By: Beth O’Leary
Published Year: 2019
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.
After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.
Desperation makes her open minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.
Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.
But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you've never met.
What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O'Leary's The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.
I was scrolling through Twitter when the UK cover came across my feed. The cover sucked me in immediately and then when I read the summary I knew I was hooked. I actually picked this book as my book club pick, but unfortunately it didn’t come out in time for my month. Suffice to say, this book made a solid first impression.
What I thought
Some books don’t live up to their hype. Luckily, this was not one of those books. This one was great!
Tiffy has just broken up with her boyfriend and needs to find a new, cheap place to live. In central London, she doesn’t have many options. Leon needs some extra cash and since he works as a third shift palliative care nurse, he doesn’t spend nights in his flat anyway. He posts an offer to share his flat, and his bed with a roommate, who ends up being Tiffy. She gets the flat from 6pm-8am and he gets the flat from 9am-5pm. Their paths never cross, but they do start to communicate via post-it notes throughout the flat and become fast friends.
The idea of this book is so me. But what surprised me was that this wasn’t just a fluffy romance. There is so much real life in this book and I ate it up. Sometimes when there are heavier subjects it can feel heavy or exhausting when you read them. O’Leary manages these topics wonderfully. She doesn’t shy away from the difficulties but they aren’t overwritten either. It’s a perfect balance that brings a perfect depth to this story.
I also love Leon and Tiffy. Leon is a quiet, shy, unassuming guy who is a genuinely nice, good guy. The only thing that threw me is that in addition to the story being told in alternating perspectives, the voices of the characters are distinct. Leon’s voice took me a while to get used to and, at first, it annoyed me. Luckily, it didn’t take me too long to get used to and didn’t impact my enjoyment of the book at all.
The relationship between Tiffy and Leon was so much fun. I loved seeing it grow over the post-its and I loved the differences between the two characters. I also liked the different types of friendships and all of the secondary side characters. Even the characters who had minimal lines came to life in this book and I felt like I knew each and every one.
I don’t want to share too much about this book because I want everyone to experience it in their own way. I didn’t know much about this book other than what the synopsis told me and that everyone who read it loved it. The cover states that she could be the new Jojo Moyes, so that could kind of give you an idea of the type of book this becomes, but Flatshare isn’t nearly as tragic as I feel all of Moyes books are.