All those quotes about how reading is better than traveling are a lie. Reading about places is great and I’m so thankful for all the places I’ve learned about that I’ll actually never be able to go (Antartica, the moon, anywhere if America doesn’t get it together) but traveling is still the best. And I miss it.
That being said, I have been to London a grand total of once. And it was the most incredible trip ever. Nine(ish) days of culture and history and pub food. My Dad is an even bigger literature nerd than I am (someday I’ll catch up) so we saw every significant literary sight we could fit in and ducked into every single bookshop we passed. It was awesome. And because I was feeling quite nostalgic, I figured it’d be a good time to talk about We Met in December!
What is We Met in December? I’m glad you asked.
Jess. Our hero. A romantic and fun 29 year old who’s out here tryna make a living and also follow her dreams. And those dreams include moving into a house in London right before Christmas. Normally, that option would be out of her price range but she’s lucky and got a spot in her friend’s house. It’s destiny.
Then Jess meets her roommates and falls almost instantly in love with the guy down the hall, Alex. He’s nice and cute and they seem to have a connection. Jess knows they’re destined to be and as soon as she gets back from her two week Christmas ski vacation, she’s going to tell him.
Except when she gets back Emma, another roomie, is leaving Alex’s bedroom in the wee hours. Between the PJs and the hair, it’s an incriminating scene. Destiny seems to be mocking Jess as she realizes she’s doomed to stay in a house with the man she’s wants to get with, while he gets with someone else in the house, for a year.
And even worse, he’s still super nice and they become friends. It’s going to be a long 12 months for Jess.
Or is it?
This story is hella cute. Could the emotional suffering been shortened considerably if these two grown adults learned to talk to one another? Sure. But where’s the drama in that. There isn’t! The angst was necessary.
Are there also a lot of fluff and warm feelings? Sure. But that’s what I wanted. Especially during a time like this.
Beyond all that, Jess has to learn to grow and be her own person before she can be happy with Alex. And for me, that was the most compelling part. To watch Jess grapple with her own identity and dreams, to learn contentment and self reliance, was really gratifying. It was a perfect blend of serious and sweet. Like when the rare times they get my iced chai right at Starbs.
It was also well written and Jess spends a fair amount of time exploring London, so if you miss traveling as much as I do, this is a great get a way read.
Final thoughts: if you’re looking for something sweet and light with some self discovery thrown in, I highly recommend We Met in December! If you like serious, non-fiction, I recommend the OJ book by Jeffrey Toobin.
P.S. If you have read The Flatshare, this is going to sound like a kinda familiar premise. But, they are executed in very different ways and have really different characters! So if you liked The Flatshare, you should read We Met in December. Or, if you read We Met in December and liked it, I recommend The Flatshare!