Den norska bokbloggaren “Flukten fra virkeligheten” har varje söndag en rolig liten utmaning där man ska skriva ner en liten smakbit av boken man läser för tillfället. Jag läser just nu bland annat Flat-Out Love av Jessica Park.
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.
”Hey,” Julie softened her tone. ”I am not making fun of her. I like her. Flat Finn too. And did you say hence?”
”Yes, I said hence.” Matt busied himself cleaning off the kitchen counters. ”I think it’s making a comeback.”
”But I don’t get why Celeste -”
”Leave it alone,” Matt said sharply. ”I’m not saying anything else about it, OK? And please don’t bring this up with my parents.”
Julie froze. ”I’m sorry,” she stammered. ”It’s none of my business. I shouldn’t pry.”
”No, I’m sorry,” Matt said apologetically. ”Forget it. Listen, I have to take Celeste to school tomorrow morning, but after that I could help you find an apartment. I called a friend of mine who knows a realtor that I got in touch with, and he’s got some places for you to see. I assumed you wouldn’t mind a little help.”