jessica park

Monday's Book Spotlight

Two weeks in a row? I'm on a roll! :) Let's get right to it.

This week's book is by one of my favorite authors. It just released last week and I can't wait to read it. I'm sharing because I'm super excited about it and the cover is just gorgeous. Be sure to add it to Goodreads.

Whether you were charmed by Celeste in Flat-Out Love or are meeting her for the first time, this book is a joyous celebration of differences, about battling private wars that rage in our heads and in our hearts, and—very much so— this is a story about first love.

For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she’s too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation.

But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.

Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her—that is, if she’ll let him.

Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple—two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.

Monday's Book Spotlight

This week's book spotlight is a book that I read last week and I mentioned in my January newsletter as the book I was most excited to read this month. It has two beautiful covers and I need both editions on my bookshelf ASAP. I have also added something new to this feature. At the end, I've shared what I highlighted while reading. Without further ado, here is this week's book spotlight.

Left DrowningLeft Drowning
What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

*This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.

My Thoughts As Seen On Goodreads:
Good lord. What has this book done to me? 


Jessica Park is amazing. 

Wow. I need a good cry now. I don't think any of my words are going to do this book, the writing, and how much I loved it justice. Just go read it. You'll see.

What I Highlighted While Reading:
"…while I am painful aware of my feelings and symptoms, I'm unable to shake them and move forward."

"It’s a constant struggle to stay near the surface. I have just enough air to stop me from totally going under, but not enough to thrive."

"I got myself out of hell. I dealt with it and moved on."

"I know too much not to be affected by his presence."

"My heart is a stupid asshole."

Books I Need NOW!

I created a new shelf on Goodreads of various books that I have either read or want to read, but the message is the same. I need it now! What books would you put on the list?

Books That I've Read But Want in Paperback

 Delayed Penalty (Crossing the Line, #1)

Books That I Haven't Bought Yet

  Fading (Fading, #1) Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) The Final Lesson Plan (Schooled 2)

Books That Haven't Released Yet

Off Course Torn (Connections, #2) Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2) Left Drowning

Monday's Book Spotlight

It's back! I'm reviving the good ol' MBS. Life was so crazy that I forgot all about this little feature. No worries! I'm here to bring it back.

This week, I'm featuring a book of which I have three copies. One ebook. One paperback. One signed paperback. I fell head over heels in love with this book. Many of you have probably heard of it and read it. If not, that's what this post is for. GO. READ. IT.

Anyway, that book was published back in 2011 in the month of April. Below is the synopsis, which reveals the book.

Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance.

Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.

When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That's because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie's suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

Flat-Out Love comes complete with emails, Facebook status updates, and instant messages.

Do you need more motivation? Here's my review:

Can I just say that I absolutely adore Jessica? Seriously. For her to write such an intricate novel with these characters who are just so out of this world with their weirdness (that doesn't feel to weird) is just amazing. Oddly enough, I felt right at home next to this sophisticated, crazy-smart thirteen year old and this twenty-old year old who seemed obsessed with all things math, his laptop, and quirky t-shirts. I have Park's writing to thank for feeling so at home with these characters that are like none I've read before. 

This book was so outrageously good. I flat-out loved it. (See what I did there?) It's at the top of my favorites. It has surpassed...dare I say it? deeply beloved Nicholas Sparks. Totally different type of books but I'm trying to prove a point here. Oh what I would do to have a paperback of this book. Having an ebook just isn't the same. 

Okay, I need to quit chatting and review. Park wrote a novel unlike any other. She wrote something that I did not want to put down. She wrote an addicting novel with addicting characters and truly makes me just another book addict. You have to read this book. Excuse me while I go all J. Lo on you. Characters? Check. Fantastic writing? Check. A book that clearly stands out among any other? Check. A book that is so wonderful that I practically demand that you buy it right now so we can talk about it? Check. 

Addict's Last Words: From Jessica's website (because I couldn't have said it better): "Humorous, thoughtful, clever, and at times heartbreaking, Flat-out Love is about love, loss, and the great lengths a family will go to protect one of their own. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll root for a seemingly elusive happily ever after. No doubt about it, Flat-out Love is flat-out fabulous." Author Heather Webber

To Buy or To Borrow: Are you seriously asking me this?! Buy this book right this second. We are talking about a book that will stand out in your memory because there isn't a book out there that is like it. We are talking about a book that explores everything that was said in the Addict's Last Words.