The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary

Oh wow – I am LATE to the party with this novel. Every single bookstagrammer and bookblogger in the world seemed to have read this book – so, I finally gave in. Well, I am glad that I did decide to give it a go.

This is not just a tale of romance with two charming central characters, but it dares to tackle some harder topics. The control of Tiff’s ex comes under real scrutiny. It is interesting that the book tackles something that really should be discussed more; great that it brings it to a wider audience.

However, the real charm of this book is, of course, the developing relationship between Leon and Tiff. How two complete strangers , yet also two flatmates, manage to help each other discover the life they really should be living. Of course, there is the odd bump in the road (a risk of social media), and, a few false starts, but love always seems to find a way. Even for the lovely Mr Prior, which was one of my favourite plots in the book.

I can understand why this books has such a loyal band of followers. It is a charming story with a lovely collection of characters. The perfect comfort read for these strange times – a clear reason why reading is a perfect piece of escapism.

The Last by Hanna Jameson

Well, when I saw that this novel was written after the last American Presidential election – I was not surprised and mildly amused. Some may think that a dystopian novel is a little bit of a strange choice in these times, but I really enjoyed it. Dystopian fiction is not my usual choice, but it has snuck in a little more over the last few years.

20 guests are stuck in a hotel after he start of a nuclear war. They are in a ‘bubble’ as they strive to survive and have no contact with the outside world. However, the longer this goes on, the more that relationships become strained and the experience becomes more and more difficult, and boundaries seem to become more unclear.

All of this with the mystery of what happened to the girl in the water tank and why did these people in particular end up together? Is everything as it seems?

I did also find fascinating the view of the outside world rebuilding itself – the need for everyone to have a use (as you start again) and the real significance of rules.

I feel that this is a novel that can be interpreted in a number of different ways. There are elements of crime fiction, elements of the supernatural and, of course, the dystopian element – which all together make for a thrilling read.

So, if you fancy some fiction that will keep you thinking, this is the book for you.