Author: Jessica Park
Series: Flat-Out Love, #2
Release Date: Coming soon!
Genre: New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
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.
We were introduced to Celeste in Flat-Out Love and readers wanted more! Well, more they shall have! Look at this amazing cover and take a peek inside Flat-Out Celeste!
There was a knock at the door and Matt leaned in, swinging a brown paper bag in her direction. “I heard Mom made stuffed peppers tonight. Last time she made those, I nearly died from flatulence. I assume she stuffed them with her usual repulsive ground chicken, quinoa, Brussels sprouts, and pomegranate seed mix?”
Just the sound of Matt’s voice made Celeste relax. She smiled at him. “Based on the smell, I believe you’re right.”
“So you didn’t eat then? I was right!” Matt flopped onto her bed and lay down, his long body scrunching up the neat white comforter that she spent ten minutes arranging before she’d gone to school this morning. “I thought I’d take a break from studying and bring you something edible.”
“It smells like a burger from Mr. Bartley’s,” she said as she got up and took a seat next to Matt. “Hand it over, thoughtful brother.”
He tightened a hand around the top of the bag. “You have to guess which kind I brought you first.”
“How am I supposed to know?”
“Close your eyes.”
She did as instructed and felt him move the bag under her nose. Sweet, spicy… a bit garlicky. “Aha! Boursin cheese and bacon! The Mark Zuckerberg burger!”
“And sweet potato fries and a bottle of iced tea, but you win. A burger named after ‘the richest geek in America,’ as the restaurant calls him.”
“You will be the richest geek in America after you finish your Ph.D. Program,” Celeste said through a mouthful of fries.
“If M.I.T. doesn’t land me in a psych unit first.”
“You only have this year left to endure. And you will hardly find yourself in need of psychiatric care, Matthew. You are doing stupendously.”
“I’m scraping by.” Matt reached into the bag and grabbed a handful of fries and opened her iced tea.
“You are not ‘scraping by.’ You are assistant teaching classes, excelling in your own, and in all ways performing to standards that exceed even the high ones our mother set for you.” She frowned as he chewed on the fries. “Did you not eat?”
“I did. A Big Papi burger and a Fiscal Cliff. But you can never have enough sweet potato fries.”
“I have a finite amount of my own from which you are stealing. But I shall not complain because this was very kind of you.”
Matt chewed and studied her. “Are you okay?”
“Why do you ask?”
“No contractions. When you’re stressed out, they disappear.”
“I know. But most days I do not care to use them. If it is an effort, then I do not push.”
“Okay. I get it.” He chewed for a minute. “I heard your presentation went well. Did your friends like it?”
“It went marvelously. My friend Dallas took me aside to share quite the flow of compliments.”
“That’s great, Celeste.” He was downing half her iced tea.
“And then I bitch slapped her.”
Matt choked on the drink and desperately tried to clear his airway. “I’m sorry. You did what?”
She cocked her head. “I bitch slapped her.”
“That… that can’t be right,” he sputtered. “I mean, I hope it’s not.”
“I slapped my hand against her hand. Up in the air.” She looked at Matt blankly. “Is that not the right term?”
“Thank God, no, it’s not. I think you mean a high-five.”
“If you say so. Well, either way, it happened. You know I have trouble with colloquialisms, so I resent your shocked reaction.”
“I do know that about you, and I apologize.”
“Since we are on the subject, there is something else I would like for you to clarify.”
“What is meant by ‘nut bag’? Is that a testicular reference or merely the identification of a satchel of cashews or pecans?”
Matt groaned. “This conversation has gotten really weird. Could we just talk about— Wait a minute. Why are you asking me this? Did someone say that to you?” He looked angry.
Celeste picked at her fry. “No. Certainly not. I heard the term and had a natural curiosity.”
“Okay then…” Her brother crumpled up the paper bag and then smoothed it out in his hands. Then crumpled it again. “It’s the same as ‘nuts.’ You know, crazy.”
“Thank you for the definition.” She took the last bite of her burger and wiped her hands on one of the paper napkins. It shouldn’t matter what her classmates thought of her. Celeste would just be strong about this. She would move on.
Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance.
It’s not what you know–or when you see–that matters. It’s about a journey.
Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it. When Julie’s off-campus housing falls through, her mother’s old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side … and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.
And there’s that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That’s because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie’s suddenly lonesome soul.
To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that … well … doesn’t quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.
Flat-Out Love comes complete with emails, Facebook status updates, and instant messages.
Matt is a junior at MIT. He’s geeky, he’s witty, he’s brilliant.
And he’s also very, very stupid.
When beautiful, cool, insightful Julie moves in with Matt’s family, why (oh why!) does he pretend to be his absent brother Finn for her alleged benefit?
It seems harmless enough until her short-term stay becomes permanent. And until it snowballs into heart-squeezing insanity. And until he falls in love with Julie, and Julie falls in love with Finn.
But … Matt is the right one for her. If only he can make Julie see it. Without telling her the truth, without shattering them all. Particularly his fragile sister Celeste, who may need Julie the most.
You saw Matt through Julie’s eyes in FLAT-OUT LOVE. Now go deeper into Matt’s world in this FLAT-OUT MATT novella. Live his side of the story, break when his heart breaks, and fall for the unlikely hero all over again.
Take an emotional skydive for two prequel chapters and seven Flat-Out Love chapters retold from his perspective, and then land with a brand-new steamy finale chapter from Julie.