“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
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 loved Flat-Out Love and Flat-Out Matt. Heck, I even cried when reading those! But nothing prepared me for what this book would do to me. Nothing prepared me for the heartbreaking feelings of loneliness, Celeste would show us. The feelings of trying to fit the mold that world has put on us, was almost more than I could handle. The feelings of wanting to find that perfect person, who will accept you, warts and all, and love you for them.
Celeste know she’s different. She tries to blend in and go unnoticed. She wishes she had friends, but thinks she’s too different and people won’t “get her”. Getting through high school is just the next step in her life. She’ll go to college, because that’s just what comes next. But what she wasn’t planning on, was Justin Milano. Meeting him throws a wrench in her plan and makes her start to think about other things besides school.
Justin is just the best. When we first meet him, I thought he was perfect. Outgoing. Crazy. Silly. But under that silliness was a boy made just for Celeste.
“You’re in a war.”
It was a painfully accurate way to describe her state. “I am.”
“I understand that. There are battles, some greater than others. But they are worth getting through.”He held her tighter. “This is the fight, Celeste. You’re in the middle of it. I feel that.”
“Because you have endured your own?”
Yes. I got through mine, and you will get though yours.”
For some people, this is a romance. It’s about a young quirky girl who meets a young quirky boy and live happily ever after. But this story was so much more. It’s about being yourself. It’s about letting people in, even though you’re scared. It’s about never giving up on yourself. It’s about letting go and seeing where the wind may take you. And, of course, it has a bit of love.
There are no words to explain how I felt when I finished reading this book. To say I loved it, doesn’t even come close. I am sitting here sobbing and can’t stop. When I thought Jessica’s, Left Drowning, gripped me, that was nothing compared to this. NOTHING.
“I found my hinge, Matty.”
On a personal note, I love someone who could easily be Justin or Celeste. Heck, in high school, either one of them could’ve been me. So as I was reading my heart was shattering. The feelings of helplessness and longing were almost too much to bare. I know my loved one has felt this way. The feelings of trying to change, as to appear “normal”, and it making no difference, almost crippled me. I felt horrible!! Because in fact, I actually encouraged the “acting normal” a few times. Now I realize this is fiction, but this gave me a glimpse into the workings of my loved one. Never again will I be like that. People should be able to be themselves, no matter what others think. High school sucks. Truly, it does.
This book also gave me hope that there is the perfect mate for my loved one. The perfect person to hold them together when the world tears them apart. The perfect person to calm and focus them, when things get out of control. The perfect person to love them, when they feel no one ever could.
I received this ARC, for an honest opinion. So again I’ll say, my honest opinion is, that this was way more than a NA romance book to me, it was life changing.
Buy Flat-Out Love