Saturday, May 4, 2013

Novella Review: Flat-Out Matt

Flat-Out Matt (Flat-Out Love, #1.5)
Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Park
March 25, 2013
158 pages
Source: Personal purchase
Matt is a junior at MIT. He’s geeky, he's witty, he's brilliant.

And he’s also very, very stupid.

When beautiful, cool, insightful Julie moves in with Matt’s family, why (oh why!) does he pretend to be his absent brother Finn for her alleged benefit?

It seems harmless enough until her short-term stay becomes permanent. And until it snowballs into heart-squeezing insanity. And until he falls in love with Julie, and Julie falls in love with Finn.

But … Matt is the right one for her. If only he can make Julie see it. Without telling her the truth, without shattering them all. Particularly his fragile sister Celeste, who may need Julie the most.

You saw Matt through Julie’s eyes in FLAT-OUT LOVE. Now go deeper into Matt’s world in this FLAT-OUT MATT novella. Live his side of the story, break when his heart breaks, and fall for the unlikely hero all over again.

Take an emotional skydive for two prequel chapters and seven Flat-Out Love chapters retold from his perspective, and then land with a brand-new steamy finale chapter from Julie.

My Review:

If you haven't read Flat-Out Love, then do not read Flat-Out Matt until you have. This is the retelling of parts of Flat-Out Love from Matt's perspective, plus a couple of bonus chapters before and after, including a steamy final chapter (much steamier than FOL). If you haven't read Flat-Out Love, then run out and get yourself a copy, because I absolutely loved it. Don't read this review if you haven't read FOL because it may contain spoilers. You have been warned.

I was so happy when I heard about this novella. I loved FOL and I loved geeky, endearing, and heartbroken Matt. So Jessica Park wants to give me more Matt? Well, you don't have to tell me twice. Of course, this is a novella, so it is short, and not all the parts of FOL are included, but that was okay with me (even though I would have read an entire book from Matt). She warned us going into the novella. I re-read FOL before reading FOM and was very glad I did. Not only did I love FOL all over again, but it prepared me for the FOM chapters. I recommend a FOL re-read before FOM if you want to get the full benefit of the read and Matt's POV. Though Jessica does reference which chapters are being re-told, so you could also have FOL beside you while you read FOM if you want to refer to it.

What I didn't totally expect was how heart-breaking reading Matt's POV would be. He's had to endure so much from the neglect of his family, but he doesn't complain. Not really. He loves his family. He loves Celeste. He loved Finn. He will do anything for them, including sacrifice his own happiness. And then we see how much he loves Julie. The chapters were the perfect mix of bitter and sweet, heartbreak and hope. I could see and feel their love developing, particularly his for her. It was beautiful.

The bonus chapters were amazing. My heart broke over the loss of his wonderful relationship with his big brother and best friend, Finn. I love those brothers. And Matt's willingness to be the responsible one for his broken sister, Celeste, was admirable. I loved the extra glimpses Jessica gave us into Matt's life and thought process. Then the bonus material at the end, with the sky dive and the start of their relationship. I loved seeing Matt and Julie finally able to be completely real and free with each other, without any barriers between them.

Jessica Park did an amazing job giving her readers what we wanted and asked for. This novella was exactly what I needed to feel complete in Matt and Julie's world. I loved Matt's POV and Jessica wrapped it all up beautifully. Well done, Ms. Park!



  1. Exactly! It did make FOL seem more complete, (even though I didn't really feel anything was lacking from FOL... I was happy with that book and how it ended, but FOM just made it MORE SO.)

    I loved Matty in FOL, but you're completely right, getting in his head and seeing his struggles firsthand, just made me fall head over heels for this adorkable boy.

    'Twas fantastic... and so is this review :)

    1. Thanks Dani! I loved Matty on FOL too. I wasn't expecting to even get a novella from him, so this was just an extra cherry on top of FOL's awesomeness. It's hard not to fall for Matt and all his amazing nerdiness :)


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