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The Flatshare

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2019)
What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O'Leary's The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.

Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.

Desperation makes her open minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He'll only ever be there when she's at the office. In fact, they'll never even have to meet.

Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes - first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.

But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea...especially if you've never met.

344 pages, Paperback

First published April 10, 2019

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About the author

Beth O'Leary

14 books10.8k followers
Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.
You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).

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5 stars
104,870 (34%)
4 stars
128,549 (41%)
3 stars
58,358 (18%)
2 stars
12,227 (3%)
1 star
3,609 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 35,433 reviews
Profile Image for Warda.
1,091 reviews17.4k followers
April 25, 2022
And here you are, book, going on my favourites list.

This was a pleasant surprise in the best way possible. I knew that I would enjoy it, but I fell in love instead.

It’s a quiet, heartwarming story that follows Tiffy and Leon. Both have agreed on an unusual arrangement between themselves and are sharing not only a flat, but a bed together. But they don’t see each other. Tiffy has the apartment to herself in the evenings, and when she’s off to work, that’s when Leon comes home.

During this arrangement, they exchange very simple, ordinary notes that are left around the apartment and slowly their lives starts to intertwine without them meaning to.

I was expecting something fluffy and cute and whilst those elements were there, the underlying tone of the story was a lot more serious. They’re dealing with their own demons and struggles and are on survival mode, till that fails them.
It all felt very realistic, and honest and true to real life.

I just loved everything about this story, the format it was told in, the alternate POVs, how well we got to know the characters and how much it meant to me to see them succeed. It was quirky, clever and Tiffy and Leon’s personalities shined through the writing. I was in their world whilst reading and wanted to be a part of their world.

I’m already missing these characters. I know I won’t forget them anytime soon.

It’s amazing that this is a debut novel. I need more of Beth O’Leary’s stories in my life.

———————————

I’ve got 3 days to read this before I have to return it to the library.

(self-made) Challenge accepted.
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews109k followers
December 19, 2020
This was so cute and sweet! The premise is a little hard to believe at first, and I was not a fan of the writing style for Leon, but I was able to get over that once the main characters began interacting and we learn more about their background stories. The romance is very fluffy and wholesome - a wonderful reprieve to balance how the story is rooted in serious topics (healing from an emotionally abusive relationship and dealing with a family member in prison). I appreciated that the romance took over a long period of time and allowed room for friendship first. I also appreciated how both protagonists had their own personal and independent lives. Their relationship wasn’t the center of the universe for them; they simply made each other better. It made me feel so soft! <3
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,471 reviews19.1k followers
July 8, 2022
Re-read 10/13/20: I picked this up bc I've been feeling really slumpy and wow, I love love 🥺 This book and these characters mean the world to me!!!

Re-read 8/5/19: Y'all, I still love this SO DAMN MUCH. The characters in this book are some of my favorite characters of all time. Tiffy is so strong and complex and goofy and Leon is so soft and caring but also serious and MY HEART IS SO FULL. Brb while I swoon from here to eternity. I'm gonna love this book forever.

Original read 5/26/19: I loved this I loved this I loved this I LOVED THIS. Oh my god, I loved this.

TW: gaslighting, emotional abuse, stalking
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,068 reviews38.1k followers
June 9, 2022
Three dull, unsatisfied stars gave my shiny place in the minority among the readers who gave so much stars to this one⭐️⭐️⭐️
I mostly like chic-lit books especially written by Irish and British writers. I like Marian Keyes’ books which shouldn’t be defined as soft chic lit ones because of the characters’ heavy baggages and emotional problems ( alcoholism, denial the dead of loved ones, abuse victims)
On this book our heroine Tiffi suffers from emotional abuse and with flashbacks of her relationship she starts to realize she was gaslighted by her ex’s manipulative lies. But the way of storytelling about the heroine’s trauma wasn’t strong enough, it didn’t make me feel sorry for her. I found her emotional turmoil a little superficial and unreliable.

And of course I didn’t like our hero so much. I found him a little indecisive, passive, boring. At the end as soon as he thought he was rejected by heroine, he just gave up and he never showed how he felt about her. He never wanted to meet her at first because he had issues about changing things in his life( which is ridiculous excuse) then as soon as he discovered she had a great body, he asked for a date !!!

The things I liked most are: hero and heroine’s communication way with post its.
And supporting characters Richie and Rachel( they deserve their own book)

Maybe I read too many angsty books lately so I increased my pain level and this book was too soft, painless and a little boring for me.
Profile Image for Federico DN.
263 reviews497 followers
October 16, 2022
Wholesome Perfection.

Tiffy More desperately needs an apartment after her recent breakup with Justin.
Leon Twomey works the night shift and needs rent money to help his brother Richie.
Tiffy and Leon will be sharing the same apartment for months, they will never meet.

I LOVED IT WITH ALL MY HEART. Loved Tiffy right from the start, so sweet, and funny! Took me a little longer to open up to Leon, but maybe because I’m just as reserved as he is. I also can’t explain how much I loved Rachel, she’s like THE perfect bff. Always made me smile or laugh whenever she was around. Mo and Gerty were great. So was Richie. And Holly. On the other hand, totally HATED Justin with every fiber of my being, and my only complaint about this book is that I feel he wasn’t punished enough.

I think all the hype and fame as one of the best romcoms is very well deserved. Endless supply of quotes and moments to remember by. Lost track of how many times this book made me smile, laugh and swoon, wholesome like a healing balm to the soul. Painful moments also included along the ride. The post-it thing was simply adorable. The banter was addictive. The slow burn was beyond amazing.

PERFECTION; like few others I’ve ever read. One of those books I would love to re-read like the first time.

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PERSONAL NOTE :
[2019] [394p] [Romance] [EXTREMELY Recommendable] [“Leon has a limited number of words to use, by this time of day he’s entirely run out.”] [“Rachel’s chucking all attractive men in my direction... she’s just being an excellent friend.”] [T: Did you write Gerty is right? R: I forbid you to tell her. T: Screenshot already sent. R: Bitch.] [“Be good. Holly grins. Get the impression she has other plans.”]
-----------------------------------------------

Perfecta Sanidad.

Tiffy More desesperadamente necesita un apartamento después de romper con Justin.
Leon Twomey trabaja por las noches y necesita dinero para ayudar a su hermano Richie.
Tiffy y Leon van a compartir el mismo apartamento por meses. Nunca se van a conocer.

LO AME CON TODO MI CORAZON. Amé a Tiffy desde el comienzo, tan dulce, ¡y graciosa! Me tomó un poco más abrirme con Leon, pero eso es tal vez porque soy tan reservado como él. No puedo explicar cuando amé a Rachel, es como LA perfecta amiga por siempre. Siempre me hizo sonreír o reír cuando estaba cerca. Mo y Gerty fueron grandiosos. También Richie. Y Holly. Por el otro lado, totalmente ODIE a Justin con cada fibra de mi ser, y mi única queja con este libro es que no sentí que fuera castigado lo suficiente.

Creo que todo el bombo y la fama de este libro como una de las mejores comedias románticas es muy bien merecido. Cantidad ilimitada de citas y momentos para el recuerdo. Perdí la cuenta de cuantas veces este libro me hizo sonreír, reír y conmover, sanador como una crema curativa para el alma. Dolorosos momentos también incluidos en el viaje. La temática de las notas fue simplemente adorable. El ir y venir adictivo. El ardor lento mucho más que espectacular.

PERFECCION; como pocos otros jamás leídos. Uno de esos libros que amaría poder leer como la primera vez.

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NOTA PERSONAL :
[2019] [394p] [Romance] [EXTREMADAMENTE Recomendable] [“Leon tiene un limitado número de palabras para usar, para esta parte del día ya se le acabaron todas.”] [“Rachel envía todos los hombres atractivos en mi dirección... sólo está siendo una excelente amiga.”] [T: ¿Escribiste Gerty tiene razón? R: Te prohibo que le cuentes. T: Pantalla enviada. R: Perra.] [“Se buena. Holly sonríe. Tengo la impresión de que tiene otros planes.”]
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Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
423 reviews1,594 followers
October 5, 2021
It’s weird how easily you can get to know someone from the traces they leave behind.

The best kinds of books are those that surprise you with their perfection. I was expecting this to be a cutesy light hearted read. It was and it wasn't. The characters were more complex than I had anticipated and so was the plot.

Tiffy is desperate for a place to live and Leon is short on cash. They come to an odd arrangement. They will share not only a flat but the same bed. Leon has the flat for the day until he starts his shift at the hospital and Tiffy gets it at night. But the strangest part of the arrangement is that they never meet. What starts as leaving a note to remember to leave the toilet seat down turns into a correspondence between friends.

Both have their own life problems to deal with and it was so beautiful to see how they supported and helped one another.

A book with a written correspondence between the main characters are one of my favourite kinds. Be it email or letter or text, I just love seeing how two people can form a bond withought having seen each other.

Leon's chapters were very different in style. The sentences were shorter and direct and I liked how they conveyed his way of thinking. The two POV's were distinct and I loved how you could clearly tell them apart. While this style of writing probably isn't everyone's cup of tea, I enjoyed the hell out of it.

I am so glad I read this. It is being added to my favourites list and I will definitely give it a reread. I can't wait to see what else Beth O'leary has in store for us.

TW: EMOTIONAL ABUSE; EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION; STALKING
_______

Pre-weekend buddy read with my gal Warda! 💗
Profile Image for Bel Rodrigues.
Author 2 books18.5k followers
May 20, 2021
livrinho bem fanficona, a farofona que eu precisava enquanto transito de um não-ficção sobre a segunda guerra pra um romance em versos que aborda o luto e abandono parental.
Profile Image for emma.
1,784 reviews42.9k followers
August 20, 2022
This book is now a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for romance, and it's also MY Goodreads Choice for romance, meaning this is very good and I enjoyed reading it and also Goodreads was involved.

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I thought: I think I'll like this very much.

Then I read a little bit of it and thought: Actually I do not think this is going to go very well. In fact I think this is going to go rather badly.

Then I finished it and thought: As I said and as I, a liar, always believed I would, I liked this very much.

When I saw this book about two people who don't know each other who share a flat (one has it in the day and one at night), and that they communicate via Post-It notes until they inevitably fall in love (I believe it is impossible to conduct epistolary interactions with someone over a long period of time and not fall in love with them), I believed this would be light and fluffy and adorable and just what I needed.

This was not very light. Nor was it very fluffy. Actually it was very stressful and angsty and emotional. But it was what I needed???

This is a very heartfelt and well-done story about supportive love and people healing from abuse and trauma and just all around character development joy. But a lot of suffering before we get to the joy part.

It is just so very good. SO much better than I expected.

Bottom line: LIKE I SAID. MY GOODREADS CHOICE.

----------------
pre-review

all right, i admit it! i'm swooning!!

review to come / 4 stars

----------------
currently-reading updates

i'm a simple girl. i read a scary book, then i immediately read a rom-com to soothe my cowardly soul
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,035 reviews2,572 followers
June 23, 2022
Update: AFTER you've read this story, you might want to follow this link

https://www.betholearyauthor.com/extras

so that you can read Tiffy and Leon's Christmas Letters.

***********

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary, Carrie Hope Fletcher (Narrator ), Kwaku Fortune (Narrator)

Tiffy needs to get away from her horrible on/off on/off boyfriend. She's sure everything is her fault because he tells her so. Leon needs extra money so he advertises for a flatmate. He'll be at his flat during weekdays, to sleep during the day, and his flatmate can have the apartment (and the only bed) for the rest of the time. No need for either flatmate to ever see the other. Tiffy takes the flat and she and Leon proceed to communicate through Post It notes. 

Tiffy is great! She's creative and confident when she's away from her horrible ex, Justin. She loves her job and has loyal long time friends. Leon is devoted to his job as a palliative care nurse and spends his off time (except when he sleeps in his bed, in his flat) with his naggy girlfriend, Kay, or visiting his brother in prison. Leon may be an introvert but he has friends, even if they may be his hospice patients. Through their notes, Tiffy and Leon get to know and care about each other and then...they meet!  This is a funny, sweet story that deals with serious issues for both Tiffy and Leon. 

Published May 28th 2019
Profile Image for ♛ may.
801 reviews3,761 followers
February 29, 2020
y'all trying to convince me to settle for real life men when guys like Leon Twomey exist in the fictional realm????

that's just so unrealistic 🙄🙄🙄
Profile Image for elena ❀  .
252 reviews2,612 followers
April 3, 2021
Remind myself that there is no saving people—people can only save themselves. The best you can do is help when they’re ready.


I went into The Flatshare with high hopes at first, but after seeing a couple of mixed reviews about it, I became less excited about it, and honestly, I can’t complain. The premise of this sounded adorable, but it lacked in investment and depth.

In The Flatshare we follow Leon and Tiffy who become flatmates. Simply said, Tiffy needs a cheep place to live at and Leon needs the cash. So when Tiffy sees the opportunity to share Leon's bed for a cheap price, she takes it. She works a 9-5 and Leon works at night, so while Tiffy is at work, Leon is in the room, and while Leon is working, Tiffy is in the room. While living together, the two begin to leave Post-it notes in the flat for each other and that becomes their form of communication in the beginning. After an unplanned situation of meeting happens, the two begin to see that there may be more than just being flatmates.

Your brain can do amazing things to protect itself from pain. But it’ll struggle to keep secrets from the rest of you for long.


The Good

Opposites attract. I’m a fan of media showing relationships between opposite characters. Give me the bubbly and outgoing girl with the grumpy guy who wears all black as his trademark. While that doesn’t exactly apply to Tiffy and Leon, it does to an extent. Tiffy is really outgoing, quirky, can be classified as loud without caring, while Leon is more private, quiet, reserved, and overall, less social. He struggles more than Tiffy with conversations, which can be noted in his notes. They’re shorter, get to the point quicker, while Tiffy’s are more honest, full, personal, and longer. Sometimes the opposites attract concept doesn’t work, but I think it worked really well in this book, especially because Tiffy made a huge social impact on Leon, and everyone including his coworkers and brother could notice.

It’s weird how easily you can get to know someone from the traces they leave behind when they go.


The exploration of emotional abuse. I’m going to be brief and honest: Tiffy’s character can be a very annoying one. I think you either like her or hate her, but I’m conflicted on how I feel about her. I found her to be annoying every time she mentioned her ex or was thinking about him, but I think that’s where the emotionally abusive part comes in. I can’t speak personally on this level, but Tiffy was clearly being gaslighted and manipulated by her ex, but she didn't see it until after. This can be noted in the scene where she sees him in the cruise and he gives her that look, which makes Tiffy think about him and wonder if he still loves her, but I mean, that’s the point of the manipulation. When they see each other, he’s clearly going to lie and give her some lovey dovey bs. Honestly, I appreciated this concept, especially because it isn't something I've read a lot about.

Just note that, as mentioned, that’s something that many people may not sympathize with, and it’s totally understandable, especially because not everyone sees it that way and instead may see Tiffy as a cry baby instead, which I don’t blame because I saw her that way too. It’s difficult to say how I feel about her, but overall I’m glad it was something explored in the book.

The other thing I really liked was how understanding and caring Leon was. Leon could just tell it was still impacting Tiffy, and I think it added to the exploration of the relationship. He never pushed Tiffy for anything and would ask her to make sure everything was okay with what they were doing and how forward they were taking the relationship. He was nice since the beginning and a part of him, not something he acted as.

I also want to point out that I’ve seen some reviews saying how Leon was also stuck up on his ex, but I’d have to disagree. Instead, Leon was actually glad he and his ex ended things. As the reader, I wished he had done it before, but the right time had to come I guess. Going back, I don’t think Leon was stuck up on his ex. After they broke up, he actually ended up forgetting about her quite quickly, and for good reason. He rarely brought her up, as if she never existed. There was truly no chemistry between them (which, I know, there never was meant to be), and it was as if it didn’t hurt him through the long run. Leon was conflicted about how he felt about her, and it sucked that he didn’t notice his true feelings towards her before, but I wouldn’t say he was stuck up on her when in fact, it felt the opposite.

Also, a special shoutout to Tiffy's friends, especially Mo! Like Tiffy, I don't know where she would be if it wasn't for Mo and Grety.

Relationships like that stop being about ‘voluntarily’ very quickly. There’s lots of ways someone can make you stay with them, or think you want to.


The Bad

The way Leon’s chapters were written. My friend commented in one of my updates saying his chapters felt as if they were her school notes, and honestly, it really did feel like that. It was as if Leon was telling us his thoughts, actions, emotions, and everything in between from a script. Other times it felt as if I was reading from his journal or diary in the form of bullet points. He did something. He had to do something. Something was coming up.

Here’s an example:
JW the First offers me tea; what appears is a thick, chipped mug of builder’s brew. It reminds me of tea at Mam’s. A strange moment of homesickness follows—must go and see her more.
JW the First and I settle on sofa and armchair, opposite one another. Suddenly realizing this is a potentially difficult subject to broach. Did you have a love affair with a man in World War II?


Leon's English and general grammar were also very different than his brother's. Richie’s was more “formal and acceptable” while Leon’s felt as if he was still struggling with the language. To be honest, that isn’t what bothered me. If someone struggles with a language, it doesn’t ruin the entire story for me, it was only the way his chapters were written. His dialogue with everyone else never had quotation marks, signifying the dialogue, and they were ridiculously short, quick to the point. We don’t know much about his character except the fact that he’s a nurse, his brother is in prison and he’s trying to get him out, his mother was emotionally abused, and . . . that’s really it. There is not enough information about him to make him stand out. While he’s reserved and not as outgoing as Tiffy, I’m sure there is something the author could have said about him to make him more appealing. Adding into his backstory would have made me more invested in his character.

The romance. The chemistry had the potential to be there, in my opinion, but it was not developed enough. I think this adds to how I felt like Leon’s character lacked depth, so it plays with how I felt about the romance. As the reader, we know much more about Tiffy than Leon, and we’re able to get inside Tiffy’s brain—understanding her thoughts and emotions—much more than Leon’s. Because of the lack of investment and character exploration, it felt as if the romance wasn’t developed enough. I tried putting myself in Tiffy and Leon's shoes to understand how exactly they started falling for each other, but it was a struggle.

The notes. The notes Leon and Tiffy left for each other were of course, one of the main components of the book, but I wish there was more to it. We read one note, and suddenly, there was another below, and then another, and another, and so on. Clearly, the author skipped whatever it was that Tiffy and Leon were doing. What I mean by this is how Leon, for example, wrote one note, and the next thing we see is the reply from Tiffy, and then the reply from Leon, and so on. This was obviously done to rush the book and make it shorter. For some, that’s a good thing, but sadly for me, it didn’t work out. Since there was a lack of character in-depth about Leon, adding what he was doing could have made the read better. But, it is what it is. Furthermore, Tiffy added a lot about her in her notes, which I appreciated, but Leon didn’t. I understand Leon was more reserved, but since he was more reserved in real life, I would have thought he would be more open between notes since, you know, he wasn’t physically talking to someone.

The overall enjoyment. I found myself to be reading just to finish the book. I made it towards 40% and told myself I was going to DNF because I couldn’t take it, and I kind of regret not doing so. Sometimes the whole “Keep reading, it gets better later on” is bullshit to me, and it’s been proven many times. It’s been proven again with The Flatshare. It was just so boring. There was nothing, besides the good things I pointed out, that made this book enjoyable. While I was glad for the opposites attract concept and exploration of emotional abuse, I won’t say it made the book “enjoyable” per se, simply because they were things I appreciated about the book more than things that I enjoyed reading about.

Also, maybe it's just me, but I struggled a lot on being able to imagine these characters. Usually I'm one who doesn't struggle imagining what the characters look like, how they act and speak and such, especially when there are enough descriptions about them, but I struggled with these two.

With everything being said, The Flatshare was not the most boring and dull book I've read. Sadly though, I'm on the minority here and did not really enjoy it at all. While the book is classified as "women's fiction" (to be honest, the more I see that term, the less I like it because what the heck classifies a "women's fiction" book and WHY?), it has its heavy topics such as manipulation, stalking, gaslighting, and abuse.

Life is often simple, but you don’t notice how simple it was until it gets incredibly complicated, like how you never feel grateful for being well until you’re ill, or how you never appreciate your tights drawer until you rip a pair and have no spares.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,478 reviews29.7k followers
April 18, 2020
this story really grew on me, in the best way possible. i guess its true what they say, that opposites attract, because a couple of things that would normally be off-putting to me as a reader (tiffy being stereotypically ‘quirky’ and the odd writing/formatting of leons chapters) turned out to be very endearing and made me enjoy the story that much more.

i love how this radiated british humour. its so understated, undervalued even, and i thought leon was hilarious. both characters are charming and i thought tiffy went through an amazing character development. for being a light and fluffy book, there are some quite serious topics discussed in this, mainly emotional abuse and manipulation; but i thought it was handled really well, in a way that was loyal and realistic to the characters and story.

overall, im very much impressed with this debut novel and i think its safe to say beth o’leary is an author to keep an eye on!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
771 reviews12.1k followers
January 18, 2021
Sweet with Minimal Eye Rolls!

Since there are so many wonderful reviews of this book, I am going to skip the plot summary and jump right into my reading experience.

I started reading this book with a bit of trepidation. The premise had me shaking my head a bit, but I decided to shut off my brain and went with it. As I started reading, I almost gave up. Tiffy felt like just another cliche eccentric chick-lit character, and Leon’s lack of pronoun usage drove me crazy (I never got over this element of the narrative). As I became further immersed, Tiffy and Leon both grew on me, and I realized there was much more to their story than it seemed. I found both characters to be endearing, and eventually, I was rooting for them.

I thought the plot would spiral into the usual tropes and cliches that often occur in romance books, and while these moments occurred, i.e. characters end their relationship over a misunderstanding and spend many months or even years apart, they ended quickly and didn't come with the usual drama.

By the end, I couldn’t put this book down, and I found myself simultaneously reading and smiling.

One of my goals for 2021 is to read some lighter books. I am not sure how long this trend will last (I broke my New Year’s resolution to give up sugar after 3 days), but my first foray went well!
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
673 reviews1,028 followers
February 9, 2020
I couldn’t be more surprised that I actually enjoyed this book. A romance?! Who am I?!

Tiffy has just gone through a messy break up, she has very little money and desperately needs to find somewhere to live. Leon is paying costs for his brother and could do with some extra cash.

They strike a deal, share a flat and even a bed, but they will never be there at the same time. Leon works night shifts so he will have the flat during the day while Tiffy works 9-5 and she’ll have it at night.

Tiffy and Leon communicate mainly through post it notes and shared leftovers. As you’d expect they eventually meet and dot dot dot!!

Honestly it was adorable. It was realistic. Tiffy and Leon are wonderful and vibrant characters and I cheered them on all the way. Despite the many problems and obstacles they overcame.

4 stars ⭐️
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,170 reviews25.4k followers
July 26, 2019
I should have known from the blurb on the front cover saying: “The new Jojo Moyes” that this book was not gonna be my thing. This is a contemporary romance novel about this girl Tiffy who’s boyfriends breaks up with her and she needs a place to live, so she moves into this apartment where Leon lives. Leon is a nurse and he works at night and he only uses the bed/apartment during the day so he needs a roommate to help him pay rent, and so Tiffy moves in and they share the same bed but they’ve never met.

This book had an interesting premise which is what made me want to read it - along with exceptional reviews from so many of my book friends. I thought I would love this. These characters are so dull and boring and this story is so dull and boring. Leon’s chapters are written in such a strange, unnecessary way, and the different between these two writing styles between their chapters was jarring and hard to get used to. His chapters have no quotes around the dialogue and it feels so choppy and clunky. I wasn’t a a fan of that writing style at all. Not to mention his character is so uninteresting and you know nothing about him besides his strange work hours, his needy girlfriend and his brother who’s in prison.

I feel like these two main characters spend the first half of this book not being able to get over their annoying douche bag exes, and they talk about them constantly and I was just frustrated. And then after the halfway point things started to get really cheesy for me and I just rolled my eyes a lot. This does read kind of like a Jojo Moyes romance so if you enjoy that author you’ll probably love this but I personally did not, and I honestly don’t understand the hype surrounding this book? What is so great about it? Did I miss something? 😅

This is my 4th book completed for the reading rush, for the challenge: read an authors debut book.
Profile Image for Corina.
781 reviews2,090 followers
December 28, 2022
I often lament that romance novels have started to feel the same to me after reading as many as I’ve read over the years. It’s hard for me to distinguish the many novels I read unless they are utterly unique. I’m happy to say, that Beth O’Learly did what I wish many other authors would do, she wrote a debut novel that was quirky, unique and had a most engaging plot.

The Flatshare was a feel-good novel that was hard to forget. Memorable from begging to end, thanks to fabulously vibrant and distinctive characters and an overall storyline that was heart-touching and beautiful. And this book needs to be read by every romance novel enthusiast out there.

FACT IS, THAT JUST THE IDEA OF SHARING A FLAT WITH SOMEONE, BUT NEVER CATCHING SIGHT OF THE OTHER PERSON, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE SHARING A BED WAS ABSOLUTELY INTRIGUING TO ME.

I think for me the heart and soul of the story was the way Tiffy and Leon communicated with each other. Their post-it notes conversations were heart-warming, funny, touching, and just all around wonderful. A truly refreshing take on a romantic comedy. I actually was looking forward to those notes – maybe even more so than Leon himself.

Besides their post-it chats, there were three major plots that wove beautifully through the entire story. These plots were connected by a cast of wonderful characters. Every single cast member was distinctively different in personality and voice. And I LOVED them all.

Both Leon and Tiffy were genuine and nice. Easy to be liked. And a wonderful addition to anyone’s circle of friends. I’m not surprised that they drew me in from almost the very beginning.

“Almost” because I needed a tiny bit of an adjustment period until I was truly comfortable with the author’s writing style. Not only had the book a distinctive British voice (which I’m a HUGE fan of) but Leon’s POV was quite peculiar. Moreover the author managed to capture the uniqueness of Leon’s personality in an incredibly compelling way.

HONESTLY, I HAVE ONLY GREAT THINGS TO SAY ABOUT THIS DEBUT NOVEL.

It might even be one of the most unique novels I read this year. And it definitely goes on my ‘new to me author list of 2019.

UPDATE: I just recently listened to the audiobook, a year after publication, and I loved the book as much the second time around as I did the first time, in 2019. The audiobook beautifully showcased the Britishness of the novel in the BEST way, and managed to make the narration an entertaining experience.




___________________________________
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
685 reviews4,625 followers
July 3, 2019
4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Adorable, Left Me Feeling Content Stars for Beth O'Leary's The Flatshare

This book worked its way into my heart with its:
~ slow burn romance (and I'm usually not a slow burn fan!)
~ adorable post-it notes (I LOVED reading the back & forth notes!)
~ fierce, quirky & hilariously inappropriate friends (everyone needs a Tribe like this in their life!)
~ subtle yet frank look at emotional/psychological abuse (totally unexpected but handled appropriately for this type of read)

There is unexpected depth and so much heart in this sweet little book! I had one day to read it before having to return it to the library and was worried I wouldn't be able to do it. It says a lot about the book's pull that I managed to finish it in a couple hours, in 1 sitting.
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,503 reviews24.5k followers
April 17, 2019
This is a charming and lovely piece of contemporary fiction from Beth O'Leary that takes an interesting premise of a one bedroom flat in London being shared by two occupants who never meet, each in residence, sleeping in the same bed, when the other is out or working. A more exploitative version of this is the overcrowded sharing of accommodation in the desperate working conditions experienced by trafficked, illegal and migrant workers. This is a more benign and comic take focusing on the dire financial straits many workers face in a city with sky high rents. Compassionate palliative care nurse, Leon Twomey, a man of few words has a girlfriend, Kay, and a younger brother, Richie, in prison after being framed for armed robbery. Leon needs money to pay Richie's lawyer to secure an appeal hearing, so Tiffany 'Tiffy' Moore moves in, and for months they never meet, their paths never cross, but a quirky and offbeat relationship develops between the pair of them through the form of post-it notes.

Tiffy is still hankering after her ex-boyfriend, the wealthy and manipulative Justin who has evicted her from his flat after getting involved with another woman. She is an assistant editor for a niche independent DIY and crafts publisher, overworked and paid a pittance. Her star client author is Katherin, a woman who writes books on the art of crocheting, and who will do nothing without Tiffy in attendance. Tiffy is supported by her friends, counsellor Mo and hotshot barrister, Gerty, and fellow workmate, Rachel. It gradually begins to emerge that Tiffy's relationship with Justin was a much darker and murkier affair as Tiffy begins to experience disturbing feelings and flashbacks. Upset and slowly beginning to recognise that she was a victim of emotional abuse, she is startled to discover just how much Gerty and Mo hated Justin for what he was doing to her, but had kept silent, knowing Tiffy would never have listened to them. Leon is familiar with emotional abuse, having seen his mother experience it at the hands of the type of men she chose as he was growing up.

Beth O'Leary writes a captivating novel that shines thanks to her stellar characterisation, you cannot help but fall for Tiffy and Leon, and the brilliant supporting cast of Richie, Gerty, Mo and Rachel. Then there are Leon's terminal patients at the hospice, for whom Leon will do anything, like embarking on finding the lost love of the crocheting Mr Robert Prior, and the young, feisty Holly, smart enough to intuit she is Leon's favourite patient, despite him never saying it. This is such an appealing, fun and entertaining read, whilst touching on the most serious of issues of abuse and miscarriages of justice. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Quercus for an ARC.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,854 reviews1,495 followers
August 14, 2019
I'm going to be an outlier on this one because it just left me cold. Tiffy is a weak idiot who longs for her ex even though he has treated her like crap. By the third time her friends had to talk her out of making romantic overtures to him I was just done. It doesn't help that she is working a job that pays next to zero and where she's obviously not taken seriously. So she's weak on all fronts, is what I'm saying. I found her pathetic and just couldn't face a whole novel of her whingeing.

Leon is a different problem. He's with a woman and spends all weekend with her and I kind of hate it in a romance where one of the leads I'm supposed to root for is in a sexual relationship with someone else during the story. He's not only in a sexual relationship, but they've practically moved in together, only not actually moved in together in what feels like a contrivance just to have the story. I mean, if he can spend all weekend, why aren't they just moving in together? And then you get his brother in jail for a crime he didn't commit and it's obvious that there's something hinky going on with that and I wish I could care but given what I've experienced from the author so far I give it even odds that it's something stupid and/or "original" that I'm supposed to get outraged by at some point.

Only the worst thing about Leon is that his sections are written in this format that's half script, half shorthand with lots of subjects cut out so you have to assume them from context. It's "clever", is what I'm saying and I can't help thinking that the author is very proud of herself for giving his sections a unique "feel" and I spent the whole time thinking "I know you think you're clever, but this pretentious crap isn't adding anything to the story and only works to call attention to itself." I hate when the form takes over the story and this is the stylistic equivalent of a child whose parents have told it how smart it is all its life so it spends every moment in public making portentous comments about recycling and the environment and how meat is murder.

So yeah, I was turned off by practically everything and I gave up. I liked their notes once they started, not least because it meant less of the pretentious claptrap that was usually Leon's sections. I still can't get away from Tiffy being a sniveling wimp and Leon being already in a committed relationship and thus preventing me from rooting for him to make a connection with his flatmate. So yeah, not enough improvement to keep me engaged.
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
618 reviews1,451 followers
October 19, 2020
This fun and heartfelt novel, from the author of The Switch, is just what I never knew I needed to read this weekend.

Tiffy needs a place to stay, pronto. Her ex-boyfriend is kicking her out of his home. With little money and a fragile heart, she decides to do a flatshare. Essentially, she will move into Leon’s flat, share the living room area, share the kitchen, share the bathroom, and share a bed.

Before your dirty mind hits the gutter, just know that the intention is that they will never meet. Leon works night as a hospice nurse, and stays with his girlfriend on weekends. It should work out perfectly!

Tiffy and Leon’s friendship blossoms through post-it notes that they leave each other (my favorite part about the book. So fun and cute), and occasionally, food that they make for each other.

This romantic comedy is sweet, with a surprising amount of depth. It was an absolute joy to read from the first page to the last (although the way Leon’s chapters are written were a bit difficult to get into at first).

I laughed out loud at least a dozen times. I teared up a few times. I smiled hard many times. This book has an amazing cast of characters, including Tiffy’s friends and Leon’s imprisoned brother.

5 stars, and I really hope the film world knows about Beth O’Leary’s novels. They would make phenomenal films!
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,080 reviews1,649 followers
March 12, 2022
UPDATED ON 3/11/22!

Although I generally read and review, “Mystery and Suspense” novels, it doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally enjoy seeing a Romantic Comedy in the theater, 🍿, or reading one when I just need a “feel good” story!

I needed one this week. And, I am happy to say that this book did not let me down!

And, now, The Flatshare, which sold over half a million copies, and her second novel, The Switch-both have small and big-screen deals– The Flatshare was just commissioned by Paramount+ as its first UK comedy series and will star Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey, Brave New World) and Anthony Welsh (The Great).

The Switch is in development for a studio feature film by Amblin Partners (Steven Spielberg's production company) and starring Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

So, what’s this one about?

Tiffy Moore needed a cheap place to live.

Leon Twomey needed some extra money.

The problem: He lives in a flat that has just one bedroom, and one bed.

The Solution: He will live there by day (he works nights as a palliative care nurse) and his new flat mate can live there by night. The two will even take turns using the same bed, since they will be in it at separate times! 🛌

Yep, you read that right!

Leon’s girlfriend, Kay, isn’t wild about the idea-so she will be in charge of interviewing and approving Leon’s new flatmate. Her rule: Leon and Tiffy are never to be in the flat at the same time. In fact, only Kay will meet Tiffy prior to her moving in.

The book is told from the alternating perspectives of Leon and Tiffy, as they get to know each other by sharing their thoughts on those sticky “ post it “ notes, ( fun to read!) and by leaving food for one another! ☕️

A great cast of supporting characters provide equally compelling sub plots, which I will let you discover on your own.

If you are looking for a romance without graphic sex scenes, which will make you smile, laugh, and root for the characters to get their “happily ever after” endings, I recommend you add this one to your TBR list!

One of my favorites in this genre, for 2019 !!

Available Now!
Profile Image for Tina.
2,306 reviews1 follower
August 2, 2022
This is a romance. The main characters Tiffy and Leon end up sharing a flat and a bed, but they are not going to met. Leon works nights and Tiffy works day, and they setup hours they get the flat. They start leaving posted notes around the flat, and they fall in love with each other through the posted notes they leave around the flat for each other. I really loved this book, and I loved both of the characters. If you love friend to lovers romance I think you will love this book. I say that because they start being friends through posted notes then really quickly fall in love with each other. I find this book to be so cute, and I love the storyline.
Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
439 reviews974 followers
June 1, 2019
This book and I had a second chance love affair!

At first I didn't like the way that one of the main characters spoke, without many pronouns, like he was speaking in note form, rather than in full sentences?

I very nearly gave up on it!

But then I wouldn't have gotten to know Tiffany, Rachel, Gerty, Mo, Leon and, Richie.

Then I wouldn't have witnessed Tiffy's amazing character Arc.

I wouldn't have seen all the cute little notes, and seen these really different people get to know, each other.

Then I wouldn't have cried at how cruel and controlling some people can be to others, but how they can be overcome, with the right support.

I wouldn't have seen what an amazing man Leon was, in his job as a palliative nurse, to his brother, and to Tiffy ❤️

This book had some really dark moments, but ultimately was very cute, and left me with a huge smile on my face 👍👍😍
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,155 reviews36.2k followers
February 11, 2021
Totes Adorbs.

If you’re in need of a light, sweet rom com that will pick you up when you’re feeling down, grab “The Flatshare” by Beth O’Leary - it hits all the right notes.

Tiffy and Leon become Flatmates in the most unusual of ways. Leon, you see, works nights and Tiffy works days so they stay in the apartment in shifts, with Leon having it during the day and Tiffy on nights and weekends. The two communicate only by post-it notes and learn all about each other’s lives that way, hearing funny, quirky stories, and lamenting about life. Somehow the two forge a relationship even though they’ve never laid eyes on each other.

Sounds impossible right? Here, somehow, the impossible becomes sweet, soulful and just plain perfect.

With a few hilarious moments thrown in, this novel is utter perfection, which I highly recommend.

A huge thank you to my local library for loaning me a copy of the audiobook.

Published on Goodreads on 11.8.20.

Review also published on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...
Profile Image for Christy.
3,709 reviews31.6k followers
July 10, 2020
5 stars

 photo 1208F527-6EDE-441C-8B8E-CBB870BC8566_zpsepf82ftx.png

I almost can’t believe that The Flatshare is a debut novel. Beth O’Leary delivered an original and fun to read romance that I adored.

Tiffy is looking for a place to live in London after another break up with her on again, off again ex-boyfriend Justin. The problem is, she can’t afford much. When she sees an ad for a Flatshare with a guy who works nights and is away on weekends, she jumps at it. Even if it does seem a bit odd at first.

Leon is a hospice nurse who works nights and is looking for some extra cash to help his brother. Renting out his flat is a quick and easy way to make it. He and Tiffy share the flat and the bed and even though they haven’t met in person, they quickly get to know each other.

The notes they write back and forth are adorable. It was one of my favorite things about this story. I loved the build up and the anticipation of when they would finally meet. And let me tell you... their first meeting didn’t disappoint.

Both Tiffy and Leon were exceptional characters. There were also some great secondary characters (Leon’s brother being my favorite). This book is a lovely romance, but it’s more than that. It’s a story of finding yourself and coming into your own. It’s beautiful, unique and complex.

I listened to the audio version of this story and the narrators were great. It was easy to listen to, well Tiffy’s chapters anyways. Leon’s chapters were hard to get used to. They’re written differently and are very choppy. It was difficult to get past that at first, but by the end I hardly noticed.

The Flatshare is a sweet and charming romance, but it also has a good bit of emotion and deals with some heavier topics . Overall, I truly loved it. I can’t wait to read more from this author!
“It was never home until you were there, Tiffy.”
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,440 reviews29.4k followers
October 2, 2019
4.5 stars.

This book was just sweet and fun and it made me happy!

Tiffy is in need of a place to live, since she’s lived in her ex-boyfriend’s apartment for far too long, even after he’d begun dating someone else. But since she’s in a low-paying job, there aren’t a lot of options, so a flatshare opportunity makes the most sense.

Leon is a hospice nurse who works nights, and she works days, so they’ll literally never see each other, which is what convinces her to take this opportunity, even if it means sleeping in Leon’s bed (although never with him). Leon's no-nonsense girlfriend Kay handles the transaction, thus ensuring Tiffy and Leon don't even meet. And since Leon will be spending weekends with Kay, there's no reason for any interaction.

The two interact via post-it notes and memos, which grow from basic requests to much more personal conversations. And as each deals with their own crises—Tiffy’s ex can’t seem to let go and is becoming increasingly more possessive, and Leon’s brother is in prison for a crime he didn’t commit—amazingly, they are each other’s greatest support, despite having never met each other.

When a missed alarm clock leads to their meet-cute (and meet-wet), they begin to fall for each other. Tiffy brings a free-spiritedness to Leon’s methodical ways, and Leon helps stabilize Tiffy, especially as she begins to realize how much harm her former boyfriend was causing her.

Can love flourish when two people spend more time apart than together, and when they’re so different from one another? When you’ve been hurt before, can you let someone else in and let down your guard?

I really enjoyed this book. Sure, it was predictable, but it was just so (to use a British colloquialism) lovely. At first I was a little off-put at Leon’s way of speaking when he narrated, but ultimately it fit perfectly with his personality.

The Flatshare explored some important issues plus it charmed me completely. It was more than a typical rom-com but yet it never aspired to be anything lofty, just a good story. Can you ask for anything more?

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Farrah.
221 reviews558 followers
December 22, 2020
⭐4 I had no idea that falling in love through Post-It Notes would be soooo cute Stars⭐

This whole book is just ADORABLE.
Even when things are conflict-y it's still adorable.

I liked Tiffy and Leon and enjoyed the secondary characters that all added to the story rather than just being there to fill space.

A super fun, light and innocent rom-com.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
903 reviews13.7k followers
April 6, 2022
It’s been a while since I’ve read a romance book with no smut and I didn’t find it unbearably stupid or boring. It was the perfect build-up with tension between the characters but also their own development happening behind the scenes. This book was serious and heartfelt but also laugh out loud funny, and I’m so happy I read it. The stylistic choice to make the man’s writing style super choppy felt like a cheap way of differentiating woman pov vs man pov because I felt like it didn’t have a strong purpose in the end, and a normal writing style would have been less distracting. This book also confirmed that I do not know a single decent man whose name is Justin. Except maybe that one Canadian guy
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