Flat-Out Love

Flat-Out Love
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
July 27, 2011
ISBN
978-1461085973
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Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it. When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes. And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That's because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie's suddenly lonesome soul. To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer. Flat-Out Love comes complete with emails, Facebook status updates, and instant messages.

User reviews

3 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.3(3)
Characters
 
4.0(3)
Writing Style
 
4.7(3)
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Flat-Out Love
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
2.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Flat-Out Love opens up with Julie heading off to college and arriving at what she thinks is her new apartment. Actually, it’s a burrito restaurant; now she’s broke and homeless. What a great way to begin life in a new city! Of course she gets rescued, by the super adorable Matt! He is a geek extraordinaire and I loved him! (We both have this habit of correcting everything anyone says to us and going off on irrelevant tangents to explain our reasoning.) I can’t say the same for Julie at the beginning. I just didn’t get her. While thinking about her friends back home, she only had negative things to say about them. She basically called them airheads and said she had to dumb herself down for them. Why would you be friends with people who you know don’t “get” you and would make fun of you for being smart? And she thought her ex-boyfriend was an asshole and a homosexual, so why date him?! She also teased Matt a lot for his geeky shirts and his random knowledge, but she came across as mean most of the time. Thankfully, their banter seemed to become more playful and less antagonistic as the book moved on.

However, I had to admire her for accepting Matt’s 13 year old sister, Celeste’s, quirks and for trying to help her. Celeste speaks like an Drama professor, dresses like a second-grader, carries around a cardboard cut-out of their older brother, Finn, and has no friends. Julie tries taking Celeste out to places and have girlie fun with her which was really nice, but some of her approaches were a bit shallow. Her relationship with Celeste was actually the main thing I cared about in the plot. I had a feeling that there was something else off about this family. I formed my own theory, and I was way off. The twist was a shock to me.

This book is chock full of hilarious quotes, but that didn’t make up for my lack of interest in the story. I could probably recite a line from this for everyday for the rest of the year, but in a few weeks I may not be able to tell you anything about the story except for Celeste and the many Facebook conversations. There was a romance, which started out quite unconventionally and I liked that, but something seemed to be missing. I suppose I just didn’t connect with this book as well as others. It’s by no means a bad book. It’s actually very well written, smart, witty, and emotional. It just wasn’t for me.
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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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I Flat-Out Love This Book
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.

The Sum Up: 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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