Title: In Five Years
Author: Rebecca Serle
Date Published: March 10, 2020
Rating: 4/5 stars
Date read: March 24, 2020
In Five Years follows a young woman named Dannie. On the day of her engagement she has a dream that she is five years into the future, in a strange apartment, with a strange man, and a different ring on her finger. She ends up sleeping with the man, Aaron, and then proceeds to wake up back in her current life. We then fast-forward 4.5 years, Dannie meets Aaron once again, and he is the boyfriend of her best friend.
To say I went into In Five Years with the wrong expectations feels like an understatement. Based on that synopsis I expected this story to be a romance with grey morals. This is not a romance, this is a story about friendship. I’ve written a content warning at the end of this post, and it’s something I wish I had known was a major element of the story and something that I can see deterring people from reading it, and as much as I thought this was a well-written story I would have avoided it had I known.
The first time I picked up In Five Years I almost DNF’d it because the opening paragraph talks about Dannie’s obsession with numbers, something that makes my OCD brain overreact, but because the premise sounded so intriguing I ended up giving it a go anyways. Her counting “obsession” ended up not being a significant aspect of the story and I don’t remember it being brought up again after the first time. In terms of Dannie’s character, I found her pretty relatable, easy to like, and easy to root for. What was particularly interesting though, was my feelings towards her. I strongly suspected that regardless of whatever preventative actions she took, she was going to sleep with Aaron, so there was this part of me that was wary of her/judgemental towards her throughout the entire novel. I felt I knew her character well enough, and didn’t believe she had enough chemistry with Aaron, that I thought her sleeping with him seemed out of character, yet the entire time I still thought she was going to do it (to find out whether it actually happens you’ll have to read the novel 😉). It made for a really unique and interesting reading experience.
Dannie’s relationship with her best friend Bella felt extremely believable, they seemed closer than sisters and their relationship was truly the highlight of the novel. I like that their relationship isn’t entirely smooth sailing, and their conflicts felt extremely natural and realistic to their personalities/relationship/situation. Bella’s struggles were extremely heartbreaking and challenging to read, but her relationship with Dannie helped me through them.
I also thought Dannie’s relationship with her fiancé was well done. After her dream Dannie continually puts off the wedding and wedding planning. Dannie and her fiancé become a couple that seem to just be going through the motions, and yet her fiancé still remains a likeable character, who seems good for Dannie and really cares for her. I like that through this relationship the theme of love vs comfort is explored.
I also want to comment a bit on the ending. I thought the conclusion to this novel was one of the most satisfying endings I’ve ever read.
CONTENT WARNING: cancer