Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love #2)
Publication date: May 22, 2014
Kindle ARC, 273 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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.
Ignore everything you think you know and listen only to your heart, without doubting anything.
Five stars aren’t nearly enough for this book and no review that I write will do it justice. I was a little late to the Flat-Out Love party, but I’ve read it twice in the last few months. (It’s come to my attention I never wrote a review and that’s something I must rectify immediately.) The characters were the driving force of the book for me. They were unique and witty, slightly awkward and endearing. I fell in love with every single one of them. When the truth was revealed, it took me entirely by surprise and broke my heart. By the end of the book, however, my heart had been repaired, I had cried buckets of tears and I was even more deeply in love with each and every one of the characters – and with Jessica Park for bringing them all to life. I devoured Flat-Out Matt and crossed my fingers that Celeste would get a book. I could have done cartwheels when I found out she was and I actually squealed when I got my hands on a review copy. Books like this are why I love to read.
Life was getting better for her. Very slowly, bit by bit, she was allowing the walls she’d so carefully constructed to come down. Every move felt to be a most dangerous risk, but she was taking those risks and they were paying off. The world might not be such a hateful place after all, and there was the faint hope that she might just be able to find a place in it.
Celeste has come a long way since the first book when she was carting Flat Finn around everywhere. Her character growth in Flat-Out Love was nothing compared to the progress she makes in this book. She was brilliant. Charming. Adorable. I just wanted to befriend her and give her a big hug. She’s making new friends and putting herself out there. Sure, the quirks are still there and there were at least two scenes that ripped my heart out. She’s so strong, but still vulnerable. That’s what makes her so real and lovable. She really does meet her perfect match in Justin.
Justin: You’re the one saving me, and I’m not letting my woman of salvation travel around the dangerous streets unaccompanied. #chivaltryaintdeadbaby #sendhelp #sendshrimp #hashtagsgoneinsane #hashtagsdonotbelonginatext #whatever I’ll pick you up at 7, ok?
I don’t have words to describe how much I loved Justin. He was quirky and clumsy and talked non-stop and was just as much of a mess (I mean that in a totally lovable way!) as Celeste. He was such a sweet, good kid. They were perfectly matched and I loved watching them fall in love with each other. It was that perfect first teenage love and it totally warmed my heart. I loved too the added parallel to Flat-Out Love that they fell in love long-distance through emails and texts. Of course, nothing is ever easy and sometimes characters are their own worst enemy.
“Sometimes love is not enough, and it doesn’t matter how much you want it. Want him. And even if nobody else compares to that person, it doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to be with him.”
Ok, now the hard truth. I’ll be the first to admit, that I was less than thrilled to learn that Matt and Julie had broken up and, worse yet, been apart for two years. TWO YEARS. 🙁 I loved them so, so much in Flat-Out Love and it more than broke my heart that they didn’t make it. It was obvious they still loved each other. I loved that Celeste was as unwilling as I to believe they were over. Once the truth behind their breakup came out, I understood why it was all necessary. I won’t say anything else but that the characters more than made up for their lack in judgement by the end of the book. I was totally squeeing before it was all over with.
I lose myself and find myself at the same time with you.
Just like Flat-Out Love, Flat-Out Celeste is full of feels and believe me when I say I felt ALL OF THEM. From the witty banter I’ve come to expect from these characters to the scenes that ripped my heart out and left it shredded on the floor to the ones that patched me right back up until I was whole again, it was all sheer perfection. I just love everything about these characters and this series. As anxious as I was to finish this book, part of me wanted it to last forever. So many big, fuzzy, feel-filled hearts for Jessica Park and this book.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version.