Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: One Day in December by Josie Silver

Do you believe in love at first sight? Do you believe that "The One" is out there for you somewhere? Is there anything that would stop you from pursuing the person you are so clearly fated to be with?  Does friendship trump love?  If you've ever pondered the answers to these questions, Josie Silver's engaging new novel, One Day in December, is for you.

Laurie is headed home one day in December when she sees a man from her bus window. He sees her too. And somehow she just knows that he is "The One." But she doesn't get off the overcrowded bus, nor does he get on. And the bus pulls away.  Just like that, he's gone. For the next year, Laurie looks for and dreams about the "bus boy" but it isn't until her best friend and flatmate, Sarah, brings home her hot new boyfriend, Jack, that Laurie sees him again. Sarah is head over heels in love with Jack and so Laurie, supportive and loyal, aching more than a little on the inside, swallows down her feelings for Jack, not letting on to Sarah that Jack is bus boy. Jack also recognizes Laurie but he too turns away from this knowledge a little regretfully. For the next nine years, Laurie and Jack develop a deep friendship with each other but go on about their lives ignoring the memory of that bus stop glance, only once guiltily acknowledging their continued pull to each other out loud. Fate has indeed brought them together in the meanest of ways.

Told in alternating first person chapters, first Laurie and then Jack tell the tale of the nine years of wrong timing. Both characters are drawn as good, loyal, and kind people who have no desire to hurt those they love, no desire to be so selfish that they would sacrifice a friend/girlfriend because of the coup de feudre they felt at that bus stop. Both of them struggle with suppressing feelings for the other as their lives go on, tied to other people. Obviously this affects their relationships with their partners and because of the first person narration, the reader sees all of that struggle and guilt as well. Each passing year starts with a copy of Laurie's New Year's Resolutions, although the reader comes to discover that setting out a plan for the year rarely ends up as expected (or wished for).  But Laurie's hopes lay the groundwork for the coming chapters.  In addition to the likable characters of Laurie and Jack, Laurie's best friend/Jack's girlfriend, Sarah, is wonderfully drawn and well nuanced as a character. Laurie's Oscar is less fleshed out but the reader never does get to see him from an unbiased source, only through Laurie's changing perspective and Jack's irrational dislike. The amount of time covered in the novel is quite long but each year only has a few pivotal parts covered so over all, it is quite a fast paced, addictive read. This is a love triangle unlike any you've read before. The story is very visual, cinematic in scope, and it is easy to see the richly satisfying, if totally expected, final scene (among others) on the big screen. If you like romantic comedies, this is the best kind. It's a whole-hearted commitment to love and friendship. You'll be charmed and completely engaged. Once you open it, you'll be unable to put it down so don't start it at night unless sleep is unimportant to you.  Prepare to catch yourself smiling and to be moved by the love that shines through each of the characters in this wonderful, feel-good novel.

For more information about Josie Silver and the book, check out her webpage or follow her on Twitter or Instagram. Check out the book's Goodreads page, follow the rest of the blog tour, or look at the reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Lisa from TLC Book Tours and Crown for sending me a copy of the book for review.

1 comment:

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