martedì 4 maggio 2021

Review: The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

The Flatshare  

AuthorBeth o'Leary
Published: First published 10th April 2019
Publisher: Quercus
Number of pages: 329
Format: eBooks
Source: Bought
PurchaseAmazon | B&N | TBD

From Goodreads:

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast.
Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash.

Their friends think they're crazy, but it's the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy's at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly-imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven't met yet, they're about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window...

My Review:

This is my second book by Beth O'Leary and I'm so glad I read it after The Switch. I liked The Switch but I didn't share all the excitement other readers felt, while for the Flatshare, I was definitely hooked. 

The concept of this book is already funny, even without the sweet and akward Tiffy making it all the more enjoyable. I liked our protagonists from the beginning and I couldn't wait for the moment they would meet. I could not foresee though, how their encounter could change so drastically the reader's perspective on both of them. Before seeing Tiffy through Leon's eyes, I never really thought about Tiffy's appearance and never thought about her as a gorgeous young girl, especially since the first physical comment we have is from Leon's girlfriend, describing her as "Larger than life." The emotional turmoil she's living and the fact that she's presented mostly as a sobbing mess at first, certainly didn't help. But once we have Leon's pov, everything changes. Tiffy appeared in my mind, finally, absolutely beautiful and full of colours inside and out. Her vitality and her quirkiness not akward anymore but sweet and encouraging, pushing Leon into taking care of this magical person he has casually met. Same thing can be said for Leon seen through Tiffy's eyes, even if the shocking difference for me emerges much more with Tiffy's case. Leon is and remains an introvert, the nerd-kind-of-beauty, but certainly with Tiffy pushing him into partecipating more in life, we do see a growth. Taking part of these metamorphosis was what I truly enjoyed most about this book and what I believe must be one of Beth O'Leary's strong points. Another perspective that I thoroughly enjoyed is also the difference between Tiffy before the emotional abuse, and Tiffy after. Justin, Tiffy's ex-boyfriend is the worst man you could meet in life, one who doesn't really touch you but that manages to have complete control of your head, making you believe you might be someone you actually aren't. So we see a woman who thinks she's forgetful, weak, needy and mediocre by all meaning. With Leon's devotion and her friends' support though, Tiffy starts to regain some clarity and begins a journey of self-love and self-discovery that completely changes how Tiffy sees herself and is seen by others. I was glad the book offered this theme, as it was totally unexpected from what I thought was just a light rom-com.
In this book, I appreciated much more the author's humor but especially her writing skills, considering that she adopts completely different styles when speaking from Leon or Tiffy's points of view. Leon's chapters are short-sentenced, text-like, full of periods, while Tiffy's chapters are incredibly descriptive and reflect her exuberance. 

All these elements helped me create a strong affection for the characters and that is why I was dying to watch their love burn. After their first encounter, though, I expected for things to develop way more quickly than they did and I can not deny that I was a bit bored while reading the second part of the novel, where it seemed like their encounter never happened and other aspects of the story took the lead. And all I wanted to read about was Tiffy and Leon, Leon and Tiffy.

Overall, I liked this book very much, so much so that I would have made it my favorite read of April if it wasn't for ACOMAF. It certainly made me reconsider my opion of the author and now I'm actually looking forward to reading her new book, The Road Trip.


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