Thought I would give you guys some insights on my current reading list, including thoughts on what I’m finishing up (The Flatshare) and leaving behind and what next for me. Feel free to shoot me a message if you are current reading or thinking of reading any of these or if you just want to talk books:
#finishedreading: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Synopsis: Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met. After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art. Desperation makes her open minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet. Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more. But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.
–> If you are in the mood for a cute rom-com-y novel that has leads with great chemistry and witty banter between them, The Flatshare a great read.
▪ POC representation (Leon*)
▪ Setting in London
▪ Opposites attract trope
*One criticism I had with The Flatshare is that Leon was characterized as a POC (mainly just by description of his skin tone) there was no mention really of any aspect of his cultural/racial identity to the point that I couldn’t tell what his ethnicity was (and therefore couldn’t really picture him). This caused me to feel at times that he was a stand-in POC as a plot contrivance for one for the subplots (I won’t spoil it) with no deep interest in culture representation. And that female of color were noticeably absent/overlooked (no identifying features or ethnicity was attached to his mother, for instance, though something told me that she was white).
What are your views on how POC should be represented in fiction? Is it important to you that their culture is clearly identified? Or is it acceptable that they apart of the story where it could have easily just been a fall-back white character?
I definitely would love to see The Flatshare made into a film but with my criticisms addressed. If you have read it, what would be your fantasy casting for a film version of The Flatshare? My picks would be Aisha Dee as Tiff (yes, I would change Tiff to a woman of color; she could tint her hair red if need be!) and Dev Patel as Leon.
#nowreading: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
Synopsis: Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers. She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content. But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.
2. Passing by Nella Larsen
–> In line with the my selection above, one of my favorite things is reading the novel before I see it interpreted in a visual medium. Same here. Passing was made into an indie film starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Nega as the sisters at the heart of the story in Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut; the film premiered at Sundance 2021 to great reviews. Want to read it before it hits theaters!
What are you reading?
P.S. Pair your favorite book with some great music.