The Flatshare / Beth O’Leary
I have been trying to get back into the swing of reading lately, and I’ve set myself a challenge on goodreads to read 25 books this year!
Book 18 of 30 was “The Flatshare” by Beth O’Leary and boy oh boy was it a goodie!
“Tiffy and Leon share a flat, Tiffy and Leon share a bed, Tiffy and Leon have never met..
Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: night-worker 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 imprisioned brothers and of course, they fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want to feel at home you need to throw the rule book out the window..”
From gushing on Instagram stories about how in love with it I was only one hundred and twenty-something pages in, and starting to write this blog post before I’ve even finished the damn book, I think it’s safe to say that this may just well be my favourite book of 2019! (update: I have now finished, and I am still of the opinion that this is my favourite book of 2019)
Beth O’Learys writing is easy to read, she has great pacing and has fleshed out these lovely characters amazingly.
Of course this book is very cheesy, romantic comedy, chick lit goodness but it also has a serious streak running through it, that I think Beth nailed.
I can’t get all my thoughts into a coherent blog post because there are too many feels happening up in my brain.
But, what I can form in my brain is that I absolutely loved it, and think everyone and their dog should read it.
I teared up, I laughed out loud, I smiled to myself and I fell in love with each of the characters.
There was so much love, there were steamy moments - you know we all love a good steamy moment ;) - there were amazing friendships that were fleshed out properly and had horrible moments just like real friendships do, there was sadness, anger and some hard hitting realities that made this novel so well rounded.
You could imagine all these characters in your head without fail, and you actually felt like you knew them, or could see these characters as people in your real life.
We all have the friend that’s serious and firm and tells you when you’re getting a little ahead of yourself - that was Gerty
We all have that friend that we know we can come to for a giggly steamy gossip session when we need it - that was Rachel
We all have that friend that just listens when we sit and blubber and moan and have no idea what to do, who will just let us cry it out, while also giving totally sound advice - That was Mo.
All of Tiffy’s friendships in this book served a purpose, but they did what all good friends do. They made mistakes, they dropped the ball, they didn’t trust her when they should’ve, they told her what’s up, they let Tiffy make mistakes on her own but were there to hold her hand and give her a shoulder to cry on afterwards.
I think what I mostly enjoyed about this novel were the friendships, and the absolute love Tiffy has for all her friends.
The romantic relationships in this book were also so well fleshed out - I won’t go into it so I don’t spoil anyone - but boy oh boy was I as loved up on these couples as they were on each other.
As much as the romantic relationships were lovely, and everything you want from a chick lit novel. There is mention of mental/emotional abuse, stalking and gaslighting, which you don’t often see in romantic chick lit books, but something, in my humble opinion, I think Beth did really well. She made it serious enough that you know that it is an important topic, but it didn’t overshadow how joyous this book was and how it touched on how amazing friendships actually are, and brought it a little bit back down to earth, which this book needed at times.
Overall I think Beth did an amazing job with this novel, there was just enough love, laughter, frienship and overly cheesy romance to satisfy any reader of chick lit. But there was also enough drama, sadness, anger, and realness to satisfy the realist enough to believe in Beth’s world. It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies and that was nice to read in a romantic comedy kinda book. She melded them perfectly into each other to make it as realistic as possible.
I loved it, I highly recommend you read it, I gave it five stars and I am very happy I listened to the two people that recommended it to me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I will definitely be re-reading at some point.
Let’s discuss in the comments, let me know what you thought?
I am proceeding to go and recommend this to as many friends as I can muster so we can talk about it. Cos what is better than gushing (or aruging) over a book with a mate.
Lots of love,
*cover illustration by Marloes De Vries