The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Title: The Flatshare
Author: Beth O'Leary
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Audiobook
Narrated By: Carrie Hope Fletcher, Kwaku Fortune
Length: 9 hours, 35 minutes
Publisher: Quercus
Publish Date: April 18, 2019
Rating: ★★★★
Recommend: Yes!
Content Warning: Abusive/Toxic Relationships, Gaslighting, Stalking,
Emotional Abuse, Near Drowning, PTSD

Thank you so much to Hannah for recommending this to me after my brain implosion from reading Golden Son. I needed something light and I think this was a perfect choice!

Tiffy Moore recently broke up with her boyfriend. For real this time, since he ended up bringing the woman he left her for back to the flat they shared. Despite all the negative things going on her life – well, really it was just her ex-boyfriend Justin kicking her out of their flat – she makes do and is still able to remain her genuine and quirky self. I really liked Tiffy as a main character, and although there were some parts that I was upset about – which I’ll mention below – I see that she needed to have those kinds of aspects to her in order for us to understand her growth.

Gertie is Tiffy’s best friend and a criminal attorney. She is amazing at what she does and is definitely a feminist. I love that so much about her and she is always there to tell Tiffy when she should think twice about making certain decisions that would be detrimental to her health. She really cares about Tiffy, and I feel like she is a true friend.

Rachel is Tiffy’s friend and coworker at her editing job. She is also a feminist and has a lot of strong opinions about Tiffy’s ex, like Gertie, but has a different way of phrasing it. I would say Gertie is the tough love friend and Rachel is the fun but also caring and outgoing friend. She is a true friend as well and I feel like having both Gertie and Rachel in Tiffy’s life helps to give her some balance.

Justin doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned honestly. He’s a dick. He’s abusive. He’s controlling. He’s manipulative. I hate him. He is a perfect example of what an abusive boyfriend is and you do not want him in your life.

Leon Twomey is a night nurse at a hospice and has to deal with people not allowing him to go home after his shift when he’s supposed to. It’s understandable that he’s extremely tired when he gets off work, and I think you can even tell by the way his narration is through the book. His thoughts are short, to the point, about action. It’s interesting to read about him. I felt like he was really understanding and caring about others in his life.

Kay is Leon’s girlfriend. She is definitely not a good friend but that’s neither here or there.

Richie is Leon’s brother, who is currently incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit. He calls his brother every chance he gets, and also ends up getting to speak with Tiffy and Gertie at some points. I feel like he was a great little brother character, and did an amazing job at trying to stay positive in his situation.

So the reason why I didn’t even think twice about how “unusual” the plot was is because my husband does the exact same thing whenever he’s out to sea. The Navy calls it “hot racking” where up to three guys will share a “rack”, meaning a bed when they are on three different shifts because there just isn’t enough beds for everyone. So I just thought about that situation, and it made sense. Since they were working different schedules, they had an entire bed to themselves and had to share a living space. People have to make do with what they have, and it was a good solution.

Despite Tiffy and Leon never meeting for a long time, they are able to learn how to live “together” in their shared space and they end up becoming friends despite never meeting in person. It’s really great, actually.

Seriously shout out to Rachel and Gertie for being true friends and true feminists in this book. I mean, look at this dialogue after Tiffy tells Rachel about the cruise ship sighting of Justin, the evil ex-boyfriend?

“Can you text back and tell him that comments like that are the reason womankind cares so much about their measurements? And that by declaring that ‘most girls would hate that,’ he is perpetuating the female body image problem, and setting women up against one another, which is one of the greatest problems feminism faces to this day?”

Rachel to Tiffy about Justin, Chapter 11

The fact that Leon is able to determine that Tiffy was in a toxic and abusive relationship with Justin before she’s able to see it is noteworthy. It’s because Tiffy was so traumatized by Justin and he made her feel like she was the problem and she was going crazy that she didn’t even register that this wasn’t how a normal relationship should be. I don’t like that she was IN that relationship, but I like that Leon was able to see that and make sure his behavior made her realize that this wasn’t going to be the same as what she went through.

Also I’m not always a fan of cliche happy endings, but I feel like in this case, it was perfect. It was a great ending, and I feel like it wrapped up everything perfectly.

Kay refers to Tiffy as “larger than life” to Leon when she first meets her. Leon tells us that that is Kay’s code for overweight, and he doesn’t like it when she does that. Well, bitch neither do I. I also don’t like that Kay immediately doesn’t see Tiffy as a threat to her relationship with Leon – because Tiffy is totally trying to sleep with Leon, right? Please – because she’s not as attractive as Kay. Like… why do we have to already have a “beautiful” girl shit on another girl she just met for no freaking reason? I’m over girl on girl hate when there doesn’t even need to be.

Justin is a prick. I mean I’m glad this was included because some people don’t realize what an abusive relationship is until they see it from an outsider’s perspective, but I just hated this dude. He got violent towards the end and it was really scary.

I guess I’m slowly starting to like more romance novels…

But in all honesty I thought this was a great book. I like that it wasn’t in America because I don’t always like to read books that take place in America. I liked the dynamics between Tiffy and Leon, Leon and Richie, Tiffy and Gertie, Tiffy and Rachel. Just having these friends in Tiffy’s life stick by her through some really tough times was great to see. I loved how supportive they were and that this wasn’t an insta-love type of thing. They got to know each other by paying attention to what the other would do while they were in the flat. It was just nice to see them being observant of one another’s likes and habits.

I just liked it, okay? Don’t @ Me.

18 thoughts on “The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

  1. YAY! I’m so glad that you liked this! I really loved this 🥰 It was kind of like getting warm hugs from a book because Tiffy and Leon just made my heart happy and their ending was just happily heartwarming. I also really liked the side characters and all of Tiffy’s friends. I wanted to punch Justin SO BAD. He was the absolute worst and that end scene actually also had me really terrified. Great review, Leelynn!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay!!! I’m glad we both liked it 😀 Slowly getting to know each other’s reading tastes, yeah? It really did feel like a warm hug! That’s such a great way to describe it, actually! I didn’t even think about it like that. Thanks so much, Dini! I appreciate you reading my review. This one was also a lot of fun to write.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad you liked it! I’m a big fan of romances (it makes the hopeless romantic in me totally weak in the knees LOL) but I’m really glad it lived up to the hype coz it was seriously hyped! 😂 Woulda been so crushed otherwise!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. LOVE the style of your review!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I’ve gotten a really nice idea about the book. I’ve seen it around and I’ve seriously considered picking it up—*TBR pile glares*.

    Anyway, loved your review! And I actually loved your dislikes a LOT. It was very sensitive of you to have picked up those aspects of the book and important to point out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to format my reviews, and I’m really happy with how I have them now. Haha don’t look at your TBR. It will always glare at you until the end of time. Unless you only have like 5 books or something in your pile, which is like so rare but can happen!

      Hehe thanks again 🙂 I’m glad you read it and liked it! I wanted to make sure that I wrote a good one that talked about the abuse because a few of the reviews that I did read didn’t mention it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. love your review! i love how dynamically different rachel and gerty are yet they’re still feminist af. i also didn’t clock that the reason leon’s chapters were written in thay style is cos he’s tired.

    and you’re not the only one starting to like romance. i had not much hope for the genre until i read this one 😅 but glad i gave this one a chance and shared it with you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Hannah! I loved writing this one so much. I think it was one of my favorite reviews to write to date. Well, honestly I don’t know if that’s why his chapters were like that, but to me it made sense. Less effort to think in short bursts or speak in short bursts when you’re tired. Rachel and Gerty were my absolute favorite friends I’ve read so far!

      Ahh yay! I’m glad we are in the same boat. And yes, I appreciate you soooo much for recommending it to me, and I’m so glad you just let me have it lol. It was great. Thank you also for helping me find that quote!

      Like

    1. Ah Thanks so much Joanna!! I appreciate you always reading my reviews and commenting! I love talking with you through our comments 😀 I hope your library gets it soon! I listened to it on Scribd because my copy at the library is still pending. I think there’s one person ahead of me, but I wanted to take a picture of it for instagram before I return it lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The funny thing is is that I got it for free from my library – they were giving ARCs away for free to promote the summer reading program ☺️ I’m still not sure if I want to read my arc or the finished one in ebook form though…😆😆

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ahhh that’s so cool! I always miss out on getting ARCs like that but I guess it works out since I still need to catch up on all of them.

          I personally got through it on the audiobook, and it made it so much more enjoyable for me, but I think maybe the finished book may work?? Either way, I hope you enjoy it so much ❤

          Like

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