Publisher: Jessica Park
For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she’s too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation.
But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.
Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her—that is, if she’ll let him.
Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple—two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.
Whether you were charmed by Celeste in Flat-Out Love or are meeting her for the first time, this book is a joyous celebration of differences, about battling private wars that rage in our heads and in our hearts, and—very much so— this is a story about first love.
I read Flat-Out Love and Flat-Out Matt in under a week because I enjoyed them so much, so of course I had to follow up with Flat-Out Celeste to keep going with the characters I’d been really into for the last little bit. I’ve never gone back and forth so much on my review of a book. One day I’d be listening to it and be all “Oh this is a good 4 stars on Goodreads book” but the next I’d feel like it only deserved 2. I probably shouldn’t have followed the other two so close (I was on a story binge, leave me alone!) because I was mad with where Matt and Julie were at the start of this story. But this story wasn’t about Matt and Julie, it was about Celeste.
Unfortunately Celeste’s character is pretty unrelatable. Even for someone who may be socially awkward or have some similar personality quirks, I can’t imagine she reads quite right. Her speech has no flow, which I guess they’d talked about a little bit with her use of contractions, but she was just odd and she didn’t feel very human to me; even when her character was at (or supposed to be at) her most human. There were times where I was just totally and completely annoyed with the character and yelling at her in the car (as I was listening to the audio book).
Also, something you should know about these books by Jessica Park is that she has a very set story line. I guess it’s pretty typical of these kind of romances-but hers seems to be pretty set in it’s same path. Awkward character meets slightly less awkward character who has their own issues, they fall in love, something big happens that breaks them up and seems unforgivable to one party, but everything ends up happy and resolved at the end because that party realizes they were just being a total moron and goes running back to arms that are surprisingly still open for them in spite of how awful they’re being. It felt a little tired by this book.
That being said, I did still enjoy the romance of it all, and I found myself tweeting Jessica Park to ask if she’d do a Flat-Out Justin version as she did for the first book. I think she will.