May 21, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

the flatshare book cover


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.


When Tiffy (short for Tiffany) breaks up with her boyfriend, he understandably wants her to find another place to live but her choices are limited.

Tiffy earns diddlysquat at her job working for a craft and hobby magazine. On top of that, she owes her ex-bf a bit of back pay on rent. She loves her job and really doesn't want to quit, but she can't afford to pay for a London flat by herself either. Enter Leon's advert.

Leon is as a palliative care nurse at a hospice facility, but he needs extra income to hire a quality attorney for his brother. Because it isn't really feasible for Leon to obtain a second job, as he works the higher paid overnight shift, he decides his best option is to procure a flat mate. This solution seems easy enough, as he will occupy the flat when his roommate is working and stays with his girlfriend every weekend anyway. 

"I have a feeling Tiffy becomes 'our girl' easily -- she's the sort of person distant relatives and absent neighbors still like to claim credit for."

Leon's new flat mate is friendly, loquacious, goofy, and tons of FUN. Tiffy's bubbly personality, tall stature (six feet!), and funky outfits grab the attention of everyone around her. Leon, on the other hand, is kind, stoic, and likes to keep to himself. He's not a man of many words, and he often settles for the status quo to avoid change. In other words, Tiffy and Leon are polar opposites!

When Tiffy moves into the flat, she communicates with Leon via Post-It notes she leaves all over the place. The notes are mundane at first -- consisting of mostly info about general house upkeep or other trivial matters -- but become more personal over time. Soon, Leon and Tiffy realize they've found an unexpected ally in each other and a relationship starts to bloom.


"There's more emotion here than at an airport arrivals lounge.
Love Actually was missing a trick."

Leon and Tiffy are utterly charming, adorable, and unique. In fact, unique is the perfect word to describe this book.

The plot is unique.
The characters are unique.
The writing format is unique.
Even their jobs are unique.

And, that's what really tipped the scales and makes it a real winner for me. It's nearly impossible to find books that are unique, especially romance novels. Everything has already been done a million times over, so it's always refreshing to read a book with a unique storyline. 



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