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With Thanksgiving madness, I fell a little bit behind on my reading log, but I have been reading (almost done with my list!), so I’m playing catch-up this week. Next up? Flat Out Love, by Jessica Park.

I picked this NA title for a few reasons: first, when I went to Twitter with the question “What early NA titles do you think best represent the genre?”, lots of people responded with this book. Another thing that drew me to Park’s novel is the fact that, like many titles in NA, it began life as a self-published work that gained so much attention it was eventually picked up by a traditional publisher and re-released.

I dove into this one a few weekends ago, and I couldn’t put it down (even at the point when I found myself quietly crying on the couch while hubby watched in concern). Julie is a college freshman in Boston who, through an error of judgment, lands in the city without a place to live right before starting her freshman year. When a college friend of her mom’s offers to take her in, Julie doesn’t count on falling in love…twice…and becoming another member of the quirky family. Although romance features heavily in the book, there’s a lot more going on in Julie’s world, including school, issues with her estranged father, and trying to decide what she wants her adulthood to look like.

What Makes it NA?

The college setting is a huge component of most NA literature, but so is the struggle to become an adult that expands beyond Julie’s classes and into her family and personal life. She’s very much in the “what now?” step I’ve talked about before as the dividing line between YA (who am I?) and NA. For her, the idea of “what now?” encompasses classes, friendships, family, and romance; in short, she spends the book figuring out what direction her adult life might take. As with other NA titles, she hasn’t completely figured everything out by the end of the book, but it’s obvious to readers that she’s heading in a solid direction (with a truly adult love interest, a huge contrast to her failed high school relationship). All in all, this book is as my friends on Twitter reported: a great example of the NA genre.

What about you? Have you read FLAT OUT LOVE? Tell me what you think!