The thing about being addicted to a certain kind of romantic movie is that you’re always half-expecting that your life might suddenly take a turn for the better.
Thank you Edelweiss and William Marrow Paperbacks for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It is the start of Christmas romance reading series and … unfortunately I didn’t start it with a bang.
We Met in December
Published Date: November 5, 2019
Read Date: November 4, 2019
Genre: romance, holiday romance, women’s literature
Rating 1.5/5 Moose
Page count: 400 pages
Jess is living her dream life. She’s found an amazing room in London, has decided to restart her career in a field she thinks she’ll love, and has new roommates she’s excited to get to know. One roommate in particular, with his shaggy hair and wanting to save the world attitude. They feel a connection they think, but after a two week holiday, Jess comes back to Alex dating another one of their flatmates. That’s going to make living a little awkward.
Rants, Raves, and Reviews
So I just realized this is a debut author, and I should be a little bit more forgiving because of that. I did like the premise of the book — I love ridiculously dramatic holiday romance books where hopefully someone ends up kissing in the snow.
That’s….not really what this book is. Jess and Alex do meet in December, but the book moves over the course of a year. And yet… I can’t tell you much about these characters. Everyone is so flat and repetitive, it’s exhausting. All Alex ever talks about is restarting his life as a nurse. All Jess talks about is liking Alex and the guilt of not visiting her grandmother.
Okay, that’s a bit mean and basic, but trust me, there isn’t much more depth here.
The major problem I had with this book is that it is constantly telling you things, not showing you. Rather than living in the action and events happening, we get the characters thinking bout them or kind of talking about them after the fact. And that’s….kind of if we are lucky. I can’t tell you how many chapters (days) ended, and I went “that’s it?”
I mean, this book focuses so much on:
- How cheap their rent is
- Alex telling everyone that he’s now a nurse and gave up his life as a lawyer
- Jess working in publishing now
- Jess’s feelings for Alex
- How Jess’s friends are the basic type of stereotype friends: free spirit and overly structured.
But again, not a ton of showing this. There aren’t that many scenes of Alex actually being a nurse, just him talking about his exhausted days. Jess started a new job, but instead of ever seeing her at it, we see her talking about how the publishing world works. And, oh man, they are constantly thinking about how lucky they are that Becky didn’t decide to sell her house and is letting them live their cheap. MONTHS after they start living there. Money is tight but man Becky could just sell this house out from under us tomorrow!
Seriously, at one point Alex buys a book for Jess — her favorite, One Day by David Nicholls. I’ve read this book, and I can see that the book is trying to be an homage to that. Except that at no point prior to looking for this book (a signed copy) do we actually learn that this is Jess’s favorite book. Which is basically the point I realized that I knew nothing about any character.
My major anxiety reaction to this book is that Alex is sleeping with their flat mate Emma in a FWB situation, while basically using Jess for the emotional filler of a girlfriend. It takes him forever to realize he has feelings for her, which honestly kind of surprised me. I expected with how this started to maybe be a book about Jess realizing she’s being mistreated, and then finding a better way because of that.
But that doesn’t happen. It kind of reminds me of the movie Made of Honor, where my idea of how it should go is so much better than what actually happens. (And another movie where the dude realize his emotional support system that should be on a life partner is on a woman who he doesn’t actually have any claims over and now he has feelings for her and I could write a whole book on how toxic this is and how much it has fucked up my liiiiife.)
I can’t recommend this book to anyone. It is too flat, and needs at least one more rewrite before being published. If you want some good holiday romance books I can pull out my list, but unfortunately, this one isn’t on it. Go read One Day (but don’t get mad at me about that book.)