|Series: –||Genre: Contemporary, Romance|
|Date of Publishing: April 18th 2019||Publisher: Quercus|
Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…
I first got The Flatshare during an Amazon sale, then I found myself in need of an audiobook and thought “Why not?” And now here we go. I’m going to use this book on my Armed with a Bingo card. I’ve put it under the ‘A book from the last decade (2010-2019)‘ square.
Song of the Book
I definitely wanted to pick a romantic, upbeat song, and the first band that came to mind was the Goo Goo Dolls. I think Come To Me fits pretty well.
Come to me my sweetest friend
Can you feel my heart again
Take you back where you belong
This will be our favorite song
Come to me with secrets bare
I’ll love you more so don’t be scared
When we’re old and near the end
We’ll go home and start again (yeah)
Start again (yeah)
Well, The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary absolutely wasn’t in the plans. I didn’t even hear about it until very recently. Like, a few days before I picked it up. It’s not much of a surprise, romance is not exactly my genre, be it contemporary or otherwise. But recently I’m making an effort to mix in more genres into my reading and I’m doing better with audiobooks. So much so, that I finished this one in a record three days. I mean, I usually don’t like to listen for more than an hour so this one should have lasted for at least 5-6 days. Minimum. Well, it didn’t. I had become a tiny bit too invested in Tiffy and Leon’s story to be able to stop myself listening as much as I could. There was hardly any point where I could left it off. Damn.
The Flatshare tells the story of two people who meet by chance and despite the hardships going on in their lives, and the fact that they don’t even meet until halfway into the book, they fell in love. Tiffy just broke up with his controlling, emotionally abusive boyfriend and needs a place to live – possibly in Central London and for cheap. She works in a small publishing company as an assistant editor, earning next to nothing but loving it nonetheless. She is outgoing, excentric and spontaneous. She is kind and goodhearted but still failed to realise what an asshole his ex-boyfriend is until she finally gets a distance and starts to see what everyone else was telling her. Not having any other options, she contacts Leon about his flat he wants to share.
Leon works as a palliative care nurse and pretty much lives for his job and patients. To be able to pay for a lawyer, he need a bit of extra money and though he hates changes, he decides to offer his place for flatshare – as he works the night shifts he only needs the flat during the day, and he spends the weekends with his girlfriend. Out of three people who contacts him, his choice falls on the “annoying woman.”
And thus an unexpected friendship begins with scribbled notes and messages between the two. The Flatshare offers many comedic moments where you can’t help chuckling out loud or to have any number of emotional reactions. But it also deals with serious topics such as emotional abuse, injustice, missed and second chances. I really liked this concept and the fact it was written from two first POVs.
While I definitely enjoyed The Flatshare, I also had a few issues which makes me knock down a star from my final rating. There were many side-characters around our protagonists, but they were all a bit two dimensional. They appeared when it was convenient but there weren’t much depth to them. I liked Tiffy and Leon but if I was in Tiffy’s place I would have started wondering at one point why I was the only one sharing EVERYTHING with people who were supposed to be my best friend when they don’t even bother to tell me things. Then again, Tiffy doesn’t bother either to ASK about her so-called friends. Everything is about her and then Leon who miracoulously becomes super hot. While this was a slow burn romance and I could almost believe this might happen in real life, I didn’t really buy it.
Leon on the other hand is pretty likeable and selfless, if a bit introvert – which is absolutely not an issue! My main problem with him was the narrator voicing him. It was a touch hard to understand his accent – please not that I’m not a native English speakier, accents are hard for me – and he made these annoying little sounds (which is not necessarily his fault, but it really took me out of the story).
If you are looking for a lighthearted romcom and don’t want to think too much, The Flatshare is a perfect pick me up book. With loveable characters – there is a lovely, mishevious little girl, and a hippie older lady who happens to be a rebel -, heavy topics and a budding romance with laugh out loud moments. Beth O’Leary‘s debut novel is definitely worth a read.