Book Review: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

I didn’t like In Five Years by Rebecca Serle very much. Danielle, the lead character, wasn’t likeable or relatable. She has her perfectly calculated life going for her: perfect job, perfect boyfriend, perfect apartment, perfect life. Everything is going exactly as calculated – she knows she’s about to get engaged to her boyfriend David, and the rest of their perfect life can continue. Except that she has a very realistic dream right after getting engaged that she’s in a different apartment, with a different man, five years into the future. Startled by this dream that becomes a premonition, Dannie is dead set on making sure that future she dreamt does not happen. Especially since the man in that dream ends up being her best friend Bella’s new boyfriend.

Though she doesn’t realize it at the time, all of Dannie’s actions to try to prevent the dream from happening end up setting it all in motion. Four and a half years after getting engaged and having that dream, and she still hasn’t planned the wedding. Which you would think, if she dreamt she was with another man, wouldn’t she have wanted to get married faster to not have that outcome? Despite her being a lawyer who appreciates the black and white, she’s not all logical apparently.

The story’s main focus, aside from Dannie being hellbent on not having her premonition come true, is on her friendship with Bella. They appear to be polar opposites where Bella is the flighty, beautiful, spontaneous and creative one while Danielle is the more calculated, stuffy, planner type person. Dannie knows what she wants and when it will happen whereas Bella goes with the flow. Regardless of that, they’ve been friends since they were kids and still manage to foster that relationship into adulthood. In some of their interactions, I felt Dannie was too judgmental of Bella’s lifestyle, with an air of jealousy. Like she can’t fathom not having every detail of her life planned and wishes she could be as carefree as Bella but she looks down on her for doing exactly that. It didn’t feel like Dannie was all that supportive of Bella and like I get it; you have a friend who cycles through boyfriends saying each one is “the one” but it turns out they’re not – rinse and repeat. The cycle gets old, but like the least she could do is be excited for her if she’s excited.

As Dannie is focused on not living out that premonition, she hardens and inevitably sets the wheels in motion. What was unexpected was how she arrived to that premonition, which is quite sad and almost unnecessary. Her perfect life crumbles and she’s left to fend for herself by the end of the book. Though Dannie needed that but she also needed some personality – which Bella held apparently; like they shared two braincells and Bella kept the one with personality in it.

Overall, I was expecting In Five Years to be a romance – be warned that it is not. It’s a book about friendship I guess, but even that doesn’t feel right. Let’s say this: it’s a story about how nothing ever really goes as planned, no matter how hard you worked to make things go a certain way – they rarely ever do. And if you try to get in the way of how things are supposed to turn out, they will whether you like it or not.

I give In Five Years three stars because despite the characters falling flat, the plot was interesting though I didn’t like how it got to that point. It was a quick read; something that can be read in a day if you’ve got the will.

Have you read In Five Years? Let me know in the comments

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