Flat-Out Love/Matt Book Review

April 11, 2013 / 0 comments

Flat-Out Love/Matt Book ReviewFlat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Published by Self-Published on April 11, 2011
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Format: ebook
Source: Borrowed, Purchased
Purchase @ AMAZON  or  BN
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He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read Nietzsche Is My Homeboy.

So, that was Matt. Who Julie Seagle likes. A lot. But there is also Finn. Who she flat out loves.

Complicated? Awkward? Completely.

But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother's? This was all supposed to be temporary. Julie wasn't supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she's never quite met. But what does that really matter? Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have connection.

But here's the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations—it always throws you a few curves. And no one ever escapes unscathed.

Liezel’s Thoughts:

“Fall in love with me, Julie, as I fell in love with you., he willed her. Fall in love, fall in love, fall in love…….”

So after my disappointment in Walking Disaster (click HERE for that review), I decided to give this different POV thing another try. I thought maybe its me, maybe I just hated different-POV novels. But after reading Flat-Out Matt a day after reading Flat-out Love (just like I did with BD/WD) I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t me after all. Flat-Out Love was fantastic, one of all time favorite reads. That being said I would rate it a 5/5. It was witty and gritty, complex and extremely emotionally heartbreaking. Both Julie and Matt made such a good impression on me that I could honestly say that these are two characters I would never forget even after reading hundreds of books. The storyline had a lot of dialogues in it which would have normally bored me but surprisingly it kept my attention. My continuous curiosity just kept me riveted… the question is he or isn’t he…? Finally at 63% into the book the realization hits me and my curiosity is piqued even more.

“You are my everything. You are challenging, and difficult, and guarded. I love those things about you. You are fascinating, and complex, and brilliant and funny. I love those things about you, too. I am in love with your selflessness and your ability to sacrifice too much…”

The story starts with Julie moving to Boston to go to college. Unluckily (depending on how you see it) she gets swindled out of her housing arrangement. Not knowing what to do she immediately contacts her mother. Being out-of-state, there isn’t any other solution but to call an old acquaintance and from there she starts living with the Watkins family. This was supposed to be a temporary arrangement but it being the beginning of the school year in Boston the housing market is very limited especially on a college student’s budget.

Here she bonds with Matt- smart and intelligent a total nerd yet selfless and caring. Julie meets Celeste, a thirteen-year-old girl with multiple idiosyncrasies it would have made anyone’s  head spin. Then there’s Finn – the world traveler, gorgeous and outgoing who she immediately identifies with over countless emails and through facebook  She meets their parents, both successful professionals yet physically and emotionally unavailable for their kids.  Immediately after meeting Celeste she realizes that something is terribly wrong with this family. Over the months she lives with them and even if it isn’t her place, she tries to figure out what it is and how to fix it. In no way is she perfect herself, she too has her own oddities.

“I tell you how I feel about you. I think about you all the time, and I can’t get you out of my head. I ask you to ignore everything you think you know and to listen to your heart, without doubting anything.”

Without giving anything away, the deceit that occurred would have bothered me but I am certain Julie unconsciously knew the truth way before Matt comes out and admits it. This wasn’t entirely Matt’s fault but his mothers as well. Obviously, he was torn between his loyalty to his mother and their family versus a girl that he just met. He thought if he could just get her moved out that everything would return to how it was…normal.  But everything in that household wasn’t normal. Despite he’s struggling to distance himself, he knew Julie was something special. The whole family knew she was special.

So about Matt, I loved his character! His strength and his selflessness. Despite his own despair he picks up his parents reins and practically raises Celeste alone even if he has to sacrifice his own happiness. Even with these responsibilities, he manages to maintain his education and even does extra school work. I loved that he listened to Julie, even if it was over emails, chat rooms or texts. How he did unexpected things and said it was all arranged by Finn.

I loved Julie because she was giving and caring. While most young adults would have ignored the issues that the family had she took it upon herself to learn more. To even ask her professor for advice even if it wasn’t her responsibility. She was also nurturing, caring for Celeste rather than shying away from a peculiar child. She went out of her way to make her fit in more, taught her how to act more her own age, engage her in music and eventually even socializing. From the beginning, I always thought they would have been a better fit.

“For just a few minutes, she let herself drown in the feel of him, because his mouth, his lips, his tongue, his kiss…this moment overshadowed the real world and took her away from misery.”

So about Flat-Out Matt, the reason why I loved it was because it wasn’t exactly like Flat-Out Love. We really get to see the inner working of Matt’s thoughts and feelings. I loved that the book was more like a companion book to F-OL and not a total repeat like Walking Disaster was to Beautiful Disaster. There was just so much more content in F-OM compared to WD even if WD was way longer. That being said, there’s no choice in the matter Flat-Out Love has to be read before Flat-Out Matt otherwise you would be clueless.

“It was always you, I thought it was someone else, but it was you. You were the person I felt.”

What I would have changed in either of these books? Nothing, to me it was perfection. I only wish that there was a continuation of the story. It doesn’t have to even be focused on them. Maybe Celeste’s story? She’s such a remarkable character as well. Yeah, Celeste’s teenage years would be interesting with updates on how Matt and Julie are doing. I want to see them getting married and having kids!

The Verdict:



For Matt, he was described as being tall, at least six feet with dirty blond hair… I was thinking Chad Michael Murray. For Julie, I was thinking Kristen Stewart.


About Jessica Park

Jessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

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