I heard of this book ages ago, but only bought a copy when I saw it in a charity shop over Christmas. I’m so glad I did because I loved this book and I think it may be a new favourite.
Although there has been lots of hype about this book, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I thought the flat share itself would be the main plot point, and it is a central feature, but actually it is the reasons for the characters needing the flat share that drives the plot.
The characters themselves are well created, especially Tiffy and Leon. As the novel progressed the characters were built and developed and the relationships between all the characters in the novel were one of my favourite aspects. There were romantic, friendly and familial relationships and all were equally strong in the novel.
I have seen varying thoughts on the alternating chapter style of this novel. Personally, I really liked it, but I understand that Leon’s chapters may not have appealed to some readers in style. Because he works night shifts, it is mentioned in the book that he feels really tired between work and all of the other things he needs to do, including maintaining his romantic relationship and family relationships. Leon is also someone who uses few words, so therefore the style of his chapters reflects this. I felt that having both characters narrating chapters and styling them to represent Tiffy and Leon was a clever way to convey their characters to the reader.
I expectied this novel to be a light read, and overall I would say it is, but there are also some deeper topics that are very sensitively discussed without making the book heavy. I think O’Leary dealt with this amazingly and I’m impressed by the balance she created within this novel.
Some parts of the novel were a bit predictable for me, but I really didn’t mind. Plus, this read made me laugh far more than I expected to so overall a bit of predictability was no issue.
The novel ended perfectly for me, and I even cried.
Overall, I laughed, cried and was hooked by this novel. I know most people have read it by now, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend this one, it would make a perfect summer read and provides the relief we all need at the moment.
The Flat Share was exactly what I needed during lockdown and I have now bought The Switch and am hoping I will love that one too.
Have you read either of them? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.
If you have read The Flat Share and enjoyed it, why not check out my recommendations for books to read if you enjoyed The Flat Share.