Monthly Archives: June 2013

Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Park

Before anything else, let me warn you that this may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t read Flat-Out Love yet, do not proceed reading the premise of the story as well as the review below.

Here’s the summary from the back cover of the book:

Flat-Out Matt coverMatt 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.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and discovering this novella just proves the statement to be true. Just after posting the review of Flat-Out Love, I started following Jessica Park on Twitter and checking out her updates on Facebook. What sparked my curiosity were her regular mentions of Matt and the people’s comments about him. I did a little more digging and later on found out that Jessica Park will be writing a novella out of Flat-Out Love. I got so excited about her new work and just like any fan, I anticipated its release date which was just a few more weeks away from when I finished reading the book. A part of me was grateful that the gap in between wasn’t so distant, so that the story of Flat-Out Love will still be fresh from my memory and the emotions I felt throughout the book will still be there. It was like I was in the right place and at the right time about this discovery.

At first I thought that Flat-Out Matt will be a sequel to Flat-Out Love (FOL), but when I asked Jessica Park on Twitter if what I thought was true, she was kind enough to reply and clarify that the book will just be a companion novel which includes Matt’s POV in some FOL chapters and two prequel chapters. Since I enjoyed reading FOL, I didn’t give a second thought in ordering the paperback edition of Flat-Out Matt from The Book Depository once it was released.

I have to admit, I was curious about Matt’s thoughts throughout FOL. In FOL, it is evident that Matt is portrayed as a geeky guy, in contrary to “Finn’s” characterization as someone who is outgoing and adventurous. In the end, the conclusion of FOL offers surprising revelations about Matt and who he really is. But then again, it cannot be helped that we readers still want something more from Matt.

At a glance, the creation of Finn is God gives out an impression of making Finn’s memory live on after his death. Celeste’s inability to move on forced Matt to give in to her demands, but is it just merely a projection of Finn’s characterization just so Matt and especially Celeste will not forget him?

The prequel chapters are impressive and are written wonderfully. Through those chapters, not only does Jessica Park give us a glimpse of the real Finn, but she is also able to show the other side of Matt – the real Matt before the incident happens. As the story goes further, readers begin to understand Matt’s change in personality, shutting everything and separating him from those that may remind him of Finn, hence his portrayal as a geek and not his wild, adventurous side.

It is quite fun to read Matt’s POV as it vividly demonstrates his strong attraction towards Julie. Moreover, Jessica Park definitely succeeds in perfectly describing his deepest thoughts and feelings. It’ll surely make one empathize with him. His selfless, thoughtful, and caring personalities also make him become a more mature and responsible person. These alone make me adore Matt more.

Overall, Flat-Out Matt is one heck of a read. Those who enjoy Flat-Out Love will certainly love this book, too. Going into Matt’s mind will give readers different kinds of emotions as with FOL. And these emotions will all be worth it. And the steamy final chapter! Jessica Park did an amazing job writing it in detail. As readers fall in love with Matt in FOL, they will further fall in love with Matt in this book. I have to say, I would undeniably want to have my own Matt. Hihi! As what Julie said, flaws-and-all and everything kind of guy can still be better than the dumb Prince Charming, nauseatingly-perfect-everything guy.

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The Son of Sobek by Rick Riordan

When I first found out that Rick Riordan wrote a short story about the meetings of Percy Jackson and Carter Kane, well, I couldn’t let this pass as I just have to read it!

Here’s the plot description taken from Goodreads:

The Son of Sobek coverCarter Kane is investigating rumored sightings of a monster on Long Island when he runs into something else: a mysterious boy named Percy Jackson. And their meeting isn’t exactly friendly.

The Son of Sobek is originally included in the recently-released paperback edition of The Kane Chronicles, Book Three: The Serpent’s Shadow. I’m eager to own a physical copy of the short story, so I bought another copy of The Serpent’s Shadow despite currently owning the book already.

There’s no cover picture included in the paperback edition, so the book cover I posted is for the upcoming audio e-book version (to be narrated by Rick Riordan himself) which will be released on June 18. The book cover looks nice, isn’t it? I hoped the short story will be published separately in paperback, but I guess it would be costly, seeing that the short story only consists of less than 50 pages or so.

Now, onto the story, at a glance, it’s intriguing to know how Percy Jackson and Carter Kane would meet. The idea of two different people living two different lives with no similarities or whatsoever would come together seems kind of far-fetched, but in this case, Rick Riordan does his best in crafting an imaginative, unique story that at the end of the day, readers will once again fall in love with the two main characters. Who would’ve thought that their meetings will revolve around a giant crocodile?

The short story is written in Carter’s point of view. Despite the shortness of the story, Rick Riordan still succeeds in narrating the story in great detail and in conveying Carter and Percy’s personalities perfectly. As I am reading through it, I can’t help but compare Carter and Percy to one another. Both of them prove to be strong and powerful, but being the biased reader that I am, I side with Percy. Hihi! But hey, Carter definitely deserves some credit, too.

The crocodile serves as the focal point of their meetings and seeing those two argue, fight, and work together makes the story more interesting and entertaining to read. It’s evident that coming from two different historical origins, Carter and Percy had a hard time understanding each other. It’s like there’s this language barrier where every term one said sounds foreign to the other. With that said, I slowly begin to comprehend that it might be difficult for Rick Riordan to bring two worlds together and form a new story.

I have to admit, after reading The Son of Sobek, I want something more. I want to know what Percy is thinking throughout the story, I want to know if Carter would tell Sadie the whole incident, and Percy to Annabeth, and what their reactions would be. There’s this whole mystery behind this short story. I, too, am wondering who or what brought the two protagonists together. They may never meet again, but if they do and Rick Riordan decides to tell their story, I would undoubtedly read it right away.