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The Reading Date

Hello fellow book lovers! I'm Lucy and I blog about books, audiobooks and movies at The Reading Date. I'm testing the waters over here to see how it goes. What are you reading?

Flat-Out Love

Flat-Out Love - Jessica Park Flat-Out Love knocked me out. The story is witty and surprising and I loved the characters with their quirks and lovable traits. The book also has a surprising heart fluttering romance that takes your breath away. All of the details put into the story and the characters make this a very special book.The premise is eighteen-year-old Julie has just left home in Ohio for college in Boston. Due to a fraudulent apartment listing she has no place to stay. Her mom’s college roommate comes to the rescue and invites her to stay with their family where she meets the parents Erin and Roger Watkins, and their children Matt and Celeste. The parents are workaholics and order take-out every night for dinner. Matt attends MIT, wears nerdy t-shirts, and looks after thirteen-year-old Celeste. Celeste is lovable and precocious but lacking in social skills. It doesn’t help her fit in with her peers when she carries around a life-sized cardboard cutout of oldest brother Finn.Finn is smart, gorgeous and outgoing and is away traveling the world doing volunteer work. The family calls the cardboard cutout “Flat Finn” and he gets his own seat at the dinner table and watches over Celeste. Julie doesn’t know what she’s gotten herself into, but makes herself at home in Finn’s empty bedroom. She introduces herself to him on Facebook and they begin a flirty correspondence. Julie quickly becomes a role model to Celeste and has a playful sibling-type relationship with Matt.Julie is a fixer and wants to help the dysfunctional family with their issues. She knows there’s a secret they are hiding. But is the truth too much to bear?I love quirky characters and witty dialogue in books and this book excels in that area. I felt invested with all the characters, starting with the protagonist Julie. Julie is unique in that she is a little older than typical YA main characters and has a witty, relaxed and quiet confident way about her that is charming. She has had her own family struggles but is capable and handles her problems in a take-charge manner. The fact that she is living away from home and in college is very refreshing and I wished we saw more of this in YA books. Julie has a good relationship with all the Watkins children, and I especially liked her scenes with Matt. My Friday Night Lights loving heart enjoyed that two of the main characters are named Matt and Julie.There is a good well-rounded mix of drama, romance and humor in the story. There is also a mystery that Julie is trying to solve about the unspoken family drama in the Watkins household. Sprinkled throughout the story are humorous Facebook status updates, emails and chat messages written by Julie and the Watkins brothers that are funny, charming, romantic and help tell their story. The book takes some surprising turns to keep you on your toes. I was hurrying to read it to see how it would work out, but at the same time didn’t want it to end.Recommended for fans of contemporary romance, quirky characters, and witty dialogue. Flat-Out Love is a satisfying and sharply written book that I’m glad I took a chance on.