Book Review: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

In Five Years is a novel about friendship, love, and grief. Lots of grief.

**Warning – below here there be lots of spoilers**

Have you ever ordered a product, only to be disappointed when it arrived because it didn’t match the product description? That’s In Five Years.

Here’s the book jacket description:

“Where do you see yourself in five years?

Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers.

She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content.

But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.”

Sounds like an interesting romance, right? Maybe with a little suspense or the supernatural to rev it up?

But here’s the deal, the “unforgettable love story” is between Dannie and her best friend, Bella. And it’s told within the context of Bella dying from ovarian cancer. There’s a lot about female friendship and emotions and regrets and chemotherapy and vivid Bella wasting away. Totally not what I expected and really nothing I wanted to read about.

But I kept reading because I was intrigued about that one hour Dannie spent in the future and wanted to see how it would play out now that it was five years later. It turns out that the man Dannie woke up to was Bella’s boyfriend, Greg. Bella and Greg had been together less than a year when she died, but they swore they were each other’s soul mates, the loves of each other’s lives. So I found it really odd that Dannie and Greg made out while Bella was on her death bed and then had sex the night of Bella’s Celebration of Life party (this was the event Dannie foresaw five years prior). It was all chalked up to grief. But do people really grieve like that? It was extremely weird to me. I really hope my husband doesn’t grieve like that.

Aside from not being the story I wanted to read, there were some other flaws. For example, the author constantly name-dropped New York City restaurants, boutiques and neighborhoods. I don’t know if that was an attempt to bring the setting “alive,” but after a while it just seemed like snobbery. I really didn’t care that Dannie ate whitefish salad on bagels, let alone which deli she got it from.

As you can probably tell, I didn’t much care for this book. Now, it could be that my own personal biases are at play here. I’m living the life of a terminally ill woman, so I really don’t want to read about it. And I’ve never cared for wild and whimsical characters that flit from partner to partner while blowing through their trust funds. But still, my recommendation is to find something else to read.

Have you read In Five Years? Tell me what you thought in the comments section.

7 thoughts on “Book Review: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

  1. The sign of a good book reviewer is honesty. Life is too short to waste on books you wish you hadn’t read. I used to “stick it out” believing a book should be read to the end. I no longer do that. I also appreciate being able to avoid books I should not even start! This book is in that category for me. Thank you Michelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, dear – that sounds just awful – and very shallow! I can see why you were intrigued by the summary – the idea of how a glimpse of the future could impact the present is fascinating. But this just sounds like junk in a fancy wrapper. I admire you for toughing it out – if only to warn us – but there are so many great books to be read that I’m sorry you were tricked into wasting time on this one. On the other hand, your review is probably the best revenge. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The book was a nice book I actually read it yesterday night and I finished the book. the reason why I think the book is different from other books because when you click an Amazon they tell you that this is not an ordinary romantic book like all those books that have romantic journey with boy likes girl, girl resist boy then in the end they Fall in Love . I actually like the
    book because it was special, it was talking about the bond of two friends . well the main character was a control freak and I ain’t going to lie about that but I didn’t like her at first she was an overdoer ,I’m a perfectionist but she was so uptight I didn’t get it. she had everything planned out which seemed like she was the master of her own universe ,I like it when I don’t know when something is expected but I’m prepared for the unexpected in this case she was so uptight and also I don’t get how someone grieves by sleeping with her late Best Friend’s boyfriend that is messed up. the book had unexpected turns that is why I love the book and I recommend it for you to read but please do not grieve for anybody by sleeping with their significant other you are hurting the person in the grave but apart from every other problem I have with the book the book is really phenomenal for me please read it in your book club it’s really good

    Liked by 1 person

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