My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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. Can't. Help. It.
I grin like a ridiculous sentimental ignoramus just thinking about the flat-out-journey that all began with a geeky t-shirt and some hinges. Flat-Out-Love is where it all began; it introduced me to an entirely new world of amazing books. Books that were out there just waiting, begging to be read, and a group of authors with talents waiting to be discovered. For me, this was part of the original indie.
To understand Flat-Out-Celeste, you have to start at the beginning. Many will ask, "Was it as good as Flat-Out-Love?" The irrelevance of this question can't be answered; it's moot. If you loved Flat-Out-Love, you will love Flat-Out-Celeste; it's a captivating enhancement to the original story, but to compare it, is to set Celeste up for failure.
I loved Flat-Out-Love so much that Celeste did nothing less than provide more development to an originally captivating story. It gave me more.
I remember finishing Flat-Out-Love years and years ago, and falling so hard for the words, the dialogue. I literally wanted to wear the entire book as a t-shirt. It was so randomly perfect that it was impossible to imagine that someone created the conversations, the banter. It made it extremely real. Celeste stayed true to the original voice and created a continuation of a perfectly complicated love story, but more importantly, a life story.
Everything about the writing is quirk laced with genius. I really enjoyed getting to know Celeste, and seeing the world through her eyes, but it's important to remember that this book isn't about understanding her, but experiencing life with her, growing with her. Sure I missed Matt and Julie, but I was pleasantly surprised to have them integrated into the plot in a monumental way. I would have loved more time with the development of Celeste and Justin's relationship, and would have given my left boob for an epilogue, but I'm needy.
I couldn't recommend this series enough, and am very grateful for this exciting continuation!
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