I can’t believe it was 10th October 2018 that I met Beth O’Leary and first got my hands on a copy of The Flatshare at a wonderful evening at Quercus books (see here) and it’s only now that I have got round to reading it. I’m delighted to share my review today.
The Flatshare is available to purchase or for paperback pre-order through the publisher links here.
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…
My Review of The Flatshare
Having broken up with boyfriend Justin, Tiffy needs somewhere cheap to live and opts for an unusual flatshare with Leon.
What a glorious, uplifting, wonderful book Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is. I have been meaning to read The Flatshare for ages and it was worth every second of the wait. I loved it unreservedly.
Firstly, the premise of a sharing a flat and bed with someone you haven’t actually met is intriguing, but the development of that premise is so skilfully handled and wittily written that Beth O’Leary elevates it into a brilliant read. The plot romps along and the sub-plots of Tiffy’s relationship with Justin, and Leon’s efforts for his brother, add depth and colour that make The Flatshare an absolute joy to read. I thought the balance between Tiffy and Leon’s parts of the text was perfect, I adored the playscript layout of direct speech in Leon’s passages and his lack of pronouns because they reflect his character perfectly. Beth O’Leary’s writing feels fresh, engaging and entertaining.
Indeed, whilst The Flatshare may be the prefect example of entertaining uplit, it does touch on some weighty themes that give it wonderful texture and make for compelling reading. Injustice, control, loyalty, family and relationships, social media, and even a glimpse into the world of publishing, are just some of the elements that add up to an enthralling book. When I was reading I resented any interruption as I had to know what happened next. I felt I was living alongside Tiffy and Leon rather than reading about them because I was so drawn in by the story.
As the relationship between Tiffy and Leon develops through notes, the reader comes to love them both and I was desperate for them to get together in real life and have a happy ending. I just adored the way their characters are revealed via these notes, their impressions of one another through their clothes and food, their interactions with other characters even when the two of them haven’t actually met, so that I felt a physical desperation for everything to work out positively for them.
Having read glowing reviews of this book elsewhere I probably had high unreasonably expectations of The Flatshare but am delighted to report it exceeded them all. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is the perfect antidote to any negativity in the world and it made my heart sing. I found The Flatshare brilliantly entertaining, totally absorbing and utterly joyous. Fabulous stuff!
About Beth O’Leary
Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being in reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work. She is now writing novels full time, and if she’s not at her desk, you’ll usually find her curled up somewhere with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).