“I hope that someday they invent a car that runs on inappropriate thoughts” Flat Out Love by, Jessica Park

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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 Seagle 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.

This had been on my To-Read list for ages. And when it went on sale a few months back I got it to add to my never ending to-read folder in my kindle. But after reading lately – what seemed to be a lot of bondage/BDSM smut I wanted something a bit different. Something funny – something I could fall in love with. And Flat-Out-Love did NOT disappoint.

Julie has just moved to Boston from Ohio for college. She is standing outside a burrito restaurant – which should have been the apartment she rented (already paid for) on Craigs List. She’s freaking out – like any 18 year old would whose away from home for the first time – with out her mom and no one in Boston that she knows.

Her mother calls her old college roommate who lives in the area and of course, she sends her son Matt to rescue Julie and bring her to their home. Julie’s still freaking out – starting college in a few days and no place to live. But Erin and her family welcome her with open arms and she finds her niche’ within the family dynamic – that is well, not your average family. Erin, Matt’s mother invites Julie to stay permanently – she can live at their home for free and focus on her studies – and help them watch her 13 year old daughter Celeste. Which, you would think is odd – but Celeste is eccentric. She speaks with proper English and dresses about 5 years younger than she is. Plus there’s the Flat Finn thing.

What’s Flat Finn? FF Is a life size cardboard cut out of her brother Finn. FF goes everywhere with Celeste accept to school. But he must be present in the car when she is picked up and dropped off at school. Celeste rarely leaves the house for social things – if at all. Julie is intrigued and confused but goes a long with it – and brings FF everywhere they go – she brings him to the grocery store, she takes him to the coffee house trying to bring Celeste out of her shell. Julie is convinced she can help this girl become more of a girl her age – but it’s going take some time. And no one will explain Flat Finn to her – why it started, or why everyone continues on like nothing is off.

Julie starts college – she and Matt become very close friends, but she also starts Facebook messaging the traveling son Finn (the non-cardboard version.) And thanks him for allowing her to bombard his bedroom. They banter back and forth through messages – he sends her pictures of his adventures all over the world. And Julie assumes that Celeste’s issue is with her favorite brother being gone – she must of had some sort of attachment issues. So Flat Finn doesn’t seem so weird – or does it?

As Julie and Finn start to get closer – Julie starts dating someone but soon realizes that she’s more wrapped up in Finn that she wanted to admit.

The story is funny – the banter between Matt, Julie and Finn is hilarious and Jessica Park has a fantastic way of writing the story like you’re right there with them. You can see these conversations happening between you and your friends in the re-telling of a story. And in my opinion that’s the BEST way to read a book. She makes you laugh – she’ll make you cry. I was a blubbering mess in a number of parts. It made me feel – I feel in love with both Matt and Finn … and hopefully you will too. Check it out!

*Favorite Quotes*

“Mom, I have to go. I think this Matt character is here.”
“Are you sure it’s him?”
Julie peered into the car as the window lowered. “I see a maniacal-looking guy with brightly-colored candy in one hand, and he’s waving a sickle in the other. Oh! He’s beckoning me to the car. This must be my ride.”

“What happens when you get scared half to death twice?”

“Thinks that twitter is like facebook’s slutty cousin. It does everything dumb and whore-ish you’re too responsible to do”

“She looked into Matt’s eyes. ‘Even so, I love you.’
Matt smiled at her and winked. ‘I know.’

“Good. I think I’m falling for you too. Let’s not pull this chute.”

“Finn is God: So much for Earth Day. I totally screwed things up and started celebrating the wrong planet. Now I have to collect all these stupid trademarked dog figurines that I distributed all of the yard. At least it’s better than last year’s mistake when I had butt statues everywhere.”


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