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In Five Years

by Rebecca Serle

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle X
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
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Phyllis E

A story of best girlfriend friendship, not a romance
Thanks to Atria Paperback/Simon and Schuster Publishers for a gifted copy. All comments and opinions are my own.

This 3.5 star book had a lot of buzz when it first came out in 2020. I received a gifted copy from the publisher in 2021 but just recently read it in May 2022. I didn’t intentionally put it off, but it took the suggestion from my friend Val that we both read it and then discuss together to make me pick it up. And it turned out to be a different type of book than I thought. No matter how others have labeled this novel, it is not a romance, but a story of friendship, best girlfriend friendship.

This is about two long-time best friends who live in New York City, both single but different in so many ways. Dannie is organized and has her life planned out – her career, her boyfriend and now fiancé, her budget, and her future – including where she will be in five years. Bella is the “poor little rich girl” – wild, whimsical, impulsive, and believes in fate.

After accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal and receiving her dream job offer both on the same day, Dannie falls asleep. When she awakens she’s with a totally different (and sexy) guy, a different apartment, a different engagement ring – and it’s five years in the future. She tells herself it’s a dream and files it away in the back of her mind.

But four-and-a-half years later she meets Bella’s latest boyfriend, who is the very same guy from that long-ago premonition/vision/dream/alternate reality. That’s the set-up but it isn’t the story you’re expecting. And you’ll need tissues.

Even though there are aspects of the plot and the characters I would argue with, and some things I would have changed completely, I still found myself engrossed and emotionally caught up in the story. This would make a great book group read and I’m looking forward to discussing with my friend.

Don’t believe all the great reviews
Although Rebecca Serle did not intend IN FIVE YEARS to be a young adult novel, it still has a YA feel to it. The main characters, although adults in their late 20s, early 30s, refer to each other in YA terms (e.g., "best friends,” "besties"), and their circumstances almost always concern their love lives (also very YAish). That may put off some adult readers.

The real problem with this book is what, at first, seems like a good thing because it sparks your interest and draws you in.

Dannie has a dream that seems very real. Probably nothing will come of it, but maybe it was a premonition. So the entire book leads up to that particular day. And for the entire book you will be expecting an explanation of the dream/premonition. If it is a premonition, how and why did it happen?

That, alone, kept me interested in this story. Otherwise, IN FIVE YEARS is just a typical live-with-her-boyfriend-for-five-years-and-look-forward-to-marrying-him YA book. But there is that dream/premonition that sets it apart.

In the end, though, the story is unsatisfying. I still have questions and don’t feel like anything was explained.
MaryBeth Little

This story initially was intriguing but became trite and weighed down by mellow drama which wasn’t realistic. The book left me feeling flat.
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