Thank you Craigslist!

Flat-Out-Love

Have you ever fallen for someone you have never met? Have you emailed, sent instant messages, felt like there is NO way I can love someone I’ve never laid eyes on? This is exactly what happens in Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park.

Julie is starting her freshman year at Whitney College in Boston. She has left Ohio behind, and it gets off to a rocky start. When she arrives at her apartment in Jamaica Plane is not an apartment, but a burrito restaurant… Thank you Craigslist! From this point on, Julie goes to stay with her mother’s college roommate, Erin. The family dynamics are very unusual. By unusual Celeste carries a life-size cut out of her brother Finn (Flat Finn as he is referred) EVERYWHERE she goes since he is away volunteering. With that being said, she even questions how Erin and her mother were friends. Erin says, “The friends you make in college are friends you’ll have for life, even if you don’t talk for years at a time.” Julie decides to friend request Finn (Finn is God) and Matt (the brother living at home) on Facebook to see if she can get a better understanding of Celeste and his travels. I’d love to tell you more, but I don’t want to spoil it!)

This book is very different in a number of ways from what I typically read. As I read this book, I could see the dynamics of each family member, the impact that Finn’s travels have on everyone, espically Celeste. I thought about what it must be like to live in their home. Why did Matt where those nerdy shirts? What were they hiding? How could they let Celeste carry Flat Finn? How can they eat take out ALL THE TIME! (Seriously, we eat out a lot, but I couldn’t imagine doing it every night, even on Thanksgiving!)

Julie is a fixer, and in a lot of ways I am like her. Teaching school every day to students with different cognitive and social abilities really helped me relate to Celeste and her lack of social skills- no friends, not being accepted. It broke my heart! I could see the hope within her, but also her family hindering her growth. I wanted to fix her! At one point, I wanted to give her family my two cents and some other change. This story isn’t just about Celeste, it is about a family that is frozen in time. It’s about a brother that leaves, a brother that is forced to act as a parent, parents that do not want to move forward, and a girl who walks into their life with the idea that Flat Finn is ok but not ok! Also, there is a love like no other I’ve seen… And that’s as far as I can talk about love. If you want to know more about it… Get this book!

This story is one of mixed emotions: love, debate, hope, friendship, misunderstanding, false pretence, independence, letting go, trust, disappointment, and acceptance.

This story taught me a lot from beginning to end. We all have secrets that we can either keep buried or bring to the surface so that we can move on. This book was not what I expected. This could be because I didn’t even read the synopsis, I just saw a tweet or post from Christine Zolendz saying it was must read, and that’s all it took! I am so glad that is now in my “read” folder. I will take what I have learned about love, trust, and Flat-Finn with me wherever I go! Happy Reading!

Check out her website: Jessica Park

Here’s her blog as well! Jessica Park Blog

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