By Jessica Park Published 4/11/11 and 3/25/13
Rating : ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
“You are my everything. You are challenging, and difficult, and guarded. I love those things about you. You are fascinating, and complex, and brilliant and funny. I love those things about you, too. I am in love with your selflessness and your ability to sacrifice too much…”
Matt is a junior at MIT. He’s geeky, he’s witty, he’s brilliant. And he’s also very, very stupid.
When beautiful, cool, insightful Julie moves in with Matt’s family, why (oh why!) does he pretend to be his absent brother Finn for her alleged benefit?
It seems harmless enough until her short-term stay becomes permanent. And until it snowballs into heart-squeezing insanity. And until he falls in love with Julie, and Julie falls in love with Finn.
But … Matt is the right one for her. If only he can make Julie see it. Without telling her the truth, without shattering them all. Particularly his fragile sister Celeste, who may need Julie the most.
You saw Matt through Julie’s eyes in FLAT-OUT LOVE. Now go deeper into Matt’s world in this FLAT-OUT MATT novella. Live his side of the story, break when his heart breaks, and fall for the unlikely hero all over again.
Take an emotional skydive for two prequel chapters and seven Flat-Out Love chapters retold from his perspective, and then land with a brand-new steamy finale chapter from Julie.
Click Here for Synopsis
So after my disappointment in Walking Disaster (click HERE for that review), I decided to give this different POV thing another try. I thought maybe its me, maybe I just hated different-POV novels. But after reading Flat-Out Matt a day after reading Flat-out Love (just like I did with BD/WD) I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t me after all. Flat-Out Love was fantastic, one of all time favorite reads. That being said I would rate it a 5/5. It was witty and gritty, complex and extremely emotionally heartbreaking. Both Julie and Matt made such a good impression on me that I could honestly say that these are two characters I would never forget even after reading hundreds of books. The storyline had a lot of dialogues in it which would have normally bored me but surprisingly it kept my attention. My continuous curiosity just kept me riveted… the question is he or isn’t he…? Finally at 63% into the book the realization hits me and my curiosity is piqued even more.
The story starts with Julie moving to Boston to go to college. Unluckily (depending how you see it) she gets swindled out of her housing arrangement. Not knowing what to do she immediately contacts her mother. Being out-of-state, there isn’t any other solution but to call an old acquaintance and from there she starts living with the Watkins family. This was supposed to be a temporary arrangement but it being the beginning of the school year in Boston the housing market is very limited especially on a college students budget.
Here she bonds with Matt- smart and intelligent a total nerd yet selfless and caring. Julie meets Celeste, a thirteen year old girl with multiple idiosyncrasies it would have made anyone’s head spin. Then there’s Finn – the world traveler, gorgeous and outgoing who she immediately identifies with over countless emails and through facebook She meets their parents, both successful professionals yet physically and emotionally unavailable for their kids. Immediately after meeting Celeste she realizes that something is terribly wrong with this family. Over the months she lives with them and even if it isn’t her place, she tries to figure out what it is and how to fix it. In no way is she perfect herself, she too has her own oddities.
“Fall in love with me, Julie, as I fell in love with you., he willed her. Fall in love, fall in love, fall in love…….”
Without giving anything away, the deceit that occurred would have bothered me but I am certain Julie unconsciously knew the truth way before Matt comes out and admits it. This wasn’t entirely Matt’s fault but his mothers as well. Obviously he was torn between his loyalty to his mother and their family versus a girl that he just met. He thought if he could just get her moved out that everything would return to how it was…normal. But everything in that household wasn’t normal. Despite he’s struggle to distance himself, he knew Julie was something special. The whole family knew she was special.
So about Matt, I loved his character! His strength and his selflessness. Despite his own despair he picks up his parents reins and practically raises Celeste alone even if he has to sacrifice his own happiness. Even with these responsibilities he manages to maintain his education and even does extra school work. I loved that he listened to Julie , even if it was over emails, chat rooms or texts. How he did unexpected things and said it was all arranged by Finn.
“I tell you how I feel about you. I think about you all the time, and I can’t get you out of my head. I ask you to ignore everything you think you know and to listen to your heart, without doubting anything.”
I loved Julie because she was giving and caring. While most young adults would have ignored the issues that the family had she took it upon herself to learn more. To even ask her professor for advice even if it wasn’t her responsibility. She was also nurturing, caring for Celeste rather than shying away from a peculiar child. She went out of her way to make her fit in more, taught her how to act more her own age, engage her in music and eventually even socializing. From the beginning I always thought they would have been a better fit.
“For just a few minutes, she let herself drown in the feel of him, because his mouth, his lips, his tongue, his kiss…this moment overshadowed the real world and took her away from misery.”
So about Flat-Out Matt, the reason why I loved it was because it wasn’t exactly like Flat-Out Love. We really get to see the inner working of Matt’s thoughts and feelings. I loved that the book was more like a companion book to F-OL and not a total repeat like Walking Disaster was to Beautiful Disaster. There was just so much more content in F-OM compared to WD even if WD was way longer. That being said, there’s no choice in the matter Flat-Out Love has to be read before Flat-Out Matt otherwise you would be clueless.
“It was always you, I thought it was someone else, but it was you. You were the person I felt.”
What I would have changed in either of these books? Nothing, to me it was perfection. I only wish that there was a continuation to the story. It doesn’t have to even be focused on them. Maybe Celeste’s story? She’s such a remarkable character as well. Yeah, Celeste’s teenage years would be interesting with updates on how Matt and Julie are doing. I want to see them getting married and having kids!
My Casting Picks:
For Matt, he was described as being tall, at least six feet with dirty blond hair… I was thinking Chad Michael Murray. For Julie, I was thinking Kristen Stewart.
Authors website: Jessica Park