Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review: Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love, #2)
Flat-Out Celeste
(Flat-Out Love #2)
May 22, 2014
336 pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Contains: Some language and sexual references
Source: Personal purchase

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.

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.

I loved Flat-Out Love and Flat-Out Matt, so I had high hopes for Flat-Out Celeste, which is probably why it took me so long to read it. I was nervous my expectations were too high. Fortunately, I was not disappointed. Flat-Out Celeste was all the magic, emotion, tenderness, and quirkiness I had hoped for and more, making it one of my favorite reads this year.

Taking place during Celeste's senior year in high school, it has been years since the events of Flat-Out Love, and yet everything from that time period remains completely relevant. However, Celeste isn't exactly the same girl she used to be, yet also isn't who she thinks people want her to be. And now, dealing with college applications and the prospect of new social settings, Celeste must face the demons that have plagued her and figure out who she wants to be.

I completely love Celeste. The way her character is handled by the author is so beautifully well done. All the things Celeste faces about herself, from her idiosyncrasies and quirks, to her traumatic past, to her family, to her pending future and fears, to her foray into romance... they were all beautifully developed, brought to life, and done admirably. Celeste herself was a pleasure to read about and follow along in this touching journey of personal growth and hope for the future.

Then add in the completely adorable awesomeness that is Justin, and you've got the makings of a genius novel. These two were the perfect complements to each other. I loved them so much I wanted them to be real! Their emails and conversations were gold. Justin was a true treasure. Oh, and there's the added awesomeness of some Matt and Julie in there as well (making me extra nervous but it was perfectly executed), which gave my heart flutters as well.

Basically, I love this book. I love this series. Celeste and Justin are quirky, adorable, love-story perfection. I recommend reading Flat-Out Love before Flat-Out Celeste, and highly recommend them both. (Oh, and I also loved the Flat-Out Matt novella.) Just writing this review makes me want to read this book and this series all over again.

Have you started the series yet?
Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1)

Flat-Out Matt (Flat-Out Love, #1.5)

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