The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary [review] @OLearyBeth @quercusbooks

The Flat Share
Title: The Flat Share
Author: Beth O’Leary
Publisher: Quercus

[Synopsis]

Tiffy Moore and Leon Twomey each have a problem and need a quick fix.

Tiffy’s been dumped by her cheating boyfriend and urgently needs a new flat. But earning minimum wage at a quirky publishing house means that her choices are limited in London.

Leon, a palliative care nurse, is more concerned with other people’s welfare than his own. Along with working night shifts looking after the terminally ill, his sole focus is on raising money to fight his brother’s unfair imprisonment.

Leon has a flat that he only uses 9 to 5. Tiffy works 9 to 5 and needs a place to sleep. The solution to their problems? To share a bed of course…

As Leon and Tiffy’s unusual arrangement becomes a reality, they start to connect through Post-It notes left for each other around the flat.

Can true love blossom even in the unlikeliest of situations?
Can true love blossom even if you never see one another?
Or does true love blossom when you are least expecting it?

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[My Review]

The Flat Share is the perfect blend of humour, emotions and romance. It’s sweet and heartwarming without being too cheesy, and the main characters – namely Tiffy and Leon (lovely Leon – definitely a new, perhaps slightly less conventional, heartthrob!) are so likeable, as well as Tiffy’s friends and Leon’s brother who is currently serving time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. All make this novel such an interesting, enjoyable read, and I didn’t feel like any of the characters were too one-dimensional or stereotypical.

I loved the set up of this novel – Leon and Tiffy are flatmates who never, ever see each other and in fact have never even met… both are too strapped for cash to rent on their own, so Leon, who works night shifts, rents out his place to someone who works usual 9-5 shifts. That way, although they’re sharing, they’re not really flat mates as they’ll never actually be in the flat at the same time!

What follows is a truly entertaining story of two people sort of meeting via post-it note, and realising they have a lot more in common! It’s such a fresh storyline for this genre, which often uses the same story in different variants over and over again. Although some parts were of course predictable, I was surprised at how original this really was, and how little cheesiness there actually was (allowing for the fact that this is a romantic comedy/ drama).

The story also deals with some serious issues which I won’t go into too much detail here, so as not to ruin any of the story. Beth O’Leary has skilfully managed to blend humour with these more serious parts, and resulted in a novel that manages to strike just the right balance. I loved it!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to Quercus for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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