Monday, June 16, 2014

SUSAN - BOOK 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

If you've read Flat-Out Love, you've met Celeste, a beyond-her-years child who's coping with the loss of someone close to her. She's an adorable and sympathetic side character.

Flat Out Celeste is her story and takes place 5 years later. Celeste is now 18, she's odd, she's friendless, and she's lonely...still trying to cope, but now with a myriad of other issues. 

I loved this book...much better than book 1. Celeste breaks my heart. Yet at the same time, she inspires me. She's different than most teens, yes. But, at her core, she wants what all 18 year old girls (shit, girls of ALL ages) be loved and accepted as she is. 

Enter Justin Milano. OH to be 18 again and to have the hope of meeting someone as FANTASTIC as Justin Milano. This young man ROCKS! My younger-self crushes on him SO HARD. My older self would want my future daughter to be with someone like him. He too is quirky. But he's KIND...kind to his very core. And that's a beautiful characteristic in a young man. 

There is some emotion and angst, as expected. But, it never strays from being hopeful. And I loved that about this book. 

And, much to my delight, Matt (from book 1) has a fairly large part in the book. And considering how much I loved that dork, this made me very happy (oh yeah, Julie shows up to, but...blah blah blah...:) )

***Note to author: I will try to overlook the error, but, you have a scene where Justin & Celeste are texting...while she's in an airplane mid-flight. This, erm, isn't possible...(I've tried! *shhh*)

This is a lovely coming-of-age, first love story...that's tender and emotional and fun at times. Recommended!  (This can be read as a stand alone, though richer if read as a series) 

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