Goodreads: The Flatshare
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Tiffy Moore and Leon Twomey each have a problem and need a quick fix. Tiffy’s been dumped by her cheating boyfriend and urgently needs a new flat. But earning minimum wage at a quirky publishing house means that her choices are limited in London. Leon, a palliative care nurse, is more concerned with other people’s welfare than his own. Along with working night shifts looking after the terminally ill, his sole focus is on raising money to fight his brother’s unfair imprisonment. Leon has a flat that he only uses 9 to 5. Tiffy works 9 to 5 and needs a place to sleep. The solution to their problems? To share a bed of course… As Leon and Tiffy’s unusual arrangement becomes a reality, they start to connect through Post-It notes left for each other around the flat. Can true love blossom even in the unlikeliest of situations? Can true love blossom even if you never see one another? Or does true love blossom when you are least expecting it?
Just before deciding whether to pick up this book or not, I saw that someone said that reading this book was like receiving a (long) warm hug(s), and now that I’ve finished reading it I couldn’t agree more. This was a very fast, funny, heartwarming read but there’s also more depth to the story than I originally anticipated. Despite the darker elements to the story, I couldn’t resist (literally) laughing out loud through so many parts of the book. I love British humor and the characters were so adorable!
Content warning: gaslighting and abuse (emotional).
The story is narrated in alternating perspectives between Tiffy and Leon. A lot of people have commented on how annoying Leon’s chapters because of how they’re written, but I actually really enjoyed how it’s written to reflect his character. Not just in mannerisms, but how Leon thought was exactly how the chapter was written. I found that unique! I adored Tiffy’s and Leon’s characters and I really enjoyed how their relationship grew throughout the story. Their system of leaving post-it notes around the flat was not only so sweet, but I found it an interesting and intimate way to get to know a person. It’s like the short form of full on love letters, and even though they were often about mundane thoughts/observations, I thought their personalities managed to really shine through. Tiffy and Leon also reminded me a lot of other characters that I’ve read (and loved!) in different books.
Tiffy’s quirkiness, bright wardrobe, and total comfort in her skin reminded me a lot of Hazel (Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating) and Louisa (Me Before You)! I liked that she had a strong and vibrant personality. She obviously has her insecurities, and the further we read, the more things begin to unravel for Tiffy’s character. Her experiences left me feeling sad and so incredibly angry too; I definitely wanted to punch someone in the face on her behalf! But her character is so strong and seeing her stand her ground was very empowering.
Leon’s quiet character, the total opposite of Tiffy, reminded me a fair bit of Josh (Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating) and a bit of Khai (The Bride Test). His relationship with Richie was so heartwarming and the dynamics reminded me a bit of Khai and Quan too because yes, Richie reminded me of Quan and I WANTED MORE. Leon’s character grew on me very quickly. I related to how he didn’t waste his energy on just anybody but saved it for the people he cared about. Although he’s not always talkative, smiling and laughing, when it does happen it’s like magic. He lights up and I loved that! He’s really just a sweet, sentimental, hopeless romantic of a cinnamon roll and boy, could I relate.
The reason I’m not giving this a full five stars is because I was pretty annoyed with the reaction from Gerty towards the end, and similarly, I felt the conflict between Tiffy and Leon wasn’t necessary. They were all fairly mature characters throughout the story, so why then in the end did they have to jump to the worst conclusions? I completely understand it’s easy to do in the heat of the moment, but I felt that (at least for Leon) it was completely out of character. Plus, it was resolved so quickly that it might as well not have happened. Regardless, I really enjoyed this, it definitely lived up to the hype for me, and I would definitely read it again on days when I feel like I need a warm hug from a book. Now in all seriousness: can has a Leon in my life? 😅
Have you read The Flatshare? Did it live up to the hype for you? Loved it? Hated it? Meh about it? Let me know in the comments and let’s have a little chat!