This is a brilliantly fun story.
I read it in record time, pausing only to switch on the light when it became too dark to read easily. The characters are mostly fun and friendly. The writing is witty, fun and the insights into the relationship between Leon and Tiffy - WOW just WOW!
It is a fun, quick, easy read story that captivates the reader. Highly recommended.
brilliant! - 05/02/2020
I'm so in love with this incredibly cute story. The writing is superb. The Flatshare follows a woman who finds herself nursing a broken heart, and no roof over her head. From there, she finds an advert online for a flat-share. Except it's also a bed-share with a man named Leon. They won't be there at the same times, for he takes the night shifts, so she goes for it and finds she gets a lot more than she bargained for...
This book makes me want to dish superlatives and speak in exclamation marks, exclusively! Best romance I've read in some time: uplifting, funny and super-empowering (in a casual, almost understated way.) Has those cute laugh-out-loud moments, close-the-book-and-squeal moments, and plenty of learning moments. It was interesting how the relationships in the book were contrasted: one that is caring and easy and the other, messy and painful. I was also pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful and honest conversations within the book: there's a lot to gain from it.
I stayed up late reading this one and woke up earlier (basically I didn't sleep). It was worth it! A truly delightful debut- I can't believe it's a debut novel at all!
-Love-notes: I couldn't get over the idea!
-Made me wish this book didn't come with an ending. Or that there was a full-blown series I just didn't know about.
-Reminded me that the perfect romance does exist. (At least in someone's head.)
-Perfect for fans of the debut novel Our Stop, by Laura Jane Williams.
I received this book for review consideration through Netgalley. All opinions are mine and completely honest.
Saarah N - 10/07/2019
I don't think I've ever used the word 'delightful' to describe a book but I genuinely can't think of a more suitable word for The Flatshare. It was adorable and uplifting and so funny, I stayed up all night reading and quietly laughing to myself until I'd finished.
This story follows Tiffy, an editor struggling to afford rent in London following a bad break up, and Leon, a nurse with the same issue. Instead of finding their own places, Tiffy moves into Leon's home when he isn't there, sleeping in the bed whilst he's on night shifts and on the weekends whilst he's away. As they begin leaving notes for each other around the house, they develop the most adorable friendship and it's really enjoyable to watch this develop. In addition to this, the book does very respectably tackle issues such as emotional abuse, the aftermath of bad relationships and an inability to move on.
The style of writing was very enjoyable, as Leon's chapters are written in a combination of regular prose and note form, which I've never seen a novel written in before. This made it unique and deceptively easy to read, with Leon and Tiffy's chapters very clearly differentiated.
I can't recommend this book enough, as the funniest and most uplifting story I've read in a long time. Although predominantly for those who want a light-hearted, easy read, I feel that it would be difficult for anyone to read this without a smile on their face.
Francesca - 12/05/2019
The cover of this really jumped out at me and upon reading the blurb I knew this was a book I really wanted to read. Some books require a few chapters to get you hooked, with this I felt right at home from page one. Tiffy (Tiffany) is a fantastic character, she reminds me a little of Lou from ‘Me Before You’ so I can see where the Jojo Moyes comparison comes from. Leon takes a bit more getting to know but underneath the reticence he’s a very likeable character. Throw Tiffy’s eccentric friends and Leon’s imprisoned brother into the mix and you have the makings of a fabulous story. The concept of renting a bed is fresh and original yet weirdly works in this story, the alternating chapters work well and the notes and dialogue gave me quite a few laughs. Many books are described as funny but few really amuse me as much as this does. Rarely does a book merit 5 stars in my opinion but this is a total gem.
Fresh, original & funny - 18/04/2019
The highlight of any book for me, is when I finish reading it and all I want to do is start reading it all over again. "The Flatshare" by Beth O'Leary was one of the those books. I fell head over heels in love with the characters Tiffy and Leon and found their story truly adorable.
"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...."
The author has written a really funny, realistic yet utterly bonkers premise that had me entertained from the very first page. I was so addicted to it, I found it very hard to put down and completely devoured it in less than two days.
I'm not normally a 'chick lit' or romance fan but this grabbed my attention as soon as I saw the bonny cover and upon reading an initial first impression of the book, I knew I was going to find it immensely entertaining.
Such a feel good and uplifting story you instantly feel like you are friends with all the characters. I did have a particular soft spot for Leon's brother Richie, who I was rooting for all the way through the story that he'd get his appeal. His lawyer, Gerty (who is Tiffy's friend) is just brilliant and together with her 'are they, aren't they' flatmate Mo, they make a fabulous pairing too.
I loved the ending and found it so appropriate considering Tiffy and Leon's relationship being based on messages written on post it notes left all over the flat. You cannot help but be left with a big smile on your face and all I wanted to do once I finished the book was jump straight back into the story and read all about it once again!
Would I recommend? Most definitely!! A truly delightful read, perfect for anyone looking for a nice, easy uplifting read, you won't disappointed and I hope to read more by this exceedingly talented author in the future.
Five stars and then some!
Miriam Smith - 15/04/2019
A sparkling romantic debut with a two endearing protagonists, real chemistry and a truly original way of meeting!
As a reader who gives a wide berth to any kind of chick-lit and romantic comedies, I have to admit I enjoyed this story immensely! It is warm-hearted, uplifting and brilliantly humorous and it comes with the added benefit of great characterisation, sizzling chemistry and a well-plotted storyline. Despite the downside of being a little bit predictable, author Beth O’Leary injects several sizeable sub-plots which add depth and also means the true course of love encounters plenty of hiccups along the way!
Assistant book editor at a niche publishing house and quirky dresser, Tiffy Moore, is a vibrant young woman in dire straits. Dumped by her manipulative boyfriend, Justin, and earning a pittance, she is in need of cheap flat, no matter what it entails. Meanwhile self-contained palliative care nurse, Leon Twomey, works nights in a hospice, spends weekends at his bossy girlfriends, and needs ready money in order to finance his brother’s prison appeal. Both are willing to share a flat if it means they can save money and when Tiffy responds to an online advertisement with the added entanglement of sharing a bed - albeit at different times, it sets in motion a very peculiar form of cohabitation! And both of the new flatmates have their own very compelling and deeply personal reasons for needing the new arrangement to work.
As they begin their journey of sharing a flat and a bed, a dual narrative alternates between Tiffy and Leon both written in the first-person and comes with the added bonus of each being easily distinguishable. Tiffy’s narrative is verbose, full of random outpourings and superlatives, whilst Leon’s is oddly stilted, made up of short sentences and very few pronouns and also includes many of the Post-it exchanges between the pair. As the pair co-exist we see Leon’s fondness for his patients, including precocious eight-year-old leukaemia patient, Holly, and an elderly and fiendishly quick knitter, Mr Robert Prior, remembering his wartime romance and also come to appreciate Leon’s commitment to his younger brother, Richie, in prison for armed robbery.
Meanwhile Tiffy’s preoccupation with an emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend and making a success of the imminent publication of a soon to be bestselling crochet book keeps her fully occupied. As Tiffy introduces a beanbag, a tie-dyed bed blanket, oddles of offbeat outfits and and some retro chic into Leon’s home, it comes with the upside of her abundant baking awaiting Leon after a night shift. And so begins a communication via Post-it notes between the two flatmates despite the duo having never met, Richie having spoken to Tiffy and everyone of the staff and patients at St Marks hospice being sceptical of introverted Leon’s female flatmates actual existence! But as both find unexpected pleasure in communicating via Post-in notes, thanks to Tiffy’s fondness for oversharing, it is only a matter of time before they meet.
But when their initial meeting takes place in a rather awkward domestic circumstance it is just the first of the obstacles the pair have to overcome. As Leon goes in search of Mr Prior’s lost love and Tiffy attempts to launch a new cult craze of crocheting with former hippie and author, Katherin, their paths, and lives, begin to cross in some very novel ways. The appeal of this story is largely due to characterisation of not only lead protagonists, Tiffy and Leon, but the supporting cast from no-nonsense criminal barrister, Gerty, tactful counsellor, Mo, cheeky Richie, Tiffy’s zany colleague, Rachel, right through to odious Justin, Both Tiffy and Leon are hugely sympathetic and caring individuals with the added benefit of also being vulnerable and hence it is impossible not to vie for their union, cheer on Richie’s appeal and itch to see off Justin. As Tiffy starts to recognise the truth behind an unhealthy relationship with Justin that stole her confidence and left her a nervous wreck, Leon must overcome his desire for space, let his feelings show and wholeheartedly commit to sharing his life. Each must take a leap of faith if they are to ever find the thing that will make their lives complete. As much as the story is a light-hearted and uplifting comedy it does touch on the subjects of gaslighting, emotionally abusive relationships, the conditions experienced in prison and the difficultly of rectifying miscarriages of justice.
Hugely entertaining, wonderfully witty and filled with subtle insights into relationships. Whilst the story admittedly never kept me on tenterhooks, I would throughly recommend for readers of contemporary fiction. I also hope to read more of a talented debut author. An accomplished novel that will surely give hope to every potential London renter! A memorable story of two people’s lives changing in parallel and finally intersecting with unexpectedly humorous and touching results. I particularly appreciated the old-fashioned romantic element of Tiffy and Leon’s story and how it was grounded in far more than sexual attraction and takes both protagonists on their own individual journey of self-discovery. As the final quarter of the novel raises the stakes and climaxes with Richie’s appeal and a crochet book launch, Tiffy must make the ultimate decision to finally erase Justin from her life before these star-crossed flatmates can even consider taking the plunge..!
With thanks to Readers First who provided me with a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
Rachel Hall - 11/04/2019