Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1221
Absolutely the Best Book of 2011
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I flat-out loved this book! Seriously, I would totally marry this book if I could. It starts off with our young star in a sticky situation from which she must be rescued. She got screwed out of an apartment in a faraway college town and is left sitting on the side of the road (literally). Her mom phones an old college friend who lives nearby and said college friend sends her son Matt to pick up Julie.

Matt lives with his mom, Julie’s mom’s college friend, Erin, his dad Roger and his sister Celeste. Erin tells Julie she can stay as long as she wants. In exchange for the free room and board, she would like Julie to spend her afternoons with their 13-year-old Celeste, who has a few… quirks.

Along with Celeste’s cardboard stand-in for her older brother Finn, who is traveling the world on adventures and volunteer missions, Julie must deal with Erin and Roger who spend more time at work than they do at home with their family and Matt, who wears dorky geek t-shirts and spends his time either at school or at home working on his computer.

Julie finds herself drawn to Celeste and her odd companion and wants to help her become less shy around other people, and to act more “normal” around her classmates and teachers. But nobody will tell Julie anything about the life-size Flat Finn. Matt just keeps telling her to leave the whole subject alone. Even Finn, who Julie flirts with via email, won’t tell her about his cardboard counterpart.

The characters are real people who I would totally hang out with after school. They are well-rounded and believable people in an odd situation. Though I’ve never met someone who had a stand-in family member, I can imagine that this would be how they would act. I really came to care about these people and wanted to genuinely know what happened to them.

The dialogue was funny and witty and I loved the verbal sparring between Julie and Matt.

There was definitely an element of mystery here, as in WTH is up with Flat Finn? At one point, I thought I had it figured out, then I was wrong, then I knew what was going on, then I didn’t. It was fun to try to understand everything without having all of the clues.

There was romance in spades here, but I can’t really tell you about it without giving some secrets away, so just trust me on this one.

Flat-Out Love has become one of my favorite books. It has everything I’m looking for in a book: unique plot, interesting and relatable characters, fun dialogue and lots of romance. This needs to be on your must-read list pronto.
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