Tuesday, March 3, 2020

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1982137444/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&linkCode=ll1&tag=doyoudogear-20&linkId=ea9f0266202670c87a454f50db2b399b&language=en_USSynopsis (via Goodreads): 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.
“You mistake love. You think it has to have a future in order to matter, but it doesn’t. It’s the only thing that does not need to become at all. It matters only insofar as it exists. Here. Now. Love doesn’t require a future.”
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Before starting In Five Years, I thought it would be similar to Josie Silver's One Day in December (it's not). I also assumed there would be a love triangle, and one that took place over the span of a few years. Thankfully, there's no love triangle. There's actually very little romance at all, to be completely honest. It was like a Diet Romance - - all the calories with none of the flavor (there's nothing hot and steamy about this one).

Dannie knows what she wants, and she knows how she wants it. She has a plan, and she has stuck to that plan for years. She and her fiancé are compatible, equally successful, and more than a little stuck. They've planned for everything, except each other. Aaron, the guy from her dream, plays a large role in the blurb, but really doesn't impact her life in any big way. He's simply there or around from time to time. She doesn't entertain feelings for him, and he doesn't seem interested in her (other than friendship). I'm not sure if the synopsis was intentionally misleading, or if I was supposed to look at it differently.

Bella is Dannie's best friend and total opposite - - sisters in every way that matters. Dannie has always felt like Bella was her responsibility, and didn't notice that Bella nurtured in her own way. They really complimented each other, and I enjoyed the ease of their conversations and interactions. Their love for each other was palpable; something to be treasured.

I wish the author had elaborated more on the death Dannie mentions, and how her visits with a therapist helped her deal with what was happening in her life (if they helped at all). Both the death and the therapist were mentioned on multiple occasions, but it was always brief and without much of an explanation. Everything fit into the story, but those two things really stuck with me for some reason.

The characters start out in their mid-twenties, and we see them in their early thirties. However, I always felt like the characters were much older, like in their late forties. They didn't act like they were in their twenties, and I'm sure that was a character trait for Dannie, but everything about them felt older. It would always throw me when Dannie mentioned someone's age, because I'd been picturing people differently. I'm not sure how else to explain it, haha.

There are no surprises in this book, but it was an enjoyable read. My eyes were misty for a couple of pages, but it wasn't like the book dropped something unexpected into my lap at the last minute. There's a small twist towards the end, but it fits Dannie's character, and it ties the rest of the story together.

Overall, I thought In Five Years was a wonderful book about friendship, and the complexities of relationships in general. Neglectful parents, present parents, married couples, engaged couples, dating couples, and people who just seem to get along really well from the start. It was nice seeing so many different dynamics between the characters, and I thought the author told a wonderful tale that was both meaningful and memorable. It was a love story, just not the one you're expecting. (★★★⋆☆)

"It feels impossible how much space there can be in this intimacy, how much privacy. And I think that maybe that is what love is. Not the absence of space but the acknowledgment of it, the thing that lives between the parts, the thing that makes it possible not to be one, but to be different, to be two."

9 comments:

  1. This was an interesting book wasn't it? I still don't know how I felt about it. I liked it but yeah, there were some things that weren't perfect for sure.

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    1. It was definitely unexpected! Like I said, I was thinking long-term, complicated romance, and that wasn't it at all! There's very little romance, and a whole lot of friendship and self-discovery. I had some issues, sure, but it was enjoyable overall.

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  2. I’ve been super interested in this one since I first read the synopsis. I enjoy stories that have that road-not-taken aspect. Diverging paths, fate, examining life’s choices... so up my alley. I’m excited to pick this one up.

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    1. It wasn't your run-of-the-mill romance, but shows how love can change and evolve over time. People can love and not be in love, they can care about each other deeply without feeling the need to make it more, or they can be blinded by how completely in love they are with someone. You'll have to let me know what you think!

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  3. As you know I don't care for Romance stories, and I do love stories about friendship, so this book sounds wonderful to me. Thanks for sharing your review! 👍✨

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    1. Haha! Yes. This book should be right up your alley! ;)

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  4. I do still like the sound of it, but thank you for the honest review, and it sounds like the synopsis is maybe not entirely accurate!

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    1. I thought the synopsis was very misleading... I went into it thinking ROMANCE, but that wasn't the case. It's about a lifelong friendship, certain hardships, and one person trying to find where they fit in the world.

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless