Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Book Review: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Title: In Five Years
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 255
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Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan 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.

In Five Years is another case of “bookstagram made me buy it”. After seeing this book flood instagram this past year, I just knew it had to be one of my last books of 2020. I don’t read book reviews and I also try not to read book summaries. I don’t like to have preconceptions about the book I’m about to dive into, so I went into this book blind.

Dannie is a woman who lives her life by the numbers. You date someone for 24 months before moving in with them. You get engaged at 28. You get married by 30. She is a meticulous, Type-A person who knows what she wants in her life. After acing the job interview at the law firm of her dreams and accepting the marriage proposal from her boyfriend, she goes to sleep knowing she is right on track.

When Dannie wakes up from her sleep, she is somehow exactly five years in the future. She’s in a beautiful apartment with a man she’s never seen before and she gets the briefest glimpse of what her life will be in the future. When she wakes up again, she’s back in her apartment with her fiance and she spends the next few years trying to ignore the hour she spent in 2025, until she meets the man from her vision four-and-a-half years later and he’s dating her best friend, Bella.

It takes a lot for a book to surprise me. I’ve read so many books and watched so much television that I can usually predict how something will turn out at the end, but I still enjoy the journey of getting there. That’s what I thought I had with this book; I thought I had it figured out by the middle of the book, but I’m happy to admit I was wrong.

This isn’t the romance novel I thought it would be. I was expecting love triangles and betrayal and heartbreak but we didn’t really get that, not completely. To me, it’s overall a book about love and self discovery. It’s about the love between two childhood and lifelong best friends. It’s about Dannie’s journey of self discovery. It’s about the little choices we make every single day that make up our life’s story. It’s about the impact that we and our love have on those around us. For me, my favorite part of this book was Dannie and Bella’s friendship. I’m 26-years-old and I still have childhood friends in my life so their friendship and the love they have for each other really hit home for me.

I know that a lot of people don’t believe in soul mates, but I do. And I don’t think they’re necessarily always romantic. To me, Dannie and Bella are soul mates. They have a bond that goes deeper than simply love, friendship, or even sisterhood. They have a soul tie that can never be broken.

It is a heartbreakingly, moving, beautiful tearjerker. It is also a quick read that can be finished in a day. Overall, this was a 3.5 star read for me. The first half of the book was better for me than the second half. I found myself getting lost and confused in some parts and having to re-read them. I also found myself reaching a part of the book where I just wanted to hurry up and get it over with which is extremely rare for me.

Would I read this book again? Absolutely not. Would I recommend this book? I would! We all interpret books differently and after reading a few reviews, it is clear that this was one of those hit-or-miss books for people and for me, I would consider it a hit.