Book Review: Always, In December by Emily Stone

Every year, Josie is a Scrooge during the Christmas season. However, there is one tradition that she keeps up every single year — writing a letter to her deceased parents who died tragically when she was a young girl. Fresh off of a breakup and facing job loss, she nearly crashes her bike into Max, a stranger whose flight to New York was delayed. The two spend a few magical days during the Christmas season, only for Max to leave Josie on Boxing Day.

Throughout the course of a year, the two meet in unexpected places and ways — in both England and in New York City. However, something is always keeping them apart.

Okay, so I just finished this book this morning and I have some thoughts. First off, I really loved the character development of Josie. The reader started off by seeing Josie in this crossroads in all of the areas of her life. She was unhappy with her job and was newly single. She also never really took chances, and always opted of the safer option. However, over the course of the book (and thanks to Max), she begins to follow her dreams. She also leaves her small town life and actually explores the world. I loved watching her find herself, which I largely attribute to Max.

Next, let’s talk about Max and Josie’s relationship. I was both frustrated and wishing for a happy ending for the two of them. Something keeps the two from being together. Although it is revealed in the final chapters, there is something that keeps Max from committing to Josie. Throughout the novel, he was thinking about her, and it’s obvious that the two of them really loved each other. In the end, he comes to Josie when she needs him the most, which is something that I really thought would cause them to go into each other’s arms and end up happily ever after.

In some ways, I was right.

This leads me to my final point. I was mentioning that there was something that was keeping Max and Josie apart, and ultimately ended up doing just that. This was hinted at quite a few times, as many characters have asked Max if he told Josie or asked Josie if Max talked to her about something. That something (I won’t reveal what that is), resulted in the ending of the book. As a huge person who believes that honesty is the best policy, I think that he should have just told her in the first place so that it doesn’t come at her out of nowhere. However, despite my frustration, I understood why he did it the way he did.

That said, I really loved this book. I loved it so much that I read the novel in the span of 48 hours. Which has been a rarity these days. I loved the characters, even though I was frustrated with how Max handled the thing that he didn’t tell Josie, and the story was one that honestly brought me to tears when I reached the final pages. This was definitely one of the most beautiful stories that I read this holiday season, and I highly recommend checking this book out if you have the opportunity to. And, even though it is set with a holiday background, I do think that you can read it all year long.

My rating for this book is five out of five stars.

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