Usually I do not pay a huge amount of attention to Amazons recommendations, especially recently when they seem obsessed with me buying Fifty Shades of Grey. However, when they recommended Flat Out Love by Jessica Parks, something went ding in my brain and, sure enough, I did have it on my book list. So I give it whirl.
The story starts with Julie arriving in Boston for college and finding the apartment she’d thought she’d rented is a burrito restaurant. In fact the line that hooked me completely, and my first laugh out loud moment was;
“Burritos! Holy mother of God!”
“I know burritos are always alarming.”
Julies mom’s old college friend, Erin Watkins, quickly comes to rescue, and Julie moves in with her and her delightfully quirky family.
There is nothing I like better then a delightfully quirky family, and I really did love this one. Parents Erin and Roger, workaholics who serve up take out every night, but who bike to work. Oldest son Finn who is travelling and having adventures, but who begins a facebook relationship with Julie. Middle child Matt, highly intelligent, owner of a collection of wonderfully geeky t-shirts and complete sweetheart. Then there is baby of the family Celeste, who carries around a cardboard cut out of her absent brother, known as Flat Finn. Clearly something is up with the Watkins family, and Julie finds herself in the middle of a whole lot of lies and guilt. All while dealing with her own issues; absent father, starting college, unexpected romances.
Jessica Parks has an extremely addictive writing style and she creates wonderful characters, who I really came to love and care about. I wasn’t reading fast to see if someone jumped off a roof, or survived a werewolf attack, I was reading fast because I needed to know these characters were going to be alright. I was interested and invested in them, they felt like friends. It helped that the dialogue was so sparkly and funny and real sounding. I loved Julie and Matt’s arguments and I loved Julie and Finn’s facebook messages, especially a certain chat that takes place in an elevator!
I really adored this book, and my anticipation levels were sky high for the ending. As a reader you become aware of certain facts before Julie, and wondering how she was going to react and what the fall out would be had me superglued to my Kindle until I found out.
Flat Out Love is charming, engaging and well worth a read.