☆☆ (2.5 Stars)
I went through so many different emotions reading this book and that is not necessarily a good thing. The first few pages of In Five Years are enthralling – Rebecca Serle can write. I remember thinking when I was 15% in that I could already tell that this had the potential to be a five-star book. Unfortunately, not long after, everything came crashing down.
Dannie is the type-A-personality-person that has her life together. She is methodical and mechanic. She has clear plans for life. She wants to work on one of New York’s most successful law firms and she goes to the interview with a suit she picked out for the occasion three years prior. She lives with her longtime boyfriend and knows exactly when he’s going to propose. They have the same ambitions and dreams. Everything is clockwork-perfect, until… something weird happens.
Dannie falls asleep and wakes up five years in the future. The year is 2025 and she is now living in a completely different apartment in Brooklyn, she’s using a different engagement ring and living with another man who is NOT her fiancee. Dannie spends 1 hour in this future-time/alternate reality and then goes back to her scheduled life in 2020. Of course, she cannot understand what happened but is at the same time haunted by this vision. She even goes to a therapist and tries to make sense of what this could represent in her life.
Then we jump forward 4 years, and the events from the vision are getting very close to the present timeline Dannie is on, and here is where my rant will start, so beware of spoilers. I loved the premise of this book, until around 30/40% I was completely captivated by Dannie’s tale and I saw this vision being a catalyst for her to understand so many things about herself. So, my 2.5 stars rating are exclusively for this first part of the book…
because the way the story unravels from then on makes absolutely no sense. We learn that the stranger living in Dannie’s future apartment is actually her best friend’s boyfriend/fiancee. To resolve this conflict the book introduces a plot that I really dislike out of left-field: terminal cancer. You see, what was supposed to be a contemplative romantic fiction became an overdramatic mess. Yeah, let’s get rid of the friend to clear the path for Dannie, right? No, not right.
What about Dannie’s current and lovely fiancee that does everything for her? Apparently, they have no chemistry and he was only a prop to bring more angst into the story, so of course, Dannie can just cut him from her life after almost six years together.
After Bella (her best friend) passes, Dannie has a sort of one night/day stand with her ex-fiancee (yeah, that happened and it came from absolutely nowhere), but it was out of grief?! And so they can’t be together…. but in the end, it’s implied that she ends up with Bella’s oncologist?! WHAT A MESS.
And the amazing future scene from the beginning doesn’t fit in this new context anymore… The dialogue (jumping forward six years) is absurd and disconnected. Basically, that’s not the way humans communicate with each other. It’s weird, and it doesn’t work. Again, this was such a letdown, because I was so intrigued about the true meaning of that conversation, and I was robbed of the emotional payoff it was supposed to give.
Honestly, I didn’t know it was possible to mess up a beautiful premise so much…
So, anyway… In a nutshell, the first half of this book is amazing. The second part is chaotic, frustrating, and 100% illogical.
Thank you Netgalley and Quercus Books for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.