It’s the holidays, which means it’s time to dig into the winter and Christmas-themed books I’ve been holding onto all year. I started with We Met in December by Rosie Curtis…only to realize that what I meant to read was A Day in December by Josie Silver—whoops! I guess that one will have to wait until next year at this point. I really had no idea what to expect, so at least I’m going in with an open mind.
Two people. One house. A year that changes everything.
Twenty-nine-year-old Jess is following her dream and moving to London. It’s December, and she’s taking a room in a crumbling, but grand, Notting Hill house-share with four virtual strangers. On her first night, Jess meets Alex, the guy sharing her floor, at a Christmas dinner hosted by her landlord. They don’t kiss, but as far as Jess is concerned, the connection is clear. She starts planning how they will knock down the wall between them to spend more time together.
But when Jess returns from a two-week Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started dating someone else—beautiful Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into (hell, sharing a bathroom with) the man of her dreams…and the woman of his.
Despite going in with barely any expectations…this really didn’t work for me. It leaned heavily on personality traits (over and over again), and most of the book was just us waiting for something to happen. What I was hoping was going to be a cute friends-to-lovers book was just two people avoiding each other because neither wanted to admit their feelings for whatever reason.
What didn’t work for me
The characters: I mentioned this a bit above, but I want to elaborate a little more. While Jess and Alex had some good moments when they were together—you didn’t really see why they were drawn to each other. There was a lot of telling (in their inner dialogue) instead of showing, leaving me disappointed time after time. And then all the secondary characters had one or two personality traits that were talked about repeatedly without giving us much more, and I ended up knowing only those things about those people.
The plot: Though there were parts of the book that I enjoyed, it generally circled around Jess and Alex thinking about each other and discussing spending time together. And for two people who spent a lot of time worrying about their work, we didn’t get too much information about their workplace (like I still don’t understand what Jess did for a living).
The ending: When the characters finally end up together (I don’t think that’s a spoiler), the book wraps up in literally minutes. You don’t get to see them together at all, so there was no payoff. It really would have benefitted from them getting together a little earlier and seeing them have some sort of obstacle together.
What I liked
The setting: I liked that this took place in London. And I enjoyed how it took place over almost exactly a year, but I was expecting it to be a bit more holiday-themed.
I’m not sure I’d recommend this generally, but if you’re one of those people who like to read winter books in the winter (or near Christmas), it might be worth a shot.
“The thing about being addicted to a certain kind of romantic movie is that you’re always half-expecting that your life might just suddently take a turn for the better.” —Rosie Curtis, We Met in December