The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Sooo, I picked this book up because I heard a lot of people saying it was really amazing, and while I did enjoy it, I didn’t really feel like it was exceptional. It had a solid plot and I liked the characters, but something about it just didn’t click with me. It was more of a filler-book than an actual read, in my mind. (Also a pretty quick read—I read it in a few hours.)

Now, I liked Tiffy’s (the female MC’s) character, because she had a lot of personality and she was more or less rounded. The only thing I kept waiting for that never came was more of her background. We knew her in the present and we got glimpses at her past relationship, but there was nothing in regards to her parents. It’s almost like they didn’t exist??? And that really confused me because she mentioned them a couple times and it sounded like she had a good relationship with them, but they NEVER came up otherwise??? We didn’t even get to meet them.

Same thing with Leon, although it was a bit better with him because we actually knew his background and met his mother. There was more information about his background, though it still felt quite shallow and I would’ve enjoyed more showing and less telling. There was a lot of potential for development of those details on his side (because it was directly relevant to the story) and yet it didn’t deliver to the standard that it could’ve.

And I have to say, Leon’s POV really threw me off. Each. And. Every. Time. When I read his first chapter in the book, I had to reread the first paragraph like 5 times before I understood that the lack of pronouns was intentional. If I were the type of person who DNFs books, I would’ve DNFd this one for that reason. But I pushed through. (I don’t regret reading the whole book, but I’m also not saying I got used to that type of wording—it was rough on my brain) And by the end, I’d hoped it would be explained why he ‘spoke’ that way, or at least that it would’ve smoothed out. And here’s the thing: He did use more pronouns by the end of the book and I suppose it could’ve been to reflect his state of mind in the book, but I just don’t see a valid reason for writing that way. If his POV had been written normally, I would’ve been more inclined to like this book. (I thought a few times that it could’ve also been reflecting his personality but I don’t think it was realistically a way people think, so probably not??)

But putting all that aside, I genuinely liked the characters in the story because they had distinctly different personalities and felt like they could’ve been real people. There were a handful of them, but I never found myself feeling overwhelmed because every one of them was necessary to the storyline in some way—they weren’t spare characters thrown in just for the sake of adding characters. It made it easy to see this book being a movie. A funny, feel-good, rom-com movie that you can watch while snuggled on the couch with junk food. I can almost picture it!

And, okay, for real though, it was a cute read. Definitely a rom-com that makes you smile and swoon quietly while tucked away reading it in your own bubble. There’s lots of fun sexual tension and a more-than-friendship that you can tell will make a good romance right from the start. The relationship in the book was one that felt genuine and enjoyable to read about. Leon and Tiffy’s relationship in the book is something I won’t complain about because I loved how it progressed in a way that felt realistic and keeps the reader wanting to read to the end just to see them get their happy ever after.

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