***Maria’s FIVE STAR review of Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park***

10/10

“There aren’t enough hinges”

Jessica Park wrote this book for me. I encourage you to read it, and you may feel like it was written for you, but you just need to know up front that this is my book. Mine.

Every single book Jessica Park has written is on my top 10 favorites list, so to say I was looking forward to this book would be an understatement of epic proportions! I know and trust Jessica’s writing, so I was not nervous or doubtful in the least, just filled with anticipation! Somehow though, she managed to surpass every hope and expectation I had for this story!

This story is so much more than it appears at first blush. It’s a story of first love…innocent, beautiful, unexpected, and thrilling first love! You remember that, right? This is a feeling that is never going to happen again for most of us, but the next best thing to experiencing it is reading a well-written account of it…and this is exquisitely written. Jessica doesn’t waste words, and she packs a superhero’s punch into the words she chooses – her books are word-nerd heaven!

It is also a story about outsiders finding acceptance. People who don’t fit the world’s mold of “normal”…quirky, funny, sometimes tortured, wonderfully affected people. People like me. This is one of the reasons this book feels like it was written just for me. I have never felt like I truly fit in anywhere…like my particular brand of crazy was fully understood by anyone…and seeing people like me find love…and accepting themselves, and growing into (embracing even) their strangeness – it was fantastically satisfying.

This book is packed full of intelligent humor. Funny is one of the most difficult things to accomplish in a book – but Jessica Park makes it seem effortless, and I laughed to the point of tears more than once! Jessica’s sense of humor is perfection for me, and has always been one of my favorite aspects of her writing!

It is also packed full of emotionally powerful revelations – and this is the other reason I believe this book was written specifically for me! To try to explain what I mean, here are a couple Facebook status updates that I posted while reading:

“I just read a scene in Flat-Out Celeste that actually shifted something in my heart. I felt it move. I had an emotional learning experience…

That, my friends, is the power of a book…of an author with true talent and brains, and so much soul…the power of words used correctly…used in a way no one else has ever quite used them before.

THAT is why I read.”
“Well. Another heart shift is happening while reading Flat-Out Celeste.
This is powerful stuff. Jessica Park understands the human psyche so well…she reaches into my heart, forces a brain-heart connection. It’s gloriously messy and painful and beautiful and inspiring.”

This is a quiet story – there are no cage fighters or motorcycle gangs (not that there’s anything wrong with those things, but that’s not what you’ll find here), but there are characters whose internal struggles and triumphs will resonate so loudly in your heart that you may feel like it’s too much at times. There are moments of inspiration and understanding that will grab your heart and mind so completely, and make you understand their lessons so vividly, that you won’t be able to believe you never understood them before. There is magic in these pages, if you will just open yourself up to it. Reading a book by Jessica Park is not just entertainment – if you do it right, it is a whole mind/complete heart/entire soul, immersing experience. Give yourself to it. Turn off the television, silence the phone, wait till the kids are in bed, and dive in headfirst…heart-first. You won’t regret it.

Click the cover to purchase from Amazon!!

Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love, #2)

 

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