Hello and happy Wednesday. I’m not really sorry for the cheesy title, and I think my true supporters will definitely appreciate it. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that I’m revamping my audiobook game, and that’s because now I spend around three hours a day on a bus going to and from work and I’ve decided to use that time to listen to awesome titles, and then share my thoughts on them with you. Today’s title is Flat-Out-Love by Jessica Park. Let’s get started, shall we?
I started listening to this novel when I’d just gotten back home after a pretty dark period in which I attempted to make it on my own in a foreign country and instead faced anxiety and depression. I’m giving you this context because right from the beginning, the story reminded me of what I felt the last two times I went to Baltimore, especially that final time, when I arrived to my Airbnb and realized that it was located in a far from nice neighborhood.
I think because it evoked such hard feelings, I was sort of predisposed to hating the book, to the point that almost immediately I decided I wouldn’t end up liking Julie, the main character, all that much. I think that partly I didn’t like her because I saw my attitudes reflected in hers. She just complains a lot at first because nobody *gets* her. Well, doesn’t that sound familiar? I must say that this novel really surprised me in a positive way, and that my predispositions were gone as I kept listening and finding out more about the characters and the plot.
This is a love story, okay? So if you’re either not in the mood for that right now, or you’re just not into love stories in general, you might not like this as much. It has some of the romance clichés, which to me were predictable because I’ve read my fair share of these stories in my life. I picked up on a love-at-first-sight situation, but it was so well developed that even I doubted my first impression at times and thought I could’ve been wrong and that the story was going to take a completely different turn.
I like that this story doesn’t have the typical main characters. Julie is pretty regular, and her love interest ends up not being the obvious choice for her. Matt is intentionally super nerdy and his personality is just different from what I’m used to reading, in a good way. And obviously we get Celeste, who’s just such a unique character.
I’d spent a while without listening to an audiobook and I had forgotten how annoying it was to hear a female narrator talk like men. And yes, all of you people ready to fight me on this one and call me whatever you want to call me, I want to add that I also hate when male narrators imitate women.
Wen I say this is a love story, I also mean that I fell in love with it. Like I said, I think at the beginning there were many factors that weren’t allowing me to enjoy it to the fullest, but with time I really got into it. I find that the author took some very obvious and unoriginal elements and worked with them in a way that was so brilliant that the reader would have never predicted, and I think it takes a lot of talent to do this. Elements like love at first sight, which I already mentioned, the girl moving in with a stupidly rich and very dysfunctional family, a potential love triangle, those are all elements for disaster in my opinion, but they were developed so nicely into the story that I really enjoyed them.
Another element that I don’t see often but that I wish I did because it so relates to my personal life is the potential for an online romance. Come on, I haven’t seen enough of that around the Young Adult/ New Adult world and it’s something I thoroughly enjoy. When this was added to the story I was immediately hooked. Also Flynn, who’s Julie’s potential online lover, reminds me a ton of Noah Flynn from The Kissing Booth. This is a novel by Beth Reekles, which was also adapted to a Netflix movie and is all you’ll ever want plus more.
Again because I’m a cynic and I’ve read a lot, I could predict a major plot twist, which I won’t share with you, but I enjoyed seeing how it built up. I don’t care when stories become a bit predictable if they still keep me interested, you know? Basically, I don’t care if I can already tell what’s going to happen but I have yet to know the how.
At one point I did start doubting whether this story would focus more on Julie’s love life or on her relationship with Celeste, and I did because we have a third potential love interest introduced, and that sort of threw me off my game a bit, at least for a while.
I liked that this story dealt with deeper psychological stuff that I hadn’t anticipated when I started listening. I also really appreciated the super erotic scene that I can only relate to very intense sexting. Thank you, Jessica, for that.
To sum this up, yes I loved it and yes I super recommend it. There is a heartbreaking plot twist and there’s a lot that you might enjoy. I’m happy I gave this story the chance despite not being in the best mood for the first few chapters.
Now, this book is the first in a series. Should I read and review the others? Let me know in the comments.
Love, Miss Camila