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