In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

“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.”

– Rebecca Serle, “In Five Years”

Review:

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle explores the idea of what we might do if we knew exactly where our futures would lead. If you knew where you’d be exactly five years from now, would you still act the same way you’d planned? What if you were both scared of and intrigued by the possibility of what (or rather who) you saw?

Manhattan lawyer, Dannie Kohan, has a solid five year plan. She and her boyfriend are going to get engaged at 28 and married at 30. She’s going to get her dream job as a lawyer at her dream partnership. She’ll make partner within a decade. She and David will buy a nice loft apartment off the park and she’ll have her dream kitchen.

It’s a solid plan, and it’s perfectly on track. Dannie nails the job interview. Her boyfriend proposes and she has the perfect scripted answer. But then, after an extra glass of champagne, Dannie wakes up in a different apartment with a different man, and the date on the television impossibly reads 2025 – five years into the future.

It’s not a dream. It’s real, and it’s coming.

But it’s not a part of the plan! Dannie loves her new fiancé. She loves the future they have planned out. So, she tries to steer the course, and it mostly works. Until four and a half years later when her best friend has fallen in love and introduces her new boyfriend – and Dannie already knows him. Now she’s got six months to make sure she and her best friend’s boyfriend don’t wind up in that bed together in that Brooklyn apartment.

This book was an engrossing read. I found it so easy to slip into Dannie’s head. I related to her anxieties and her confidence. I enjoyed her strong but sometimes rocky friendship with her carefree best friend. The midway point was gut wrenching. I knew where the story was going, but didn’t want it to go there. Knowing what was coming made it hard to root for the main character, and that made me want to keep reading to make it all better.

The book did not end like I expected it to. I thought I could clearly see where it was going and I was relieved and surprised to see it took a twist. It felt like the right ending for the book and for Dannie. I enjoyed her journey and the main messages the book had to offer about various types of love: the love between romantic partners, between friends, and even the love that we can have for our jobs and careers. The weight of our own expectations can be crushing, and the book reminds us of this through subverting our expectations of the story itself. Masterful.

“The future is the one thing you can count on not abandoning you, kid, he’d said. The future always finds you. Stand still, and it will find you. The way the land just has to run to sea.”

– Rebecca Serle, “In Five Years”

Pros:

  • absolutely engrossing; you won’t want to put it down
  • quick read
  • If you’re Type A, this main character is so relatable
  • strong female friendship

Cons:

  • is incorrectly marketed as a romance book, and it is not exactly that

Rating:

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I was young, I thought I needed the money, but then I realized that my carefree friend was actually living the good way, even though love and heartbreak are often a package deal.”

– Rebecca Serle, “In Five Years”

Recommended For:

  • 30-somethings, still finding their way
  • Those who love “what if” books
  • Anyone searching for a good ending plot twist
  • great for a book club read!

Books to Read if You Loved In Five Years:

Let’s Discuss! (Pick a question and drop a comment with your reply!)

  • Do we as a society put too much emphasis on individual futures?
  • Are you a planner? Do you have a five year plan?
  • Do you enjoy the time travel trope in books? If so, what’s your favorite?

One response to “In Five Years by Rebecca Serle”

  1. […] reading In Five Years by the same author and enjoying it immensely, I had some high hopes for this book. I […]

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