In Five Years – Rebecca Serle

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. 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was so excited for this book that it was one of my most anticipated reads of early 2020, but it turned out to disappoint 😦

The moment I read the blurb I thought this book would be right up my alley – high-powered Manhattan lawyer with her life perfectly planned out – I don’t know why, but I love/hate characters like her (more on that in a minute). And the flash into the future seemed like such an original, intriguing twist! But the premonition happens right at the beginning of the book (I thought it’d come a little later as a more prominent event), and the rest of the story is Dannie figuring out how to upright her life again.

The good? Well, it’s short, so that’s a plus – it probably took me just 2-3 hours of dedicated reading. And because it’s so compact, there’s always something happening.

The bad? Not to be that person but…everything else is just mediocre. Every single character, including Dannie, feels like a cardboard stereotype. Dannie is a super successful, type A career woman; Bella (thanks to Twilight I’m forever soooo over characters named Bella) is blonde and bubbly and flighty; Dannie’s boyfriend – Daniel? David? I can’t even remember their names because they were so nondescript – just pales in the background as a faint shadow of the ‘ideal’ boyfriend; and Aaron, Bella’s boyfriend, is generically hot and blond. No one has any dimension whatsoever! Give me something to work with here, Rebecca Serle.

Other than the premonition, the plot was kind of melodramatic and predictable, and because of that I didn’t find it as sad as a lot of other people did. I felt like I kept waiting for something really interesting to occur, but that didn’t pan out.

I did think my reaction to Dannie was strange…for some reason, seeing women anywhere – books, films, in real life – who are stereotypically type A, successful go-getters makes me feel like such a failure myself. It’s like, I also live in Manhattan working that grind, but whereas she truly loves her job and has goals of making it to the top of her firm, I feel like an imposter since I’m in my field only for the money. I just wish so fiercely I had that same ambition and drive to be like them, or that I liked my career! Characters like her let me live vicariously through them, even though at the same time I’m beating myself up for not being like that in real life.

2 thoughts on “In Five Years – Rebecca Serle

  1. Great review, Mel!! I have this one and The Dinner List on my tbr, but it’s not on the top of it. And I’m not sure how much I would like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Corina!! The Dinner List is still on my list too – if this book was anything to go by, at least the premise should be interesting!


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