This is really a delightful book that stands out from the usual love story by its focus on family and its wit. There are hilarious Facebook updates that start off many of the chapters, and very likable characters who are not, however, perfect.
Eighteen-year-old Julie Seagle has just come from Ohio to Boston to start college. The apartment she thought she got turned out to be a scam however, and she has no other place to go. Julie’s mother arranges for her to stay with her old college roommate Erin and her family. The Watkins have an empty room because their son Finn is away. They seem like a great family – affluent, smart, generous, and friendly, but more than a bit quirky. Twenty-one year old Matt goes to MIT and is what Julie calls nerdy, but it is 13-year-old Celeste who behaves the most oddly. She still dresses like a child, speaks robotically, and what’s more, carries around a life-sized replica of Finn, called Flat Finn, without which (whom?) she will go nowhere. Everyone else interacts with Flat Finn as if he were real. (Julie allows, “Finn was decidedly adorable. Even in pancake form.”)
Julie emails Finn to introduce herself and explain she is staying in his room, and asks him what is going on with Celeste because no one in the family will tell her. But neither will Finn. Meanwhile, Julie tries to be an older sister to Celeste, mentoring her to fit in better with her age group. She also has a great sibling-like rapport with Matt. She starts dating a nice guy, but the relationship stalls as her online attachment to Finn intensifies.
What is really going on in this weird family, and can an online romance turn into something real?
Evaluation: Fans of Rainbow Rowell should enjoy this book as much as I did. This was an unexpectedly entertaining read.
Published by Amazon Publishing, 2012