Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1)

Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1)Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Well, that was a let down. Amazon is shilling this book all over the place. It has great reviews on GR. I expected this to be awesome. It’s been on my TBR for a year or so and I just never got around to reading it- Something about it didn’t appeal to me. Well, last Saturday I had to sit around for 2 hours while I got new tires put on my car and this was on my kindle so I started in on it.

It was… OK. I have extremely mixed feelings about this book. I half hated it and half really liked it- hence my 2.5/5 rating.

What I hated:

1. Fracking Celeste. I wanted to kill this character. I realize that she had experienced trauma and that’s the reason for her developmental issues, but she was just so damn annoying that I couldn’t care. Every time she came up in the book I felt like I was reading about Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler.

It was all just too much. The weird way she spoke (no contractions here, folks), the clothes, the Flat Finn, the general social unawareness- Too. Much. Celeste wasn’t quirky, she was an alien. An alien that I couldn’t stand. I can’t believe this character gets her own book (that I won’t be reading).

2. The “twist.” Can I call it that? I don’t feel like I can write the word twist in this context without the quotations because it was obvious from the first time Flat Finn appeared what had happened. The fact that Julie couldn’t figure it out was infuriating.

This entire book hinges on the fact that main character, who is supposed to be highly intelligent, is actually a moron. I think this is the main reason why I can’t give this book a higher rating. It’s just so unbelievable that Julie couldn’t figure this out. Just totally absurd. It was hard to get through the nearly 300 pages of Julie being an idiot and not get extremely irritated.

What I liked:

1. The characters were witty- except for Celeste. Matt and Julie had some hilarious conversations. I enjoyed their interactions that didn’t include Finn.

2. Some of the story. If you were to 86 the entire Finn story line and cut Celeste this would have been a book I would have really enjoyed. The issues with Julie and her father were sad, but her handling of it was amusing. If the author could have come up with a less obvious “twist” and created another conflict for Julie and Matt this book would have been great.

I know this is a crappy thing to write in a review: I would have liked this book if it was completely different, but I can’t help but have some sort of cognitive dissonance about it. The writing was superb. The characterization and character development was awesome, but the premise kind of sucked. I liked it, but I hated it at the same time.

Overall, I probably wouldn’t recommend this book. It will keep you sort of entertained, but there’s really no pay off at the end. It’s like watching a really exciting baseball game only to have it rained out and rescheduled.

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