Title: The Flatshare

Author: Beth O’Leary

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Quercus Books

The Blurb

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

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…

The Review

The Flatshare is a quirky love story along the lines of One Day and The Day We Met. It focuses on the separate lives of Tiffy and Leon. People who share the same bed but have never met.

Tiffy works in publishing and is recovering from a break up and Leon works in a hospice and has far too many people demanding his time and care.

As with most good love stories, The Flatshare has plenty of ups and downs and is swoons-worthy in many parts. What was refreshing is that Beth O’Leary has managed to deal with plenty of ‘real-world’ problems that haven’t been overdone or seem tired. She handles her characters and their stories rather masterfully.

The Flatshare was a brilliant story; one that I will be recommending to everyone.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary is available now.

For more information regarding Beth O’Leary (@OLearyBeth) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Quercus Books (@QuercusBooks) please visit their Twitter page.

Just One YearThe Blurb

Twenty-four hours can change your life . . .

Allyson and Willem share one magical day together in Paris, before chance rips them apart.

The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents life throws at us.

But is one day enough to find your fate?

The Review

I first met Willem and Lulu (Allyson) approximately two years ago. I was having an awful flare up with my chronic illness: I couldn’t stay awake; I had intense pain and all I couldn’t leave the house. One thing I could do was read. One book that helped me feel a little bit better was Just One Day by Gayle Forman. I swear, reading the story was what falling in love feels like. It was just gorgeous.

Two years later, I read the sequel Just One Year. Whereas Just One Day was told from Lulu’s perspective, in Just One Year we see how Willem felt after their one day together. When I read Just One Day, you could feel just how desperately that Lulu needed to know what had happened, why had Willem just left her? You felt the raw emotion drip off the page so intensely that it was heartbreaking. We have all been there, when someone rocks your world but then having the realisation that the little world in which you are both living is so very fragile; the slightest gust of wind can make everything fall apart. So it was somewhat relieving to known that Willem felt the same way. His search for Lulu also led to a search for self discovery and helped him mend a few emotional bridges.

I love a good love a good love story and one thing is for certain is that Gayle Forman knows how to write a good love story. You ache and yearn for these characters to find each other and complete one another. This is the kind of love story that makes you melt and gives you hope.

Read this series, read it now!

Just One Year by Gayle Forman is available now.

Follow Gayle Forman (@gayleforman) via Twitter.

4 Stars

Russian born Alena has decided to leave her country to come to the UK to find work. Like many migrants, Alena believes that the answer to hers and her family’s financial woes lies in the opportunity laden London. Having had her work placement set up by a family friend Alena travels to the UK full of optimism and dreams of a better life that includes financial stability, opportunity and designer clothes. What Alena isn’t prepared for is that her dream is a fallacy. Nor is she prepared for her dream to become a nightmare.

Someone well versed in the woes of everyday life in the UK is Dave. Dave is trying to get through each day under the radar; just do his job, get paid and go home. This is a rigmarole that suits the quiet life that he craves. He once had dreams of travel but all that has passed now. However, a chance encounter with Alena throws his world completely off kilter.

Can Dave’s peaceful nature quiet and calm the storm that is Alena’s life?

I won’t lie to you Thirst is a hard novel to read. Not because it is composed of difficult vernacular or in a different language but purely because Kerry Hudson gives the full nitty gritty on a dark and sinister topic; that topic being human trafficking and having immigrants being sold into the sex trade. At times I felt as if my heart was literally breaking for Alena. What made it worse is that she seemed to be unable to forgive herself for her situation; almost like she believed she deserved to be treated like a piece of meat on a market stall. It was truly harrowing.

But this is what makes Hudson such a good writer. She had my heart in my mouth with the desperation of Alena’s situation.

Dave’s story somewhat parallel’s Alena’s in the fact that they both get themselves into situations that they feel that they have no control over. Dave is trying to fulfil the wishes of his dying mother and gets himself trapped by a set of circumstances that were never part of his life plan. Both of the characters are trapped. Not only by what life puts in their way but how they both feel responsible for the way things are.

Their love story is lovely to follow. I think what makes it so enjoyable is the coy innocence of it all. You see them both giving the bare minimum of themselves away, slowly peeling away layers as their relationship grows. It was rather lovely to read.

Thirst is a quirky love story but be warned, if you read books for pure escapism then this book isn’t for you as it does deal with difficult subjects and has a very real insight into the sinister underbelly of the life that some immigrants face.

Thirst by Kerry Hudson is available now.

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