Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary: 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.

Review: OH MY SWEET BABY JESUS. That was my reaction after reading Flat-Out Celeste. Why? Besides my uncontrollable swooning tendencies, FOC completely surpassed my expectations. Celeste has always been my favorite character of all time. I loved her in Flat-Out Love. I loved her in Flat-Out Matt. And I LOVE her now.

I see myself so much in Celeste. I may not have the wide range of vocabulary that she does, but we both share one thing in common: isolation. A few years ago, I was in that awkward stage where I didn’t know where I belonged or who I truly was. Making friends was hard because I never knew what to say. I was always “the girl with her nose in a book.” Luckily as I grew older, I found my voice in the world and I discovered who I REALLY was. So thank you to Celeste for showing me what it’s like to rediscover yourself.

Flat-Out Celeste begins with Celeste getting ready to go off to college. While other students are trying to get into any college, Celeste gets to pick from the majority of the Ivy Leagues. Harvard? Yale? All of the top prestigious universities want her to study at their school. Celeste should be happy right? But she isn’t. She feels like she has something missing. She’s been so busy worrying about her education, that she hasn’t had the opportunity to have normal high school experiences.

“I refuse to be left behind in this world, so I need to catch up.”  

In comes Justin Milano. Justin reminded me so much of Matt. They are both quirky, awkward, but oh so gorgeous. Justin is a college sophomore at Barton College who emails prospective students in hopes to get them to attend the college. What should be a few emails turns into numerous heartfelt emails. Just as Celeste begins falling in love with Justin, I found myself falling in love with him as well. Whether it was Celeste experiencing her first kiss or Justin bringing the best out Celeste, their relationship was just perfect.

“And you have me. Sometimes you need someone else to believe in you, to carry you, until you can do that yourself. Let me carry you. You’re almost there. Damn it, Celeste, you’re almost there. God, please, you have me, and I want you.” He stopped walking back and forth and put both of his hands over his heart. “I want you so much.”  

Watching Celeste grow from being a shy and awkward girl into a strong and independent woman was the greatest reading experience ever. She showed me how to overcome hardships and how to stay true to yourself. I am so proud of Celeste and her journey. She has come a long way. Goodbye to the girl holding on to Flat Finn. Hello to the new and improved Celeste!

“I am choosing a love that defies boundaries and a life that defies boundaries. That is the power of Celeste.”  

The last thing I will mention is Matt and Julie’s MOMENT. If you’ve read FOC, you will know what I’m talking about. During this part in the book, I was in total shock that I broke down crying. Is that weird? 😀 This was a very big moment and Jessica wrote it perfectly! I mean I was ugly-crying! I almost never ugly-cry reading books. Obviously it was a happy kind of crying because it was just beautiful.

Jessica Park. Thank you so much for bring life to all of the characters. Celeste, Julie, Justin, and Matt will always hold a place in my heart. I know I’m not alone when I say: You are a true artist. Thank you for being you. Thank you for writing some of my favorite books ever. Thank you for being one of the reasons why I am the die-hard bookworm I am today. You are beyond amazing!

Until next time….

Catcha later bookworms!