Title: Flat-Out Celeste
Author: Jessica Park
Series: Flat-Out Love #2
Release date: May 22, 2014
We’re super excited to share our love for Flat-Out Celeste with this special event celebration! Keep scrolling to read our review, get a peek at how we see Celeste and Justin, enjoy some teasers, and take in the Best of Celeste.
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.
I am at a complete loss as to how to explain this book and all of the incredible things I felt while reading it. This series has gone above and beyond my expectations from the moment I picked up Flat-Out Love, but Flat-Out Celeste simply floored me. Like it’s predecessors, Flat-Out Celeste was hilarious, smart, witty, intelligently designed, and emotionally honest. Jessica Park made sure Celeste’s heart and mine were one in the same, while reading this book. Celeste’s story is beautiful, complex, heart-wrenching, and without a doubt, a shining example of human nature at it’s best. The life lessons that pass through these pages are certain to leave you feeling changed.
“That’s what she wanted. Or what she should want. It had taken years to perfect her tunnel vision; she saw her parents, Matt, and Julie clearly, while everyone else in the world took on a hazy blur. Justin should be a blur.”
Celeste is an original. She is a character like I have never seen before and that drew me in immediately. Jessica Park has masterfully crafted this interesting and intelligent girl to be an individual through and through. Watching Celeste evolve over the course of her book was breathtaking. I was overwhelmed by the staggering character growth Jessica has orchestrated. Celeste’s transformation is the best part of this book. Somewhere along the way, this weird little girl grew into her own skin and became a force to be reckoned with. Her journey to self-acceptance was inspiring and filled my heart with so much love and respect for the message Jessica was putting out into the world with this book.
“There are battles, some greater than others. But they are worth getting through. This is the fight, Celeste. You’re in the middle of it. I feel that.”
Celeste and Justin are nothing less than the perfect partnership of real and resolute love. From the start, this original and quirky duo had me falling for their easy, and often strange, conversations. Celeste and Justin both have such unique personalities, and together they were unquestionable perfection. The understanding, acceptance and love that flowed between them spilled off of each and every page. Justin made my head spin. He is the guy every single girl deserves. He loves fiercely, sincerely, and unconditionally. Everything about Celeste and Justin’s relationship was genuine. Their journey came complete with misunderstandings, romance, insecurities and the satisfaction of overcoming outside forces.
“She touched her forehead to the glass and looked down the street. Out there, there were characters, and personalities, and interesting people. Some would be wonderful and magical; some would be awful and cruel. And some, she understood, would not only love her, but would teach her to love herself.”
The relationships in this book are just on a level all their own. Celeste and Justin. Celeste and Matt. Matt and Julie. Each and every relationship changed, grew, and made the characters better people. Jessica Park has taken me on an emotional ride. The ups and downs of this journey were, at times, overwhelming in their honesty. Celeste’s joy filled me with light, while her grief and self-doubt ripped through my heart. Every second of this story captivated me. The fast-paced banter, unknowingly flirty emails and truthful admissions kept me grounded in this book. I cried and I laughed and I finished this book feeling like a better person for having read it. I can’t wait to see what Jessica writes next!
If you’ve met Celeste, then you know she has a tendency to say the most ridiculous things. Mostly because she is crazy smart, but also because she lacks the knowledge of pop culture and social awareness necessary to communicate at her age level. Whatever the reason, the things Celeste says are HILARIOUS. She constantly keeps me laughing. Don’t even get me started on her inner dialogue, because her mind is an incredibly amusing place. It was nearly impossible to narrow down some of my favorite out-loud Celeste moments, but these are some of the best Celeste-isms. 😉
“I may be in junior high school. You two aren’t. Act like it.”
“Also, speaking of growing up, I really need a bra. Even though I am not exactly billowing out of my clothes, there is finally something happening there.”
“What I dislike quite strongly about Seth is that he currently has the romantic, and possibly sexual, attention of the young woman with whom you are finding yourself progressively more and more besotted.”
“Is this a bear-related activity? That does indeed sound quite dangerous.”
“I, too, am psyched,” Celeste said. “Cool beans, indeed.”
“Matty! Do not say ballsy! That is disgusting. But I am getting’ ballsy, aren’t I? It’s fun.”
“I have externalized the chaotic events of the day, and now I can return to my normal stasis.”
“What is meant by ‘nut bag’? Is that a testicular reference or merely the identification of a satchel of cashews or pecans?”
“Justin… I know that we do not care for clichés, but this is a rather large can of worms that you are attempting to pry open using a rusty can opener.”
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Check out the rest of the Flat-Out Love series:
Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love #1)
Flat-Out Matt (Flat-Out Love #1.5)
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.