice."\n "I'm Julie from Ohio, and I promise not to hump your leg."\n "Thank God!" Dana said, looking upward and clapping her hands. "I'm going to hold you to that.""
June 12, 2012 –
21.0% "God I'm totally LOVING this book! If I could, I'd stay up all night reading it... I just sat down to read another chapter and ended up reading 3. I can't wait to get back to it tomorrow!!\n \n "...I'd just have to meet the right guy. Someone who isn't ordinary. Someone who gets me. Someone I fit perfectly with. I want heat, chemistry, an undeniable connection. You know what I mean? I want it all.""
June 13, 2012 –
27.0% "Snuck in a teensy bit of reading time on my break.. I wish my job was to read!!!! Love this book! It makes me smile :)"
June 13, 2012 –
30.0% "This book is just keeping me smiling :)"
June 13, 2012 –
40.0% "*grin* love the Facebook chats!!!"
June 13, 2012 –
58.0% "Wow. Was I the only one who found that hypothetical skydive a little hot? Lol. I think I'm in 'swoon' with Finn :p"
June 13, 2012 –
59.0% ""I think I'm in love with somebody that I've never met."\n YAYAY!!!"
June 13, 2012 –
69.0% "Best drunken middle-of-the-night phone call ever!!"
June 13, 2012 –
78.0% "I'm flat out in love with this book!! With all the characters. Everything!!"
June 13, 2012 –
84.0% "Um... Whaaaat??"
June 13, 2012 –
91.0% "*jumping up and down* I KNEW IT!! I KNEW IT!! I FREAKING KNEW IT!!!! I take back aaaaalllll my grovelling for my earlier freak outs!!!!! I just knewwwwwww it!!"
June 14, 2012 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments Showing 1-50 of 59 (59 new)

message 1: by AJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ YAY, YAY, YAY! Can't wait to see what you think!

Aestas Book Blog lol, I'm so excited but I'm freaking out a little... I just sent you a PM about the love triangle?!? I need mega reassurance right now :P

message 3: by AJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ Be reassured, all is well. I'm not saying anymore because it may be spoilery - and as much as you beg, I'm giving nothing away on this one!

I told you there wasn't a messy love triangle, that's all I'm going to say! Trust me :)

message 4: by Aestas Book Blog (last edited Jun 11, 2012 09:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aestas Book Blog lmao *pouts* UGH!! k, fine *grumbles* I'll trust you... I reeeeeally hope I love it!

I'm gonna watch a few more eps of Vampire Diaries first though - clear my head. I don't like starting a book literally right after finishing another one. So I'll either start it later tonight or tomorrow afternoon.

message 5: by AJ (last edited Jun 11, 2012 09:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ When you're finished reading this book, go back and look at your PM again and you'll laugh at yourself!

message 6: by AJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ And I'm not telling you anything about Vampire Diaries either ;) But you're soooo close!!! Let me know how it's going!

Aestas Book Blog aaaaaaaaaaaaaa lol... I'm way out of my comfort zone here... I like it there. Its cozy and safe. This... this is kinda scary. Way too much unknown here!! I'm still gonna read it... but... wait, I thought of something! I'm PMing to keep spoilers away

message 8: by AJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ Nice review Aestas. So glad that you loved it and you finally got your non-KA 5 star read!

Maria Great Review Aestas!!! 5 Stars......Woot Woot!!!

Alexis *Reality Bites* Loves the review Aestas!!!! I cannot wait to finish this now! I started months back but was derailed and never continued... smh. Must finish!

Linda Great review. And it was an awesome book.

Aestas Book Blog thanks guys!! I totally loved it!! If any of you have rec's of similar books (not in plot but in feel) that I haven't read, please pass them along :)

message 13: by AJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ Anna and the French Kiss is really gorgeous. Again, it's a YA so it's all very innocent, but it's a great read!

message 14: by Aestas Book Blog (last edited Jun 14, 2012 07:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aestas Book Blog I've heard a lot of good about that one and I knowwww u'll roll ur eyes when you see this, but I have to ask: HEA? :)

message 15: by AJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ I'm rolling my eyes right back at you. Duh!

Maria Yay, Anna and The French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door both sooo good!!

message 17: by Aestas Book Blog (last edited Jun 14, 2012 07:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aestas Book Blog I'm gonna check them out - thanks guys :)
@ Maria: which author is Boy Next Door by?

message 18: by AJ (last edited Jun 14, 2012 07:45AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ It's the sequel to Anna. Must get around to it one day!

Aestas Book Blog ooooh ok awesome!

Maria I loved Anna but I'm gonna have to say that I Loved Lola a Bit More!!

Maria OMG I have one you both need to read, The Sweet Gum Tree this book is Amazing, and it's a total Bargain Book!!

Lindsay Great review Aestas!

Aestas Book Blog Is she a character from Anna or from another book?

message 24: by AJ (last edited Jun 14, 2012 07:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ Maria, I have Sweet Gum Tree on my kindle already. I'm really keen to read it! I might get to it after my current DH read.

And Lola is better than Anna? Definitely have to give it a try then!

Maria Anna and Etienne are the couple in the first book and Lola and Cricket are the couple in the second book.

message 26: by Aestas Book Blog (last edited Jun 14, 2012 07:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aestas Book Blog ooooooohhhh ok lol so sorry, I'm suffering from major sleep deprivation! I'll add them both :D

I was considering Sweet Gum Tree for one of my next reads too! I also have it on my kindle - Maybe I'll read it after Hank's book too :)

Maria AJ- Anna and Etienne are in Lola a Bunch!!

message 28: by AJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ I am ALL OVER THAT!! Looks like paperback is cheaper than ebook, so might have to wait for my next order. Damn!

Aestas Book Blog hmmmm maybe I'll order them in paperback since now, thanks to Flat-Out Love, I have ANOTHER amazon order to make lol

~*~JenJenBoBin Knock you to your knees Romance huh? hmmm might have to look into that! lol

Karen Great review!! I loved the book too!!! Isn't it funny how reading great books is inversely proportional to getting enough sleep. I think we are all hopeless insomniacs.

Aestas Book Blog @Jennifer: it's very very sweet. It's YA, no smut. But still you totally feel their connection!

@karen: thank you! Lol, I live in near constant book-zombie state haha totally worth it though! AJ calls it book hangovers :p

~*~JenJenBoBin Aestas **aka Crazinneldy** wrote: "@Jennifer: it's very very sweet. It's YA, no smut. But still you totally feel their connection!.."

NO Smut??? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa Oh well it sounded good so I added it to my TRL :)

Aestas Book Blog I really don't think you'll miss it. There are steamy moments and the subtlety actually works perfectly with this story. It's definitely still worth trying out. You will still totally fall in love with these characters even without the smut :)

message 35: by P.A. (new) - rated it 5 stars

P.A. Lupton I gotta read this. Sounds great. Good review.

Boo Boo Kitty A, you keep making me add books to be tbr!!! I love it.

Aestas Book Blog Hahaha it's a totally awesome book for next time you are in the mood for a 5 star YA read :)
I just ordered it in hardcover. It's goin' on the favs shelf!

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Lola is way better than Anna. And Cricket is way better than Etienne.
Lola and the Boy Next Door is also way better than Anna and the French Kiss.

That's all I have to say. ;)

message 39: by AJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ Well that's all you really have to say! Might make it my next read!

Aestas Book Blog Now you are both making me want to read these! I don't know why I bumped them down the list in the first place...

Ellelou Aestas, thank you for recommending this book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I kind of guessed the twist half way through but still was interested to see how it will get there. The ending was a bit predictable and unoriginal hence the dropped 1 star, but having said that I could re-read the book and enjoy it the same. The dilemma is what to read next? Have got most of KA books but am saving them for dire times, does that make sense?

Aestas Book Blog Lol. Well, I'd highly recommend starting a KA book if you can. Which series have you not read?

But if you are really wanting to save those, what kind of book are you in the mood for? YA? Adult? Intense? Something else?

Ellelou YA! Have been reading some intense stuff lately...

Aestas Book Blog I dunno.. You seem to have read most of the YA's that I'd recommend most highly. But if you Are looking for a lighter read, Id recommend starting Rock Chick. Its an awesome series and got some hilarious stuff in it!

Ellelou I know, I love her books, my only trepidation is that the series has 7 books and knowing me once I start I can't stop and will get sucked in the wonderful parallel world of KA men, sigh... and is so easy to neglect everything else. It looks like I'll have to wait for my daughter to start school next week and then I can dive in with great aplomb...hehehe... Meanwhile I will look around for some easy read to tide me over ;)

message 46: by Aestas Book Blog (last edited Aug 28, 2012 04:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aestas Book Blog Hahhaa well, I actually read them with all for 1-2 other books in between most of them in an effort to spread out the awesome.

Have you read Play It Safe? It's a KA standalone that is one of my top favs

Or you could try Rock Me (super steamy stand alone - its book 2 but can be read alone)

Or Playing For Keeps (a funny fluffy stand alone)

Or have you read On The Island?

Ellelou Read the first one, second and fourth on my TBR list, do you know the author of the third one?

message 48: by P.A. (new) - rated it 5 stars

P.A. Lupton I loved this book 2 and I recently read 2 YA's that were just as good as flat out love--if not better. Ellelou have you read Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover and book 2 is Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2) by Colleen Hoover

Ellelou No worries, just got it R.L. Mathewson. Right, here we go... Will give it a go and let you know how I get on. Thank you!

Aestas Book Blog I was gonna rec Slammed but saw you had read it. And yeah, that's the right author is RLM. Enjoy!!!

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