Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

Flat-Out Love, book 2
published on May 22nd 2014 by CreateSpace
Young Adult | Contemporary | Romance

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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.


“I am choosing a love that defies boundaries and a life that defies boundaries. That is the power of Celeste.”

Do you guys know what I like about books most?? Nah? Well, it’s those highly emotional reads where I can’t help but get attached to the characters. The books that made me care, made me feel the emotions that the people in the book are feeling. Those books where when I’m nearing the end of that book, I read more slowly because I don’t want to finish it yet. And of all of that is Flat-Out Celeste and more.

Everything started with Flat Out Love (which I also loved!). If you haven’t read that book yet, go read it! What are you waiting for?

Celeste is in Flat-Out Love as a side character. Even in that book, I liked her already. She’s easy to sympathize with. She is special. She carried a cardboard image of her dead brother, Finn, everywhere she went. She dealt with her grief that way. She has social skills that some people will see as not normal. So she isolates herself most of the time.

Now after two years, she’s a senior in high school. She has this theory that college will be better than high school. Justin, a liason on Barton College initiated an email correspondence with her. Then, without knowing it, she was actually comfortable around a stranger for the first time. She was hesitant at first but she took the needed baby steps to change. Now, she might finally learn to stop trying to blend in and start becoming who she really is, which is so much awesome.

“I refuse to be left behind in this world, so I need to catch up.”

Celeste, the main character, is just plain brilliant. At first, I was really weirded out by the way she speaks. I have my dictionary ready beside me since her choice of words is really deep and English is not my first language. She also doesn’t use contractions.

But that is Celeste and I wouldn’t change anything. She is scared and brave at the same time. She is not a “Mary Sue” character because she has flaws but those flaws make her more… real.

Well let’s now focus on Justin, shall we? He is vibrant, outgoing and full of life. He always have A LOT to say. He doesn’t do calm. In fact, he’s a major klutz. Well, until he met Celeste. Cliche, you think? Yes, kind of, but it was surprisingly okay with me. In fact, I did not get the annoyed feeling I was expecting. All I got was the feels. Insurmountable amount of it. I found his babbling even adorable.

“I’m not letting my woman of salvation travel around the dangerous streets unaccompanied. #chivalryaintdeadbaby #sendhelp #sendshrimp #hashtagsgoneinsane #hashtagsdonotbelonginatext #whatever I’ll pick you up at 7, okay?”

The relationship between Celeste and Justin is slow-building. I like it that way. We get to see their ups and downs. I was giddy and heartbroken. Elated and melancholic. I experienced myriad of emotions, it’s overwhelming at times. Sometimes, I think I prefer geeky guys over alpha ones. They’re just so.. uncomplicated.

“Justin stirred, smiling even before his eyes were open. “Well, hello. This person reaching up my shirt better be who I think it is, or I’m gonna freak out.”

Celeste pulled her hand away quickly. “Sorry.”

“Oh good, it is you,” he murmured. “Why is there stopping? Why is there no more hand being all cute and awesome?”

And this book is not only about the romance. Since, Celeste always have a hard time interacting with people around her, she tried to get along, to make friends. It was hard for her but she tried. I am just so proud of her. This book is also about Celeste being out of her comfort zone.

I also liked how we get to see Matt and Julie again. I missed Matt’s geeky shirts! I particularly like the one with: “Come to the nerd side. We have Pi.” Matt and Julie were apart (that is not a spoiler since it’s said in the early chapters) for 2 years but I think I understand why the author did it. It added to the force where Celeste finally sees the amazing side of her. I don’t like that she sells herself short. Society’s standards sucks sometimes. =_=

This book break me down and build me up. It’s so hard to find a YA Contemporary Romance nowadays that stood out. Some books just repeat the same plot over and over again. But here? It’s never predictable. After you read this one, you will always want to have foam on your coffee. Heh. ;)

Overall, this was truly a book to watch out for. Definitely recommended but be sure to read Flat-Out Love first.


Skulls 4.5


Have you read this one of Flat-Out Love? Do you want to?

About Margarita

Margarita loves writing reviews to let out her feels and rants. She can be very shy but when you get to know her better, she’s really a pretty outgoing person!

Goodreads | Twitter | all of Margarita’s posts →


31 thoughts on “Review: Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

  1. Yeah, I love connecting with characters as well! It’s one thing I need to give in order to give a book 4 or 5 stars in fact. ^^ Also, I did not read this series (sorry!!) but your enthusiasm is contagious. ;) Justin seems so nice! And good thing there is not ONLY romance. Fab review, Margarita! xx


    1. Thanks, Lola! The book focuses on character development and I approve! I hope you’ll give this series a try someday! :)


  2. Oh my god i didn’t even know this book existed and I LOVED Flat Out Love! I loved Celeste so much in the first book i’m excited to get in her head and catch up with her two years later, and i’m all for slow burn romances. I also want more Matt & Julie! Hearing they were apart breaks my heart!


    1. There is a pretty good reason why they were apart. If you loved the first one, you’ll definitely love this more! :)


  3. I loved Flat-Out Love. It blew me away. I am so happy that Flat-Out Celeste was as good as its predecessor. I cannot wait to know more about Celeste and meet Matt and Julie again. Lovely review, Margarita! :)


    1. I agree! Too much romance and no character development in books is usually a recipe for an unsatisfying read. Thanks Rachel!


  4. Aw, this review reminded me of Flat-Out Love which I loved when I read it. *feels the warm fuzzies in her spine* I would love to read about Celeste. She was endearing in the first book, and I would love to see her grow now and mature to someone who can finally let others in into her heart. And slow-and-steady romance! who doens’t love that? The way when characters gradually like each other, you grow and love alongside them? That’s legit the best feeling ever.

    Faye at The Social Potato


  5. You know, when I first read Flat-Out Love, I was a little shocked. =)) It was sooo sexy. Sadly, I’ve DNF-ed it and haven’t picked it up yet. But this one looks cute and fun. Just from your quotes, I think I’ll like Justin :D Thank you for the honest review, Marga!


  6. I totally forgot that you had joined the DD girls! I kept thinking, “this isn’t Aimee’s review style – what is she doing??” But it’s Margo! *waves frantically* Heyo :P

    Anyhoo – loved this review. And now I’m totally convinced that I need to get my hands on this book :D But I’m still crying over the fact that Matt and Julie aren’t together anymore… that better be a REALLY good reason. But I adored Flat Out Love, so I’m sure I’ll still be head over heels for Celeste’s story.


    1. Haha. Hi there, Kayla! *waves back*

      There IS a really good reason! I am devastated as well but.. it was worth it! Hope you love this one like I did!


  7. Hey Margarita! Wooo it’s your first review at Deadly Darlings, must be so exciting. I haven’t read Flat Out Love and then obviously not the sequel either. However you review makes me want to drive out to my nearest book store and pick up both, stat.

    I love it when secondary characters are highlighted in other books in a series. Often times I feel like these characters deserve a lot more time in a story, so them getting a book of their own is great! You get the opportunity to get to know them better and see some killer character development.

    Celeste sounds like a wonderful secondary character to base a book around. I love those MC’s that are so realistic with their emotions that you just can’t help but sympathize with them. She seems to go on a real journey in this book, and I love reading about a character who slowly moves on from their grief and become stronger.

    Haha awww! Celeste and Justin’s relationship seems sweet, I adore a nice and slow building romance. The journey the couple takes to becoming more is so adorable and when it’s there you basically die from the feels. It sounds like pair does have natural chemistry too which is great. Sometimes in YA there’s characters who I just don’t understand how they could be a couple due to differences in world views and such. I personally can say that I definitely prefer geeks over alpha males. They’re waaaay less likely to fall into usual tropes.

    Great review! it was so detailed and ahhhh, I want to read both book now.


    1. I am quite nervous at first but it is exciting! The blogging community is welcoming so far. :D

      Right? Geeky guys are more likely the ones serious about their feelings! I really found Justin adorable. :3

      Ooops yeah, this review was seriously long. I guess I got carried away. *shrugs* ;)


  8. I’ve picked up Flat out Love but I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but wow the way Celeste is kind of special makes it even more appealing to me. It would be interesting to read about her experience and I can definitely see where it would be emotional. Great review!


  9. I’ve only read Left Drowning by the author and didn’t enjoy it so much, but seeing how much you liked this one I may pick up Flat Out Love just to try it out. Great review!


  10. HOORAY! So glad you really enjoyed this one. I absolutely adored her as a preteen in Flat Out Love, and have been looking forward to reading this one. I was worried that she would lose that quirkiness that she had, but it sounds like not only she stayed true to her nature, but she may have met her match with Justin. Awesome review <3


  11. Well darn girl! I’m intrigued! I love books that provoke really strong emotions in me, and this sounds like one! Thanks for sharing and lovely review! <3


  12. OH MY GOD I MUST READ THIS BOOK NOW. I got it through Kindle Unlimited, but I haven’t quite gotten around to reading it yet… That is definitely not a problem anymore. Oh my god, this book sounds awesome. And those quotes you put in are so adorable. I’m positively swooning. Okay, if I continue this comment, it will be a jumbled mess but THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS REVIEW. Anyway. I’m composed again.

    Not really, but.

    Tori @ Bookish Affairs


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