My First Time Reading Romance: One Day in December by Josie Silver (Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick, December 2018)

Confession time: I had never read a contemporary romance novel until 2018. It was not something intentional and definitely not something based on any prejudices. I think it all comes from not being a particularly romantic person – anyone else out there running from big gestures? But some of my favourite Booktubers and bloggers love romance, so by 2018 I had learned quite a bit about the genre. For example, that it is socially estimagtised and marked as ‘women’s reading’ or ‘chick-lit’ because it is something read mostly by women. It was precisely this snippet of information that so much resembles the perception of crime fiction that made me become interested in romance.

One of the problems I encountered was that I had no idea where to start. Diane Steel felt like the safest bet, but none of her books really appealed to me. I think watching the Bridget Jones films on a lazy Sunday night is the perfect comfort watching, but I had no interest in reading the series. Someone suggested Jojo Moyes, but something in the back of my mind associates her writing to lovers dying, and as someone who still hopes Romeo won’t commit suicide every single time I revisit the book or Baz Luhrmann’s film, well, I realised it may not be the safest bet for me.

So, as I patiently waited for a romance novel that would fulfil my – I know – high standards, fellow bookworm and romantic comedy queen Reese Witherspoon chose the perfect Christmas romantic novel for her December 2018 bookclub: One Day in December by Josie Silver. Listen, I LOVE a good Christmas story, and by this time I needed something extra-engaging and buzzy to keep me out of my major reading slump. So imagine my surprise when I found the Kindle edition for 0,99€ (by this time I should have told you my Kindle has saved me from giving up on reading for 6 months now. There is something soothing about e-books, but we’ll talk about that later). It was fate. I knew it was my time to read romance. During Christmas. Along with millions of other women around the world. Bring. It. On.

One Day in December tells the story of Laurie, a young woman living in London who one December day catches a glimpse of a gorgeous stranger through her bus window. He looks at her too. Instant chemistry, the one that makes you almost get out of the bus, but you don’t because you are an adult and you think twice before jumping to romantic conclusions. As the bus leaves, Laurie immediately regrets her decision and spends a year looking for that stranger until he shows up as her flatmate and best friend’s new, coveted and adored boyfriend. She chooses to say nothing, and you can imagine the rest of the story. It was GOOD. It also helped to have his point of view introduced in the narrative becuase it shows that we have no idea what is going on through other people’s minds. So, all the things that we left unsaid can dramatically change the course of our lives, and it is in our hands to take action and be proactive about the lives and the relationships we want.

I know you know it, but here it is again: I loved One Day in December. It was the perfect introduction to contemporary romance, and I loved the Serendipity vibes. It was also one of those books that has the power to make you happy because they force you to appreciate all the good things in life that sometimes we take for granted.

Now I want to know: Do you read romance? And if you do, which are your favourite titles? Comment down below – we all need more genre fiction in our lives! – and I’ll be back soon with more readings. Bye!!



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