In Five Years – Book Review

by Fareya
Title: In Five Years
Author: Rebecca Serle
Pages: 272
Publication Day: March 10th, 2020
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: Hardcover

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

Booktimistic Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have said this before but let me reiterate the fact that it’s nearly impossible for me to resist a hyped book and In Five Years by Rebecca Serle is an extremely hyped book these days. It’s all over Bookstagram, every other day I see a review for it popping up on my Goodreads feed and it also happens to be the March pick for Good Morning America Book Club. My hands were itching for a copy and I couldn’t wait for release day, March 10th, but oh my stars, I won it in a giveaway before that. Naturally, I started reading as soon as it landed on my doorsteps and finished it in two days.

Now, the obvious question is – was it worth the hype? My take on it is yes, it certainly deserves the praise it has been getting, though I’d like to mention that it’s not being rightly marketed. If you read the blurb (which I suggest not doing if you plan on reading the book because it has a small spoiler), this’ll seem like a light and fluffy romance, both of which it absolutely isn’t. I’d put it in the contemporary/women’s fiction genre and say it’s really heavy on the emotions, so if you cry easily while reading sentimental stories, be prepared to shed a few tears. Simply put, In Five Years is an extremely emotional story centered around fate and friendship, destiny and relationship with a whiff of magical realism.

Imagine if you saw a tiny tiny glimpse of your life in five years and it’s nothing like what you imagine it being how would it affect your decisions and feelings? Would you want to change the future? Would you be able to make any difference at all? Or would you simply let destiny take its course? So many questions but no right answer! That’s a basic gist of it’s plot. (Oh but it’s also so much more!)

The writing is effortless yet effective, paced perfectly, and for a less than 300 page book with a pretty solid storyline, at no point it feels rushed. In Five Years is a book with a unique plot, well-drawn characters and a whole lot of emotions, all of which I savored. I also loved the NYC setting and descriptions of cafes and restaurants, food and fashion and the general hustle of city life. Those few unexpected turns in the story took me completely by surprise and I was proven very wrong in my predictions on how things might proceed.

It’s just that one thing that happens towards the end that has me conflicted, but knowing what I did since the beginning it was probably inevitable. Sorry if I am not making any sense, I don’t want to spoil anything for people who haven’t read the book yet.

Overall, I really liked the story, and the author’s storytelling style. She managed landing emotional blows with a subtlety that made them all the more worse! Despite this being a quick read, it leaves its mark and makes the reader think. A beautiful sad story that I am glad I read. Also, adding The Dinner List to my TBR pile because I loved Rebecca Serle’s writing and want more.

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