Thursday, March 12, 2020

Book Review: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Pages: 272
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: March 10, 2020
Publisher: Atria
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."

Dannie has lived her life according to her plans from childhood. She has set goals for herself and today is her big interview at a law firm she has been dying to work at.  Her life is truly starting to come together, especially when her boyfriend, David, asks her to marry him at New York City's famous Rainbow Room.  This perfect day becomes a distant memory when she find herself waking up to an alternate reality where she isn't married to David, doesn't live in Manhattan, and is with a guy who is the polar opposite of David.  Except this new guy has her feelings things she didn't know was possible. Is this an alternate reality? A dream? A figment of her imagination? Whatever it was, it threw her for a bit of a loop and makes her question her path, but after years go by, her life is consumed with her work so much so that her and David have yet to be married.  Meanwhile, her best friend, Bella, has moved back to New York and all is good until she meets Bella's new boyfriend. It just so happens to be the guy from her "dream."  What does this all mean for Dannie? In Five Years by Rebecca Serle is a heart-wrenching love story that was a bit sadder than I was expecting, but nonetheless, I enjoyed Dannie's journey.

Dannie is an interesting character in In Five Years. She is smart, successful, has her life figured out, but she rarely steps out of her comfort zone.  Her best friend, Bella, is the more creative one who pushes her to live a little more; after all, Bella is the artist and Dannie is a lawyer.  Dannie is engaged to David and while David is a nice guy, both Dannie and Bella know that he is a safe bet.  But then there's the issue as to why they haven't married yet? To complicate matters further, Bella is head over heels for her new guy, and Bella rarely settles down, so Dannie knows this man must mean a lot to her.  But once Dannie meets him, she realizes he is the guy form her "dream" and well, this is a problem. Clearly.

I loved the character of Bella in In Five Years. She is the kind of best friend that makes life interesting and really pushes people that may be a little more conservative.  I loved how their friendship went all the way back to childhood and how loyal they are to each other.  Bella's story took an unexpected turn and it really broke my heart. I wasn't expecting that sort of twist the novel, so I was a little surprised, and while it bummed me out, I still appreciated her story arc.  

In Five Years really made me think about the future. No matter how much Dannie meticulously planned things out, life can always throw you a curve ball. That's what happens in In Five Years and I love that the book highlights the unexpected turns life takes while also demonstrating to readers that you can rebuild your life.  In Five Years is just as much a love story between two best friends as it is a traditional love story.  I didn't see that coming, but I really enjoyed that aspect of the story.

If you are looking for a heart wrenching story to get lost in this spring, check out Rebecca Serle's In Five Years.  While many aspects of the novel took me by surprise, I still enjoyed Dannie's journey and appreciated the questions that In Five Years begs readers to ponder. 


  1. I love the idea that at the beginning of this book, we kind of get a glimpse into what the ending will be, and then we get to see how that journey will unfold!

  2. I expected this one to be a little lighter and fluffier than it sounds. Still sounds like a great read, though. I'm intrigued by the concept!


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