Throw back review – because our favorite girl has FINALLY hit the Audiobook world, and I am looooooving it. The narrator, Tavia Gilbert couldn’t be more perfect.
~ Synopsis ~
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.
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.
I’m suffering from a severe book-hangover. I received an ARC around 7:30pm last night, and after the initial Tom Cruise jumping up and down and a long round of WOOOHOOOO!!!! To which the students at the college I work at were very entertained – I started it immediately – and didn’t crash until it was done. As 2am was looming, I was outside in my reading nook, chain smoking and trying to get through the last 20% of the book with tears streaming…
If you’ve read Flat-Out-Love, you know Celeste. Our favorite girl with a personality all her own. Now, she’s in her senior year of high school, going through the usual ups and downs of teenage life – but experiencing everything through her own unique way…. there’s no other way to put it. Celeste is in a world of her own, but desperate to belong – and through the anxiety she suffers she tries to become something different…
“Celeste knew that, according to societal standards at least, she was attractive, but she didn’t quite understand why those standards existed in the first place. Her appearance had nothing to do with the strange creature that she was.”
She’s going through the motions of high school, and applying to numerous colleges across the country – she’s HIGHLY intelligent, this has never been her issue – things seem to get complicated in more social situations. She understands she’s different, and even is close to discovering what her issues are – even though she’s scared to put a label to it. You hurt for her – you cheer for her – and even though her issues are in a class all her own, you still get the over all sense that every teenager feels trying to become who they are. We are all a mess at that age, some people are just better at hiding it. But when she receives an email from Justin Milano, a sophomore at Barton College in San Diego – she doesn’t think much of it. Celeste has her pick of Ivy League schools on the east coast, but as these two e-mail back and forth, Celeste finds herself eager to correspond with him, and relieved that he doesn’t seem intimidated or unsure of her perfect pronunciation of all things wordy. They email, and eventually start texting – and the hilarity that is Jessica Park flows effortlessly between these two, I woke my husband up more than once before he banished me outside to my nook…
“Justin: I know where you live.
Justin: Wait, I didn’t mean that in a creepy way…
Justin: Hello? Oh gawd… Did I freak you out?
Justin: I just meant that I would know where to pick you up. And it’s not like I’d show in a van with the windows all blacked out. That’d be super creepy.
Justin: I drive a Prius.
Justin: Nobody gets abducted in a Prius, right?”
As Justin and Celeste begin to develop, the goosebumps are evident – the tingles and the butterflies were fluttering in my stomach. These two… though by societal standards may be considered hopelessly flawed – they fit better than any two could…
“Seriously. You can’t take me anywhere. I’m such an embarrassment. Did I get you? You’re probably soaked.” “I’m completely dry. It was an accident, so please do not fret over this. One does not cry over spilt milk, and so one certainly does not feel even the slightest pang of remorse over spilt water.” “You’re too nice. I’m a complete klutz. Really, I shouldn’t be let out in public.” “Justin?” He looked at her, both of them with soggy napkins in their hands, and Celeste smiled softly. Justin looked near frantic. Then very deliberately and very calmly, she tipped over her own water glass.”
Celeste is caught somewhere between the past and present – trying to focus on her future. We get the absolute privileged of seeing her develop into the strong woman hiding beneath her anxiety and experience so many things for the first time.
If you thought this story couldn’t get any better…. oh my god!
It is soooooooooooo hard to write this review without seriously gushing and spoiling EVERYTHING…. shear torture! Jessica Park has continued this story in the most beautiful way possible…. questions answered you didn’t even know you had…. and watching as these people create lives for themselves…. I feel for these people…. and I cried for them, with them, and cheered them on… my husband thinks I’m crazy because I talk about these characters as if they’re real people. But that just shows you Jessica Park’s talent as a writer.
Check out Jessica Park’s Flat-Out-Love Series!
Book 1: Flat Out Love
Book 1.5: Flat Out Matt