Genre: YA contemporary
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Check it out HERE
It's senior year of high school and Celeste Watkins feels completely alienated. Her speech is far too formal, her social skills are anything but normal, and she's too smart for her own good--a combination that's made her retreat into herself, shying away from the world.
But Celeste is determined that college will be her fresh start. As her college search begins, she meets Justin Milano, a college sophomore. Sure he doesn't attend any of the Ivy League schools fawning over her transcript, but there's something about his persistence and personality that keeps Celeste from immediately shutting him out. He's a misfit too, dealing with his own set of peculiar quirks. Maybe--just maybe--she's finally met her match, that's if she's willing to finally let someone in.
What a cute and addictive read! I flew through this book in less than a day. I love a good charming YA contemporary with characters that are actually relatable to me, which Jessica Park once again so wonderfully creates in her newest book.
Celeste and Justin are everything I want in a misfit story: they're awkward, goofy, intelligent weirdoes that can't seem to properly fit in with the teenagers around them. By that standard, the three of us would get along swimmingly.
Park makes the reader want to embrace these quirks, which is something that should be preached much more often. It's time the outcasts were the lead of the show! In most novels, Celeste and Justin would have be reduced to secondary characters for their peculiar-ness, but here, they get center stage.
I couldn't help but root for them. I had gotten to know Celeste quite well in Flat-Out Love. In fact, she was one of my favorite characters in the initial book. So when I heard that Park was writing a book from Celeste's POV, I was thrilled.
[Note: Flat-Out Celeste is a companion novel. You don't have to have read Flat-Out Love to jump right in, but come on people, go check out the first one if you haven't already. It's just as awesome!]
Once again, what really makes Park's newest novel stand out is how she captures the essence of teenagers nowadays. The email exchange between Celeste and Justin is just too perfect. The dialogue [whether that be online or in person] is so spot on. It's honest, natural, and just the right amount of awkward.
If you like YA contemporaries, this is definitely a book to add to your summer reading list. There's nothing overly complex about the language or story, but it works nonetheless. You'll fly through this book, getting captured in Celeste's story, just as much as I was.