Friday, June 13, 2014

Review - Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

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

Erycka's review

It has been a couple of years since reading Flat-Out-Love and Flat-Out-Matt. When I heard Jessica was releasing a story solely based on Celeste, my excitement radar went through the roof. Celeste's quirkiness and oddities intrigued me in both of Jessica's previous books. So, to dive in and get more Celeste wasn't something I could say no to.

Celeste is now eighteen, a senior in high school, and is finding difficulty in deciding which Ivy league college to attend. They all want her. So does Barton in San Diego. She is still a bit of a recluse and still has "strange" speech patterns. This is what I love most about her. She reminds me of someone from the Renaissance era.

After her class presentation one of her classmates (Dallas) approaches her to congratulate her on a job well done. This takes Celeste by surprise as she is not used to having people dole out compliments in her direction.

"You give me such clarity."

While checking her email, Celeste comes across an email from a boy named Justin. He explains that he is a student liaison for Barton in San Diego and invites her to attend informational meeting regarding the school. Again, Celeste is taken by surprise because she's never heard of Barton.
Justin's email come in rapid succession. Much like Celeste, he is "different." After bagging on the first meeting, Celeste is yet again surprised when she comes home to find Justin sitting on her family couch. He is persistent if nothing else. Lucky for us, he is completely swoon worthy. Over time he brings Celeste out of her shell. He shows her new and exciting things.

"I am in the throes of my first romance and I'm deliriously happy."

Lest us not forget about Matt and Julie. Their once very romantic-til-the-end-of-time love affair has since ended. They are both miserable. Celeste knows they both still love one another but are too stubborn to do anything about it. Until one drunken night...

"Ignore everything you think you know and listen only to your heart, without doubting anything."

This story is one of love, forgiveness, fear, exploration, and new beginnings. It is very well written and lends itself to great comic relief. A one-click for sure!! I shall rate this book with 4 out of 5 stars.

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