He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read Nietzsche Is My Homeboy.
So, that was Matt. Who Julie Seagles likes. A lot. But there is also Finn. Who she flat out loves.
Complicated? Awkward? Completely.
But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother’s? This was all supposed to be temporary. Julie wasn’t supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she’s never quite met. But what does that really matter? Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have connection. But here’s the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations - it always throws you a few curves. And no one ever escapes unscathed.
©2012 Jessica Park (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Mostly YA Book Obsessed!
Flat Out Love is a book that has been recommended to me by several people over the last few years but I never got around to reading. When I saw the audiobook on sale last month, I jumped at the chance to get it. I’m not sure yet what I feel about this book. There were a lot of parts that I really liked. The story (once I got it) was a good one, Matt was one of those good guy characters that I wish we had more of, and I liked Celeste even if she was batshit crazy. What I struggled with the most was Julie’s character. Sadly, I didn’t like her most of the time. Also, I didn’t understand what the hell was going on most of the book. What was the deal with Flat Finn and Celeste? What is wrong with this family??? The big reveal didn’t come until very late in the book, and by this point I was frustrated about being lost. Once I was able to understand the whole scope of the story, it really is a beautiful but sad story that I did end up enjoying. Julie still got on my nerves though…
When Julie’s college living arrangements don’t work out (she’ gets swindled on Craigslist), her mother calls in a favor from her college friend. Julie ends up staying over at the Watkins home until she can find a new place to live. This eventually ends up being a semi-permanent solution when Julie ends up getting along with the gang, especially Matt and Celeste. Matt was such a lovable guy. He’s a total nerd and one of the good guys with an impressive t-shirt collection. Celeste is his younger sister and her and Julie immediately bond. But Julie realizes right away that something is off with the Watkins. The parents ride their bikes everywhere (which is weird considering they have high position jobs), they’re absent most of the time leaving Matt to care for Celeste who has a few…quirks. Celeste in some ways has the mind of a child and she doesn’t have any friends. This is nothing compared to the life sized cardboard cutout she keeps of their older brother, Finn. Celeste traets Flat Finn as a member of the family, he sits down at dinner with him and they even cart him around everywhere she goes. This alone was weird, but the fact that the rest of her family just goes along with this weirded me the fuck out and had me dying to know what the hell had happened to this family!
Julie was such a hard character for me to like. My main issue was that I thought she was so bitchy to Matt most of the time. If she wasn’t making fun of his ‘nerdiness’ to his face, she was doing it to her friend or someone else. Yet, she couldn’t help but like him. What are you in kindergarten Julie? I don’t know why but it really bothered me how being smart was this thing she kept making fun of, even if she was joking around. So then Julie develops a facebook friendship with the Finn and ends up falling for him. This happens through facebook/texts/virtual communication only since they’ve never talked on the phone or even met in person yet. Maybe because I don’t have a facebook I didn’t buy the ‘I love Finn’ thing. She shared these great moments with Matt, then would have these conversations with Finn which left me wondering ‘who the hell is the love interest?’ Was this a weird virtual love triangle? Was Matt even in the running anymore? The other thing that drove me crazy about Julie was that she was so damn meddling! She’s known the Watkins for a short time and all of a sudden she decides she is the best authority on all things Celeste. Granted, her parents were doing a shitty job but poor Matt was doing the best he could and this girl kept making drastic changes to Celeste’s life, even when Matt didn’t agree with her. She forces her way into a meeting with the principal to discuss Celeste, and the incident where she pushed her to go to the party was crossing the line big time! Yeah, some of these things did help Celeste but I don’t think she should have butted in. If Celeste were my sister, I would have punched Julie for trying to butt in, especially since she had no idea what was wrong with Celeste or why she had Flat Finn. That was more ranty than I thought it would be but this is what made me not enjoy this book as much as I otherwise would have.
Once I found out what the deal was with Celeste and Flat Finn and the pieces fell together, I really liked the story. Sadly, Julie still kept getting on my nerves. I was expecting a light and ‘feel good’ story and was surprised at how emotional it was, especially towards the end. Julie issues aside, I enjoyed this story. I just found out Celeste is getting her own story next and I’m excited to read it because that girl has some serious issues! I do find that girl characters annoy me more than guy characters do so chances are that my Julie issues might not even bother you.
Audiobook Review: I had no complaints with the narration. I liked it but it wasn’t my favorite. I liked her Julie voice and I loved her Celeste voice but I didn’t particularly care for her Matt or Finn voices.
I’m torn between a 3.5 and a 4 star review for this…
Terrible story line. Cheesy. Waste of my time.
No I definitely won't be choosing her again. Too adolescent.
Actually, it is Jennifer, not Michael. I enjoy a variety of books but am drawn to romantic historical fiction with a Christian message.
This listen was disappointing, however I am probably not the target audience. Teenagers or college students might find this book interesting. I only got to chapter 7. The beginning of the book is about a freshman college student in Boston. Due to some unfortunate circumstances she is forced to live with a friend of her mother. Also, living at this house is the son of the friend. The majority of the first 7 chapters is comprised of the facebook conversations and interactions between these two individuals. It seems that they are continuously trying to see who can have the coolest response to the other. It just seemed like teenage drama to me. They also took the Lord's name in vain several times and that is unacceptable.
Modern. Sweet. Clever.
A lot of stories with 'surprises' do a bad job with them, and this one did a good job. I had guessed before the reveal, but I liked how they did the reveal and then the open questions had answers that made sense.
I loved the sweetness the author captured. Young love is hard to describe in a way that rings true, and yet is not annoying to adult readers, but she got it.
Everything. I love Julia Whelan - so much that I often pick books based on her being the narrator. I have yet to see a bad performance.
What does it mean when you fit in to a group people you perceive as misfits?
This story is YA, but as a not-so-young adult, I enjoyed it quite a lot.
One of the best audio books I have listened to. The story is sad, funny, and happy I want more..
Yes I didn't want to stop listening I loved the narrator what a great job.
Where was this book that I hadn't listened to it before!
I would recommend it because this book is amazing and the audiobook is as well!
Chapter 22 was one of my favorite scenes.
I enjoyed that the narrator of the book took on each character and portrayed the emotions like we imagined them.
The narrorator was good and she made some LOL moments, but that was it.
This was seriously not somethig for me. Seriously I dont know why the ratings for this book is so high this is more of early teenager rated PG read. It took forever to get to the point of the love and the moral to the story that by the time it did I was so annoyed that I didn't even care any more and that was the last 2 chapters of the book. What a waste of a credit! UGH so disappointed.
Even the excellent narration couldn't keep me interested. Very 1-dimensional characters and a plot that was predictable from the about the 3rd page. Maybe I'm not the right demographic for this YA story.
It was not what I was expecting and it wasn't the usual, run of the mill romantic comedy. What a pleasant surprise. The narrator made all the difference...took this story to the next level.
This books starts off with Julie Seagle, leaving home in Ohio, arriving in Boston Massachusetts to attend Whitney College. Upon arrival, she found out the apartment she rented on Craigslist, didn't really exist and she had no where to go. Luckily, her mother's college roommate Erin Watkins lived in Cambridge, so Erin offered Julie a place to stay until she found accommodations.
Erin's son Matt came and picked her up, and thus began Julie's introduction to the Watkins Household.
This family was definitely a circus and it takes the entire book to unravel. see Erin was an attorney and also a scholar. Her husband Roger was another scholar who researches ecosystems involving algae etc. Oldest son Finn wasn't there but was supposed to be gallivanting the globe during humanitarian work. Matt was a double major at MIT and youngest sister Celeste carried around a cut-out of her older brother Finn because she missed him so much.
This family was really smart and really strange, and soon Julie's arrival began having profound changes in the family dynamics and forced the family to confront issues long swept under the rug.
This book was layered yet so enjoyable. It seemed that Finn was the family connector when I started the book because he was the golden child. But as the book progressed, it became clear that Matt was the glue that held the Watkins family together. I loved the individual as well as the family growth as everyone had to face the issues they were running from. By the end of the book, everything made more sense and I was blown away. I loved it. The narrator was awesome. This was definitely YA-NA with a bite.
If you want a YA book with some substance and was more about familial love than romantic love, then give this book a whirl. It has romantic love but this book was about personal growth and continuing a journey.
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