Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary


I'm pretty picky when it comes to chicklit. It's a genre that I want to like, but a lot of the time, the unrealistic situations, bland writing, and overly quirky heroines ruin what would otherwise be a decent premise. Apparently my mom picked this up in a ship library while on a cruise. She enjoyed it so much that she brought it back for me from Europe. And, as with all books I'm excited about reading, I promptly set it aside and forgot about it for several months. Now that I'm ill, though, I've been treating myself to some guilty pleasure reads, and THE FLATSHARE seemed like it would fit the bill.

Told in dual POV, it is the story about Tiffy and Leon. Tiffy works at a small publishing company and has just been booted out of her ex-boyfriend's apartment; now she needs a new place to live. Leon works the night shift as a palliative care nurse, and he needs the extra cash flow. He decides to rent out his apartment to someone who can sleep there while he works, ideally with the opposite schedule as his. They will share the flat and the bed, but sleep on opposite sides. Kay, Leon's girlfriend, will manage things to keep it less weird.

At first, Leon's odd narration style and Tiffy's quirkiness seemed like they might be too much, but their characters grew on me. I liked the epistolary elements (via Post-It), the friends-to-lovers, and the emphasis on consent and healing after an emotionally abusive relationship. I loved Leon's brother, Richie, and all of Tiffy's friends. I also liked the distinguishing between Leon's relationship with Kay, which wasn't toxic but soured because of a difference in expectations, and Tiffy's relationship with Justin, which was toxic, and which she had kind of psychologically repressed for her own emotional wellbeing. If nothing else, THE FLATSHARE is a fascinating look at relationships of all kinds and how they shape us, but luckily for me, it's also a really cute romance.

P.S. Nearly lost it when they ate tiffin together because that would be a great ship name for them.

4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars

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