Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Release Date: April 11, 2012
Genre: YA Romance
Source: Amazon Kindle
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I had a bit of an indie author and romance mood recently. I had heard amazing things about this one and I did enjoy it but it was weird. Different from what I was expecting. Based on the title I was expecting a really romance heavy book but it focused more on the family Julie stays with. Julie is moving away to college and the apartment she rented fell through. With no where to go she moves in with her mom's old college friend, husband, son, and daughter. The family has some issues and I could guess what it was almost right off the bat. But the family is in major denial so much so that I started doubting my prediction.
The youngest daughter, Celeste, is in middle school yet she will not go anywhere unless she has Flat Finn, a cardboard cut out of her older brother. Julie was incredibly understanding of this extremely strange behavior. She takes care of Flat Finn and Celeste and takes them shopping. Julie deals with this quirky family way better than I would have. She is determined to help Celeste fit in and stop carrying around Flat Finn. She even comes up with a plan to make Flat Finn more portable so Celeste can put him in her purse.
Matt is such a sweet, wonderful, smart, nerdy, great love interest. But Julie continues to want to chat on facebook with his brother Finn! I was so frustrated by this! Matty is right there yet she continues to want to talk to someone she has never met. Julie and Matt slowly build into great friends. They have geeky arguments mostly revolving around Matt's geeky t-shirts. I especially enjoyed their argument about font nerds and the acceptable fonts and what fonts are considered uncool. lol Julie wants Matt to get out more but since Finn moved away Matt has been taking care of Celeste. Their parent's are at work a lot and their dad is always away on business.
So the romance is a bit confusing and hard to explain without spoilers. For a huge part of the book I worried that Julie and Matt would remain friends but I slowly saw small signs of it developing further. Towards the end Julie becomes confused. She thinks she is in love with Finn but has never met him. Then she has Matt who has been such a great friend to her. It really isn't a love triangle though but I can't say more. All the lies this family has been telling her to hide their dysfunction was a bit much. I have to say I would have found it extremely hard to forgive that even though I could understand what a difficult thing they were going through.
Although the story pushed the limits of dysfunction and weird, I really enjoyed it. I was very happy with the ending and the way everything worked out. I loved all the little facebook statuses and instant messages included. I wanted a bit more romance earlier in the story but then again I loved that Julie and Matt were such good friends first. I love the good guys so I immediately loved Matt. I don't see enough of his type in the romances that I read. Looking for a quirky and nerdy romance then this is definitely it. deception.
“Lift up your shirt.”
“Look, I appreciate an aggressive woman, but this is really getting weird.”
grabbed his sweatshirt by the waist cuff and lifted it up with one
hand, as she pulled down his T-shirt with the other. Matt put his hands
over hers, lightly protesting, but she refused to let go. “Aha!” She
squinted at his shirt. “OK, I don’t even know what this is, but it’s definitely geeky."
"If you can't stop thinking about someone's update, that's called "status cling."
"It was always you. I thought it was someone else, but it was you. You were the person that I felt."