24 December 2014

Review: Flat-Out Celeste

Flat-Out Celeste
Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been a fan of this Flat-Out series for a while now, and this one takes place a few years after the initial story. I spoke a lot about the trials of independent publishing and the Amazon platform in a past review of Park's works, and I don't see a need to rehash that again, but I only liked this in the way I kind of loved Flat-Out Love, which is fine.

As much of as the story follows Celeste following the events leading up to and in Love, we get a mix of a love story and a story about someone who, really, ins't really quite right. Celeste speaks in very direct tones and in sentences without contractions, giving a characterization that comes across as almost autistic in some senses regardless of intention. Celeste's condition, however you want to describe it, drives the core of the book, as it's a girl who doesn't fit in finding ways to do so and people who will accept her for who she is. It's awkward and off-putting and uncomfortable, but it works.

If I have a complaint, it's that it really does feel a little...overmanaged might be the term. There are flashes of the heart and the emotion that has come through in other Jessica Park books, but this one lacks that serious spark that made me fall for the others. It might just be Celeste as a character, it might be that I found the budding relationship in the book to lack the realistic qualities I was looking for, but I couldn't help but feel continually detached.

With that said, did I enjoy this? Absolutely. It's a fun little book in spite of my minor quibbles, and if you've enjoyed the series up to now, it's worth continuing. Just know that it's not your standard YA/NA piece.

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