Review: The Flatshare (Beth O’Leary)
“I stop dead in my tracks. Someone behind me walks into me and swears (stopping abruptly in central London is a heinous crime, and immediately gives the people around you permission to kick you).”
― Beth O’Leary, The Flatshare
Author: Beth O’Leary
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Page Count: 336
Published: 18 April 2019
Plot: (9.5 / 10) Characters: (9.0 / 10) Ending: (9.0 / 10)
Author: Beth O’Leary
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, a brother in prison 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…
The Flatshare has quickly become one of my favourite books, I absolutely love it. There is a lot of hype surrounding the book, and for good reason. The genre is a mix of things, mainly romantic comedy but it is so much more than a typical rom-com. It’s like a big, cosy hug and I think it’s the kind of uplifting, heartwarming book that everyone should read.
Despite the fact I had work and was exhausted due to a toddler who had no interest in going to sleep, I read The Flatshare in a day – it was one of those books I would open at every available second. It’s a story that is really easy to get lost in, and there is much more to it than I initially thought.
Beth O’Leary has managed to create personable, entertaining characters, and dialogue that is charming and relatable without being too sickly-sweet, which can sometimes be the case with romantic storylines! It’s also makes some excellent points about the struggles of finding somewhere to live in London, particularly if you are on a tight budget.
Tiffy is a brilliant character, I liked her immediately and the descriptions of her (and her outfits) are so vivid, it was easy to picture her. I loved hearing about her job as an editorial assistant at a publishing house, and all about the manuscripts she was working on.
I really liked the character of Leon too, he is absolutely someone I would want to be friends with in real life, though I didn’t find his chapters as easy to read because of the way they were written, it was more like his train of thought or text messages – conversations were written like a script, which is fine, but I just sometimes found it hard to switch between the two different narratives – this is the only reason I’ve not given this book a 10/10!
Each character’s story is woven together very cleverly, and the supporting characters are great. I particularly liked Mo and Rachel, they are so brilliantly written. The detail is what really makes this book special, especially the description of the flat.
Publication Day – Breakfast with Beth O’Leary
I was lucky enough to be invited by Quercus to a Breakfast with Beth O’Leary to celebrate the publication day of the hardback edition of The Flatshare.
Hosted in Waterstones Piccadilly, we got the chance to chat to Beth about The Flatshare, her next novel and find out more about her (honestly, she is the absolute loveliest!) – while drinking tea and eating pastries – perfect. We also got the chance to go and visit the incredible installation of Tiffy and Leon’s bedroom which is on the 1st floor until 25 April, and it was so lovely seeing Beth’s reaction when she saw it for the first time.
The installation looks absolutely amazing. “Biscuit” carpet and dingy green wallpaper hidden underneath beautiful bursts of colour from Tiffy’s additions. The detail in the room is so impressive, from the post-it notes and books, to the lava lamp and crafts.
I had such a fun morning – thank you Quercus for the invite, and Beth for writing such a wonderful book! – it was a really lovely way to celebrate the publication day.
[The Flatshare was kindly gifted to me for review by Quercus]