I can’t tell you how excited I am to see this. I absolutely loved Flat-Out Love and Flat-Out Matt. In fact I’m listening to FOL right now. Makes me love it even more. And don’t get me started on Jessica’s book Left Drowning. That book KILLED me. So when I heard she was writing Celeste’s book, I was overjoyed. It should be released sometime near the end of May. I can’t wait!! And this cover!!! It is just plain gorgeous!!! I mean, I plan buying the kindle version and the paperback. I need this cover on my shelf.
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
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.
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
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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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,
“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.
It’s going to be flat out wonderful!!!
Buy Flat-Out Love
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.