“For onlookers, it must have been an Oscar-worthy sixty-second silent movie. From now on, if anyone asks me if I’ve ever fallen in love at first sight, I shall say yes, for one glorious minute on 21 December 2008.”
Author: Josie Silver Published: 2018 Pages: 417
I’d seen this book on a couple of people’s Instagrams, so when I saw it in Waterstones while I was out Christmas shopping, I thought I’d treat myself. As a lover of Romance, I thought this book would be a perfect read for me, so I was excited to start reading it. One Day in December involves the story of Laurie and Jack; After a brief encounter at a bus stop in 2008, Laurie is convinced that “bus boy” is the love of her life and begins her quest to find him. But, a year later, when her best friend Sarah introduces her new boyfriend, Laurie is horrified to learn that it’s him, it’s bus boy, it’s Jack, and she now must come to terms with the fact that they are in love with the same boy. Determined to let him go and get on with her life, Laurie is in for an interesting next few years and she tries to move on.
Throughout the novel, I loved the tone Silver chose for the plot; it’s funny and relatable which makes all the characters more likeable too. I really liked Laurie as a protagonist because her life and the dilemmas she came across, seemed all too familiar for someone in real life as well. Her relationship with Jack is somewhat far fetched, but I do love the romance genre for its fairytale plots and unrealistic melodrama, so I didn’t really have an issue with that. However, as much as I liked Laurie, she definitely made some questionable decisions which I think overall, somewhat tarred her character in my mind. As I said, being part of a messed up love triangle is not something which happens to everyone, so the plot was already a little romanticised, but, Laurie seemed to be wiling to sacrifice a lot in order to get Jack, and I think when doing that affects other people’s happiness, that’s not really very fair.
I think Silver did a good job of not making the storyline predictable which is why I didn’t expect a lot of the plot points, and because I like my romances to be dramatic and unpredictable, I appreciated the unexpected plot twists Silver included too. I will say though, sometimes the plot felt a little contrived because I kind of knew what the ending would be, so although I really enjoyed the plot twists, and didn’t know what would happen in the middle of the book, they felt a little pointless because I knew what the ending would be.
I do love the way the story was told in little snippets from each year following Laurie’s first encounter with Jack. I enjoy books which cover a longer period of time because you can really see how the characters progress and change based on what’s happened to them since you first met them. I also like how each year began with Laurie’s New Year’s Resolutions – definitely an addition which made her more relatable and likeable to the reader.
Overall, there wasn’t anything horrendously wrong with this book, and I can see why so many people were raving about it this Christmas – I would definitely recommend it if you are a fan of soppy romance. But, what this book didn’t achieve was any kind of forethought for any of the secondary characters. It seemed to me that, as long as the two protagonists were happy, then the storyline didn’t really give much thought to the rest of them, which over the years of reading, I think I’ve come to realise is actually one of the most frustrating things an author can do.