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The Flatshare, Beth O’Leary

Tiffy and Leon share a flat. Tiffy and Leon share a bed. Tiffy and Leon have never met… What a cute and unique story.I absolutely loved the premise of The Flatshare, I’ve not read anything like it! Tiffy gets is broke, heart-broken and desperate so when she comes across Leon’s proposal, she jumps on it. The proposal Leon works nights and has the flat during the daytime and Tiffy spends her days at work and has the flat night.

They share the same bed, for months without ever meeting which is really interesting. I enjoyed how they didn’t meet until well into the book. You could really see them get to know each other slowly throughs the notes and the things they noticed around the flat. It was refreshing to have them start to like each other entirely based on little facts they learnt, comfort they gave each other and not how they look.

“The next thing I notice is the sheer quantity of crap in my living room…It’s like a terrible episode of Changing Rooms. Flat has been redecorated to look immeasurably worse. Can only conclude that she was doing it on purpose – nobody could be this tasteless accidentally.” 

Tiffy and Leon both enter into The Flatshare in relationships which are quite different. Tiffy’s is extremely emotionally abusive and Leon’s with a girl who does not understand or appreciate him and his needs. Both end prior to any cheating but I quite liked how the friendship of each other was what helped them to realise how much they were missing in their relationships, especially when it comes to support.

“Being nice is a good thing. You can be strong and nice. You don’t have to be one or the other.” 

The two characters have very differing styles of writing. I have to admit at first this was really jarring but once I got used to it, I really enjoyed it. The different styles really made it feel like two different people and the style complimented their personalities almost as if they matched the way their brains thought.

This fits more into the chick lit genre for me than romance and a lot of that is to do with the side characters and the weighting of the sub plots. There was more her than just a quirky romance. The side characters and sub plots were funny and added something rather than taking away from the main plot. I wouldn’t mind reading another book featuring some of them!

Though whilst The Flatshare was funny and light a lot of the time it still tackled some heavy issues. One being the abusive relationship was quite scary but sent an important message – that emotional abuse can damage as much as physical abuse.

Overall it was great, the resolution was nice and I liked how they both learned something. Would recommend especially for fans of Sophie Kinsella!

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