22 August, 2020

#BookReview :: The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary #Contemporary

Check out the book on Amazon

'Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.' - That tagline of the book was enticing enough for me to pick it up.

Tiffy needs a place to live after a bad breakup and Leon plans on sharing his one bedroom apartment as he is in need of a bit of extra cash. Tiffy and Leon come to an arrangement where Tiffy uses the flat from evening to morning on weekdays and over the weekend, while Leon crashes there after his night shifts. Both the protagonists had their own reasons to agree to such an unconventional arrangement and maybe it was fate that brought them together. They start communicating with each other through post it notes - simple things like the food in the fridge was okay for the other to be shared, or who slept on which side of the bed… But soon they become friends even though they had not met. As Tiffy & Leon's worlds come crashing around them, it turns out that no matter how unconventional their relationship is, they can depend on each other.

Tiffy and Leon are very distinctive personalities and yet they are perfect together. I liked Tiffy's voice more than Leon as the story unfolded as she is more lively. Leon is slightly more reserved and as such he makes you want to listen to him when he makes an observation. Their communication through the notes is really fun and interesting as you see them try to figure out the right words towards the beginning. As they get to know a bit about each other you realise that they give up being cautious with the faith that the other will know exactly what they are trying to say.

The Flatshare also has a number of supporting characters that make their mark. As much as you love Tiffy and Leon, you'll love their friends and family even more. So, it is not much of a surprise that their ex-partners stand out sorely too. Tiffy's support system in her friends is inspiring in so many ways. Her friends show the readers how having a few good friends can help you grow as a person; that life isn't all that bad when you have someone to listen to. But among all the characters, I fell head-over-heels for Richie, Leon's younger brother. Richie is in prison after being framed for a robbery. His relationship with, first Leon and then Tiffy, had such a warm effect on me as the reader. Through the ordeal he stays positive and in turn helps Leon stay positive. He has a great sense of humour too. Somehow, while reading the book I imagined Richie to be like a warm and fuzzy teddy-bear - you know the one you'd play with as a kid when you were happy but would also snuggle with when you were sad or scared? That's Richie for you.

I first listened to the audiobook and then read the ebook too. This is one of the first audiobooks that I thoroughly enjoyed. The narrators, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune, have done an excellent job of bringing the characters to life through their narration. It was really easy to get into the story as they played out each character's parts and lent their voices to them.

An amazing debut that is a MUST READ for everyone who likes a light and fun read.