G. Bianco, 2019
Debut novels can sometimes be hit or miss. There is plenty of evidence of it in the world, but sometimes an author can hit it right out of the park on the first try. With a large amount of hype on social media about Beth O’Leary’s first novel, The Flatshare, there was a lot of intrigue about this novel and the concept for this new type of love story. Once again, the internet did not mislead in introducing fans to a new adult romance story with a hint of quirkiness.
Tiffy Moore is an eccentric book editor who just broke up with her on-again, off-again boyfriend and is desperate for a new place to live. Needing a little extra cash, Leon Twomey places an ad for an apartment-sharing situation. While Leon works at night, Tiffy has the flat to herself during the week and weekends. When Tiffy leaves for work in the morning, Leon gets the flat during the day. Never having met each other, they communicate via notes left scattered around the flat and slowly become friends. But is it possible to become more than friends without even knowing what the other person really looks like?
This British novel is everything a reader could hope for in a romance book. Leon and Tiffy are simply put, just easy characters to fall in love with. On top of that, the cast of minor characters help amplify the joviality and drama that runs throughout the plot. That being said, it wasn’t just an adorable love story. Mentions of emotional abuse in a relationship, taking a chance at love, and standing up for yourself are among some of the themes that helped make this books an amazing read. With an alternating narration and short chapters, this book becomes very hard to put down. The only thing that takes some getting used to is Leon’s narration style (which lacks pronouns and quotations for the most part). However, it does help to distinguish between who is narrating which chapter.
All in all, this novel is an absolute pleasure to read. It is funny, cute, witty, and real. The characters have their own personal issues that aren’t sugarcoated for entertainment purposes and adds depth to a fun love story. This novel is not only the perfect summer read, but paves the way for other modern romance stories. TIffy and Leon’s story does not disappoint!
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