As I worked on Along Came December and took it from (many, many) rough drafts to the final draft, things changed. Things like the ending of the book, which was supposed to be happy. The published ending isn't exactly sad, but it's not what I thought it would be. Ergo, many of the songs I had on the playlist for the ending weren't applicable anymore. But I loved them, and they still remind me of the story and the characters, so here you go.
Begin Again, by The Piano Guys
Yes, it's a Taylor Swift cover, but it's a damn good one. My original concept for the ending was Presley and Robin getting married, and Mordecai finding peace with her new family. In the final version, Presley's going to rehab, Mordecai's going to jail, and Robin's kind of left to his own devices. I think the sense of family is still there, but it's certainly not the beautiful wedding scene I imagined playing out to this song. What can I say? It's just not a happy book.
They Live in You, from The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride
This song never connected to a specific moment, but rather to a feeling I wanted to tap into at the end of the story. Again, it's that feeling of family, of peace, of Mordecai realizing her story's not over just because Max is gone. That he's still with her. Mordecai was originally going to have some kind of monument to Max at her cathedral (which originally had a graveyard for a backyard) that she would look out at during Presley and Robin's wedding as the sun was setting beautifully and all her friends were there, etc., but you know. She went to jail instead. But I think there's a bit of this feeling in Mordecai's conversation with her dad about love.
Finally Home, by MercyMe
Again, this song captured a feeling I wanted to tap into at the end of the book, of Mordecai finding peace and feeling like her story wasn't over, like maybe she would see Max again. And in the meantime, it was okay to do something other than crumple to the floor in grief or tear the world apart in rage. She still had something to live for.
Silhouette, by Active Child featuring Ellie Goulding
This song was really a guiding one for me in terms of how I wanted to finish the book, and is probably the one I stayed most true to. Mordecai goes through hell over and over throughout the course of the book, and she falls down each and every time. But she also gets back up. She loses her family more than once, but she still has people who love her. She might get lost, but she finds her way home. She realizes she doesn't have to be alone.