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In Five Years

Win a free print copy of this book!

9 days and 01:04:59

50 copies available
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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2020)
A striking, powerful, and moving love story following an ambitious lawyer who experiences an astonishing vision that could change her life forever.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan 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.

266 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 10, 2020

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About the author

Rebecca Serle is the New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years, The Dinner List, and the young adult novels The Edge of Falling and When You Were Mine. Serle also developed the hit TV adaptation Famous in Love, based on her YA series of the same name. She is a graduate of USC and The New School and lives in Los Angeles. Find out more at RebeccaSerle.com.

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5 stars
102,381 (25%)
4 stars
156,815 (39%)
3 stars
102,223 (25%)
2 stars
27,784 (6%)
1 star
7,791 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 34,775 reviews
Profile Image for lazybookconqueror.
411 reviews88 followers
December 3, 2021
2.5 Stars.

I went through so many different emotions reading this book, however, that is not necessarily a good thing.

The first few pages of In Five Years were actually enthralling. I was instantly hooked by Rebecca Serle's skilled and mellow writing.

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.

So, anyway... In a nutshell, the first half of this book is intriguing. 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.

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Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,194 reviews40.5k followers
September 11, 2022
I’m so ugly right now! My face is blotchy, my eyes are bloody red, my nails, oh no I have no nails left. I’m a great candidate for any horror movie monster casting call.

Even the husband dearest who is normally coolest, mimic-less Scorpio man worried about me and cover my face with trash bag so he stopped screaming when he was looking at me!

After I finished this book, I cried so much! I couldn’t help myself. Honestly my friends shaped my life and made me who I am more than my own family. They saw my ups and downs and I seriously did too many mistakes to ruin my life because I’m so reckless and hot tempered, crazy redhead Aries woman and they always saved my ass, punched me, shook me and gave me the ugliest true messages I needed.

So when I read a book about testing your relationship with your childhood friend, it was impossible for me gather all those broken pieces of my heart. This book shook me to the core and thought me again instead of earning money, being slaves of material things, we have to collect friends who make us lives better and who help us to be a better person. Bella and Dannie’s heartbreaking, emotional friendship affected me deeply.

Before starting to read this book let me tell you the facts about it:

This book started so similar with Kristin Harmel’s “Life Intended”, when a woman dreams she can meet with her deceased husband at another universe and when she wakes up she resumes her relationship with her actual boyfriend. But don’t worry! At this story our heroine dreams only one time. Is it premonition? A fantasy about a man she never knows? Beginning of love triangle? You have to read and see by yourself. But one thing for sure, this story is more complex than Kristin Harmel’s because Dannie dreams her best friend’s new boyfriend!!!

Don’t wait to read a romcom about time traveling or parallel universes kind of fiction. This book is not a romance story. This is about a woman’s self discovery, life choices and love. And of course there is another heavy stuffs hurt your heart deeply. I don’t want to discuss them because I don’t want to be mean person who love to give spoilers (normally I’m mean and told the movie endings to everyone but when it comes to the books, I’m more tight lipped.) but my emotions were everywhere after I closed the book and story occupied my mind, haunted my dreams.

There is no bad guy of the story: The characters are not flawless. All of them have their own antics and irritated attitudes but you can understand each of them’s motives and connect with them easily.

It’s an amazing memory trip for me at the sightseeings of NYC including Dumbo, Central Park and of course those delicious deli places( when I move to LA, I protest to eat bagel and pizza because they don’t taste like New York’s famous pastries)

Overall: I don’t care lack of romance or resemblances with other books including”One Day in December”! I loved the creative, outstanding, smart and realistic writing, heart wrenching ending even the ending really tore my heart out!

Rebecca Serle, you’re amazing but I’m not gonna forgive you to sledgehammer my heart. My head is still spinning and I’m so shaky because of the powerful writing.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for sharing this meaningful ARC COPY and help me to discover a new
writer by sharing this book in exchange my honest review.

Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
792 reviews12.3k followers
February 28, 2020
Hated It!

Of course I have to be the person who didn’t love this!

In Five Years is the story of a woman who has it all: the perfect fiancé, the perfect apartment, and the perfect job. But having it all doesn’t mean that she’s truly happy, and a tragedy is about to test the boundaries of all that she believed to be perfect.

The night Dannie, a corporate lawyer, gets engaged she has a wild dream that takes place 5 years in the future. This dream is about to alter her life in ways she could have never predicted. On a positive note, Dannie's dream and the way that is framed is the one element I really liked about this book.

My biggest issues with this book concern the narrative and Dannie’s character. Dannie's character never felt real to me. I actually forgot her name until another character would speak it. Constantly discussing her food choices and commenting on the weather seemed like tropes the author used to make Dannie's character feel real, but these elements didn’t add any depth. Serle also uses food to show how Dannie transforms, i.e. she is going to change by ordering something different from her norm. It also didn’t feel natural the way she was talking about NYC; it was almost like reading a tourist’s perspective of the city.

Onto the narrative: There was way too much of Dannie discussing her issues with her fiancé (I already forgot his name and finished this yesterday) and with Bella (her best friend) without the reader getting to see what was truly going on in their relationship. All of the characters felt one-dimensional and clichéd. They didn't elicit any emotion, rather they checked off the boxes to complete Dannie's story.

I know a lot of people loved this book and I apologize if I said anything that diminishes one’s reading experience. My personal experience was not a good one. For some reason, this book angered me to no end. I don’t know what exactly triggered my anger, but it might have been because I found this book predictable, one-dimensional, and frustrating to read. I felt like I should have been sobbing in the end, but it left me feeling cold.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,533 reviews32.3k followers
March 4, 2020
huh. i kind of feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath my feet and im left in a daze.

i went into this expecting the story to go in a certain direction (think ‘one day in december’) and i was 100% sure of it right until the last 10 pages, when all of a sudden the story doesnt end like i thought it would. and its not like it comes out of nowhere. it makes sense and im not angry about it at all. i was just so sure it would end in a certain way, i was completely blind to clues throughout that showed me i was 100% wrong. i feel so disoriented right now and i blame the misleading synopsis entirely!

but the more i think about it, the more i like this ending. it fits the tone of the book, makes sense with the characters, and leaves me feeling content. im definitely going to have to reread this now that i know what to expect. i think i will only appreciate how wholesome this story is that much more, because its a great story about the different types of love we have in our life - love for family, love for friends, and even love for work.

thank you so much to atria books/simon & shuster for the ARC!! <3

3.5 stars
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,051 reviews49k followers
February 9, 2021
let it be known that i hated every single second of this

and it should be retitled, or captioned as follows

in five years: your life will suck, bad things will happen, there will be no purpose for any of it
Profile Image for Yun.
513 reviews19.8k followers
September 7, 2022
What if you had a glimpse into your future? Would what you see change how you acted today?

Dannie is living the life she's always wanted: a great career as a corporate lawyer, about to be engaged to her boyfriend of two years, and everything is going exactly as she's planned. On the night of her engagement, she falls asleep and seemingly catches a glimpse of her life five years in the future. That glimpse, in which she's with a different man, throws her entire world into turmoil.

The premise of In Five Years immediately caught my attention. There's something fascinating about the concept of knowing one's own future. Do you let it dictate your actions? Is there any way you can avoid your destiny if you don't like it? Those are tough questions, and the scenario facing Dannie is especially hard because this peek into her future self plants the seeds of doubt about the direction of her life and the person she's with.

And yet, this book is also so much more than that. It sets forth Dannie's personal journey of growth and discovery. It explores friendships and relationships and dealing with loss. The characters in here are fascinating, as are the choices they are forced to make. It all combines into the best possible mix, leaving me riveted throughout.

However, the ending threw me a bit. Without giving anything away, I'll say that the story led the reader in a specific direction, a seemingly profound one. It would've made the whole story come together at an insightful destination. But it didn't go that way. It went somewhere else, and that direction took a bit away from the story that the author was trying to craft.

Still, I ended up loving most of it. I found the characters interesting, their choices difficult and nuanced, and the plot line compelling. Even though the ending wasn't as stellar as I hoped, I still very much enjoyed the journey. Reflecting on it, I think this is one of those memorable stories that will stick with me for a long time.

See also, my thoughts on:
One Italian Summer

Profile Image for Giorgia Reads.
1,010 reviews1,950 followers
November 6, 2020
EDIT 06/11/20: So, I just saw this is nominated in the romance category for the Goodreads Choice Awards and I’m beyond baffled. This book does not have a romantic storyline. This book is not about people finding love and living happy ever after blah blah. This book should not be on that list. This is a book about friendship! The romantic relationships that the two female leads have in this book do feature quite a bit, but they are not the focus. It is a tragic story about friendship that does not have an HEA in the traditional sense cause spoiler alert - someone dies.

It’s so frustrating to see this kind of book there. It just goes to show that those awards are a joke and that mostly, the already established and traditionally published authors and books make it in there, regardless if they are right for the genre or not. At least half of the books on that list are either not romance or they are simply not awards material. I repeat, it’s such a joke!

3 Stars

This is one of those books where you can just tell it tried to be so much more than it actually was.
You can notice that in the philosophical nuggets a character will throw out of nowhere which do not fit with the person or moment in the book.
The writing was basic and the descriptions were so .. clinical, I just couldn’t like it.

The only thing that was good - was the twist (towards the end) But it wasn’t good because I saw it as some sort of deep life lesson and I felt all emotional (cause I didn’t) maybe I’m being too cynical but I just feel like this book really tried to make you cry. You know when someone tries too hard and it becomes awkward because being pushed into something will never feel the same as naturally reacting to it. Anyway, so about that ending, it was good because I didn’t see it coming (maybe at about - 65% I started to suspect).

My final thoughts on this.. hmm, it’s not a bad book but throughout the story I just didn’t feel any connection to any of the characters, and also, not much happened, and I have a feeling this was intentional.. We’re supposed to be moved by these small, inconsequential day to day interactions and feel a certain way about the characters. I didn’t. They weren’t special. They weren’t new. And without an interesting plot to fill that void .. all we were left with were the “sad” scenes where I’m told I’m supposed to cry.. I didn’t.

PS: This is not a love story! At all! I kept waiting until 80% for the love to happen. It didn’t. It’s about friendship.

Also, the book would have been so much better imo, if it had followed the path we were led to believe it would( the whole, you’ll find your soulmate and he won’t be anything like you thought he’d be or need - instead we got something totallyyy different and it could have been good but it wasn’t, it felt too ... convenient?!)
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
March 9, 2021
Galentine's Day is right around the corner...so why not curl up with a good book? Check out my latest BooktTube Video - all about five fabulous books on female friendship!

The Written Review
This book was amazing. It made me ugly cry.

I honestly don't want to write a review for this one cause wow. I went in there nearly blind and I was just so blown away. I want other people to have that experience.

But in brief - this is a story about love and loss and friendship and finding yourself in the darkest of places.

Truly one of my favorite stories of the year.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 16 books1,511 followers
February 17, 2023
I loved this book. A real gem. Wonderful voice, wonderful prose. A strong female protagonist who easily carries the story. The three-dimensional characters are so well drawn they could walk right off the page and have a cup of coffee with you. The writing craft here is amazing and will spoil me for the next book I pick up. The prose is economic and yet dense and lush, a unique juxtaposition difficult to pull off.
I read mostly Thrillers and mysteries which have acute plot points in the four C’s of writing, Conflict, Complication, Crisis, and Conclusion. In stories like this one the prose and voice in the four C’s are mere blimps. I was swept along in the enchanting Fictive Dream.
At first, I believed the motivation was set too firmly, (MAR, Motivations, Action, Reaction) and that the Conclusion would be overt. The premise also made this problematic. But again, the prose and engaging voice had me by the throat pulling me along. So, I didn’t care if the ending was a foregone conclusion. This story is loaded with emotions and takes those emotions right to the edge of melodrama without crossing over. You come out the other end of this book shaky and weak, wrung out from the emotional roller coaster. It’s that kind of book. I highly recommend this book.
I might not have spotted this little gem if not for my friends on Goodreads. A great read.
David Putnam author of The Bruno Johnson series.
Profile Image for Melissa ~ Bantering Books.
204 reviews783 followers
February 19, 2021
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.

Rebecca Serle’s newest novel, In Five Years, caught me by surprise. In a couple of different ways.

First off, it’s not the story I believed it to be. I expected a romance -- it’s not. Not really. It is, but it isn’t.

Secondly, I had no clue I would love it. I thought I would like it, at best. But love it? Nope. I never saw it coming.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

We all have had this asked of us at some point in our lives. With In Five Years, Serle seizes the age-old proverbial question and thematically runs with it.

Dannie Kohan lives strictly by the rules. Her five-year plan is meticulously outlined; every personal and professional goal is listed. To her, words such as “spontaneity” and “flexibility” do not even exist. They belong more in the world of her carefree best friend, Bella – not in Dannie’s.

Life is great. Perfect, even. And just when Dannie thinks life cannot be any better, she has the best day of her life. She nails her interview for her dream job and becomes engaged to her boyfriend, David.

That night, Dannie falls asleep contentedly on the couch, knowing her life is on track, heading in the right direction. But when she awakens, she is no longer in her apartment. She is wearing a different dress and a different ring. And there is a very different man next to her, who is most definitely not David.

Within a matter of minutes, Dannie quickly realizes she has somehow been forwarded five years into the future. But after only one hour, she awakens once again in her own home, beside David, back where she belongs.

Shaken and haunted by her remembrance of that fateful dream, Dannie is determined to forget the entire experience. She focuses instead on her five-year plan and her engagement, pushing aside all lingering memories of her potential future. That is, until the night Dannie crosses paths with the man she met in her dream, and she finds herself being uncontrollably propelled closer and closer to that one inescapable hour.

And that’s it. That’s all I’m going to give you. Because In Five Years works best if you know nothing further of the plot. The narrative takes a very unexpected turn, and if you see it coming, the profound impact of the story will be greatly lessened.

But what I will share with you is this –

The novel is utterly captivating. It is emotional and heartfelt. It is elegantly written by Serle, with prose that is beautifully sparse. Its size is slim, making for swift consumption, possibly in one sitting.

And how you will ultimately feel about the novel will likely mirror your emotional reaction to Dannie. Because none of the secondary characters are fleshed out. Not fully. At least, not enough to genuinely feel much of anything towards them. She is the anchor of the story. The foundation. She is the only one we come to truly know.

The problem is that even though we may know Dannie, it is difficult to like her. She is the Type A-est of Type As. She is selfish. Controlling. She is extremely possessive. To be honest, I didn’t care for her at all in the beginning – and I still don’t know whether I fully like her.

But by the end, I understood her. I felt empathy and compassion for her. And it proved to be enough. Albeit feeble, this appreciation of her character allowed me to be entirely immersed in the novel, my whole heart and all. As well as be emotionally wrecked by it.

All of us know that every reader experiences a novel differently. Not every person connects with every character. That said, I suspect that if you do not form a similar bond as I did with Dannie, or at the very minimum, accept her, then the novel will not be a read you will remember. It may be tedious. It will not be enjoyable.

Consider yourself lucky, however, if you do find some sort of solid footing with Dannie. Or share enough common ground with her to care. For In Five Years will move you. It will break your heart and renew it. It will bring emotion to the surface and leave rawness in its place.

And the experience will be unforgettable.

Bantering Books
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
January 30, 2020
"What are the odds?"
"In a city of nine million? Less than zero."

On occasion - but not often - I read a book and I really don't know how I feel about it. Not in that way where I say I don't know how I feel to soften the blow before I explain why I didn't really like it... but a way where I liked certain aspects of it, really disliked others, and couldn't ever balance out my thoughts into anything resembling a star rating. This book was one of those. I'm going to leave the rating blank.

Firstly, I picked up this book because I was genuinely looking for a sweet romance. I was hoping for something light and fluffy, and I can say now that this book is most definitely not that. I would not categorize this as a romance - in fact, I removed it from my 'romance' shelf - but either chick-lit or women's fiction (with a dash of magical realism), and I would also say this is on the more sentimental, weepier end of those genres.

I actually quite liked that this book was not what I was expecting. Even when it became clear that the genre wasn't what I thought it was, there were still surprises to come. I became really annoyed with the book around the halfway point, in large part because I thought I knew how it would end. But I got at least part of that wrong, too.

The plot revolves around that common interview question: "Where do you see yourself in five years?" On the exact same day that Dannie Cohan nails an important interview and gets engaged to her boyfriend, she falls asleep and wakes up in a strange apartment with a man she has never seen before. The date on the TV says December 15, 2025. Exactly five years later. Then when she wakes up again, Dannie is back in 2020. But she can never quite forget that bizarre and intense hour she spent in a different life. Then, of course, the mystery guy comes into her life in a way she could never have predicted.

I say I really don't know how to rate this because I think of how it surprised me at the end and some of the themes that touched me and I feel positive thoughts toward it, and then my mind goes to what I hated and I think ugh. I am at least thankful that predictions one and two on my part were wrong. If you're curious about them...

Arc kindly provided by Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
December 22, 2019
Good god, I loved this book even if it left me crying on the plane!

"You mistake love. Do 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 be come at all. It matters only insofar as it exists. Here. Now. Love doesn’t require a future."

Dannie is a planner. Everything in her life is meticulously mapped out—the job she wants at the law firm she wants, her dream apartment in NYC, when she and her boyfriend will get engaged and married. That’s the way she’s always been.

She and her boyfriend David get engaged the night she interviews for her dream job at a highly prestigious law firm. Everything seems right. She and David have the same vision for their future, they like the same things, they're comfortable in their routines as a couple.

When Dannie and David get home from dinner she falls asleep and awakens to a dream in which she’s in another NYC apartment, wearing a different engagement ring, and she’s with another man. She finds out the dream is taking place five years in the future. And then she wakes up.

Dannie is utterly shaken by this dream. Who was this man? What happened to the future she planned? As time hurtles toward that date five years later she learns a lot about things she can and cannot control, and how those things shape her life. She doesn't know whether to accept the dream as an inevitable reflection of her fate or if she should fight the things that lead to its realization.

In Five Years was an amazing, emotional story full of twists and turns. It was a story about love in its many forms, friendship, ambition, and destiny. Truly an unforgettable book, and one I read in about two hours while waiting at the airport and on my plane.

Rebecca Serle is an amazing writer. Her last book, The Dinner List , also blew me away and left me an emotional mess. She's definitely an author worth reading.

My thanks to Atria Books for providing an advance copy of this book via a Bookstagram giveaway. The book will publish on March 3, 2020.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Dilek VT.
1,543 reviews1,397 followers
February 28, 2021
The book has an open ending and I hate it when it is like that.

From the very beginning I had a bad feeling about this book so I couldn't read it properly, I just skimmed and scanned it to see where it goes. And in the end, I was happy that I didn't spend 5 or 6 hours on this book because the ending would frustrate the hell out of me.

Here is the result of my skim-scan and quick reading. It has all the spoilers so make sure you don't uncover it if you really want to read this book.

Did I say I hate open endings?


You can follow my instagram page from here
Profile Image for demi. ♡.
206 reviews277 followers
April 23, 2020
❥ 2 / 5 stars

[ e-ARC received from NetGalley ]

Here’s some advice from me : Before reading this book, read others’ reviews first because the story is not what you think. It’s not the same as the synopsis said.

[This review might contain some spoilers so make sure you don’t continue reading this if you don’t want to know beforehand about some major events in the story.]

I started having bad feelings about it when Dannie fell asleep and dreamed about her new life in the next five years with an unknown guy named Aaron. I found it pretty weird that even though she didn’t know him, she still had sex with him anyway after a little talk. I was like WTF. In real life, you just got engaged with your two-year boyfriend and then, in your dream, you fucked another guy? 😅

But it became worse when she met him again four years later as her bestie’s boyfriend. As soon as I read that part, I immediately thought of One Day in December and I was so afraid because I didn’t want to read that kind of story again. Once is enough.

And thank god, it’s not the same. In this book, Aaron really loved her friend, Bella. So, it was out of the question that he would cheat on her and had sex with Dannie while he was still with Bella.

Thus, to make the impossible happen, the author then decided to kill this Bella character off by giving her a cancer. (Again, WTF!)

And the story after that, I would say that it was a complete mess. Nonsense came one after another and the worst thing about it was the ending. It came out of nowhere (completely out of nowhere) that I was shocked and speechless. I usually like plot twists but no, not like this. I felt like the whole story I’d been reading for hours was worthless in the blink of an eye.

Nonetheless, there is still a great thing about the story: the friendship between Dannie and Bella. Without that, I might give it only one star.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this e-ARC to me in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Danielle.
805 reviews400 followers
September 14, 2020
I kinda went into this one blind, which is not necessarily a bad thing. 😎 So much time passes from the time I read the synopsis of a book, add it to my library queue and wait for my turn to check it out- that I often forget what the book is even about. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Within the first couple of chapters I was wondering, is this a time traveling story? Split personality? Alternate universe? 🤔 I was hung up on figuring that out, which made the first quarter of the book (character development) a bit slow. But once I let that go and got sucked into Dani’s world, I really fell. Grab tissues, this is a sad story of heartache and friendship. 😢💔
Profile Image for Brandice.
855 reviews
January 17, 2020
In Five Years is a great story about Dani, a Type-A (ahem, relatable) woman, her love life, and friendship. She is a hard-working lawyer who crushes an interview for her dream job and gets engaged to her boyfriend, David. After falling asleep that night, Dani wakes up five years later in an unfamiliar setting with unexpected company. She then wakes up again, back in her current life, but has a hard time shaking this mystery premonition. Four years later, Dani is startled to meet this person in real life, and does everything she can to keep her carefully planned life in tact. Of course, fate has other plans.

While there is a romantic storyline throughout In Five Years, to me, the real theme is the power of true friendship. The relationship Dani and her best friend Bella had felt authentic - Their care for one another was evident. I liked both of them and appreciated that they each had flaws. Elements of this story were predictable, but one in particular was unexpected, shifting the whole focus of the plot. There are also good reminders about knowing your worth and refusing to settle.

I don’t dish out 5-star ratings often, but the emotions this story evoked were that good. I’m glad I decided to read this, as I strongly preferred it over The Dinner List.

Thank you to Atria Books for providing an advance copy of In Five Years in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for megan.
173 reviews109 followers
July 27, 2021
I can confidently say that In Five Years is one of the worst books I have ever read. It's impossible to describe how absolutely infuriated this book makes me, and most of the reasons include spoilers so I'll talk about those in a moment. I don't know why more people don't dislike this, but I guess I'm in the minority here. For the life of me though, I cannot understand why.

I guess the only bright side about hating this book is that I now have an answer for my least favorite book, and yeah it's this one. The only other contender was After and even that was better than this. Yes, a Harry Styles fan fiction is actually better than this book. I guess I should explain why exactly I hate this book so much, so here we go.

🚨 WARNING! Now entering the spoilery section of this review! 🚨

I…quite honestly have no idea where to start. The plot of this book is so ridiculous I have no idea how this got published, let alone that someone actually thought this was a good idea to write.

In Five Years basically revolves around the question of "Where will you be in five years?" and how sometimes what really happens is the last thing you expected. I get where the author was coming with this idea, but the execution definitely failed. Big time.

The book opens with Danni, who has a perfect life with her perfect boyfriend, and who is this close to getting her perfect job. After her interview for the job, she gets engaged to her boyfriend, and everything is running just like she planned. That is, until that night she gets a vision of herself five years in the future, with a different ring on her finger, in a different house, with a man who is not her fiance. And then she has sex with this man, because why not. Danni wakes up afterwards back in the present, back with her fiance, and back in her apartment.

But Danni isn't able to let the dream go. She stretches out her engagement with her fiance David for four and a half years. Yeah, because I would let a random dream I had influence my love life for the rest of my life. Totally makes sense. Her life continues like normal, until she stumbles across the man from her dream. But he's her best friend Bella's brand-new boyfriend.

His name is Aaron Gregory, but for some reason everyone calls him Greg, because you know, we all go by half of our last name instead of our first name, totally makes sense. Everyone that is, except for Danni, because she's ✨special✨ and has to be different from everyone else. But seriously?? Even his own girlfriend doesn't have a special nickname for him.

I could tell by the time I got to this part of the book that there would end up being some sort of cheating happening in this book, but I never thought it could get as bad as it did. The cheating that happens in this book is not only wrong, but disgusting and sick. I have no idea why the author thought it would be okay to write something like this into a book. But more on those details later.

Anyways, weeks pass and the two couples decide to go up to the beach for vacation, and while there Bella discovers she's pregnant. Woohoo, yay, no one really cares. Everyone is happy and excited until Bella goes to the doctor and discovers that she's not really pregnant. No, she has ovarian cancer. What a plot twist.

To be clear, I'm not trying to diminish the effects cancer has on people in any way, I'm just going to talk about it was specifically handled in this book, and how badly I think it was.

The "plot twist" of Bella having cancer is so random, and a little unnerving. There's no mention of such a serious topic being present anywhere in the synopsis. In fact, the synopsis leads you to believe this is more of a fluffy romance book, with maybe a love triangle thrown in. It's anything but.

As the book continues, Bella's cancer gets worse. As she's dying, she's also working through her parent issues, another element in the book that doesn't make any sense and is literally there just so Bella can seem more dimensional. Meanwhile Danni is grappling with the fact that her best friend is dying, while also having constant reminders about her dead brother, another random fact thrown in to, once again, make her character distinguishable from every other one. Not only that, but her fiance also breaks up with her. It took him long enough! I'm sorry but if I was engaged to someone for nearly five years and they kept making excuses to postpone the wedding, I'd be long gone.

And now begins the part where my real problems with this book start. After Danni moves out of her shared apartment with David, she moves in with Bella. Because of course her dying friend wants to have to take care of her now! (I'm just kidding, that's not the part that annoys me, not even close.) After she leaves him, David's name is not mentioned again, not even once. After a nearly seven year relationship with this guy, Danni forgets about him in like two hours.

But that's not even the best part about all of this.

Literally that night, while Bella is literally dying, Danni and Aaron/Greg, who is now Bella's fiance I might add, sneak out to go visit a brand-new condo that Bella has bought for Danni. It's in the apartment that Bella payed millions of dollars for that Danni kisses Aaron. And may I repeat, while Bella is literally days away from dying. It makes me sick just thinking about it. What in the world makes the author think this is something that is okay to write about? Regular cheating is bad enough, but cheating with your best friend's fiance while she's literally dying?? I cannot comprehend what was going on with this author when she wrote it. And I don't understand why more people aren't okay with this.

But again, that's not even the worst part yet.

Days later, Bella dies, unaware that the fiance she loves kissed her best friend. (Okay, I'll stop repeating that now.) Her death is pretty unceremonial, there's maybe a page about it? So much for best friends. Very quickly, the book starts to wrap up.

Danni and Aaron throw a party for Bella, her friends show up, etc. But after the party, Aaron and Danni go back to the brand-new condo Bella bought for her. And the very scene that Danni had dreamed about five years ago happens.

Yes, not even two days after Bela died, Aaron and Danni sleep together. I want to scream, I just don't understand how people think this is okay?? But again, I haven't even gotten through all of the stupid shit that goes down after this. It basically goes:

Aaron: Bella would be laughing at us.
Danni: Yeah.
Aaron: Let's get sandwiches once a week.
Danni: Okay!

I'm not even kidding, that was their conversation. It's ridiculous. I can't. I don't even want to have to think about this anymore but I have to because wait, you guessed it, there's more!

The next day, Danni goes to a restaurant near her new condo, and runs into Bella's oncologist. Her fucking. Oncologist. To be clear, she's talked to this guy like two times. He's her best friend's doctor, he knows Bella died two days ago. And he has the nerve to ask Danni out on a date. And then Danni has the nerve to say yes.

By this point I wanted to cry at how ridiculous this was. I thought it was joke. How could a sane person possible come out of a seven-year relationship, have her best friend die, sleep with said friend's fiance, and then say yes to a date with said friend's doctor?

I've come to the conclusion that Danni is in fact, not sane, and after reading this stupid mess of a book, I barely am either. I never want to have to think about this book again, so I'm leaving this review at that.
Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
812 reviews1,861 followers
January 23, 2020

Couldn't put this one down!

Although I'm not a huge romance reader, every now and then a book comes along that just warms (and breaks) my heart.

After reading the intriguing synopsis, I knew I wanted to read this one and find out just what In Five Years  was all about.

Dannie is a Manhattan lawyer with a five year plan (I love that!). She has a wonderful career, boyfriend, New York life, BUT who is this man in her dreams? He seems so alive and "real" to her, but he is not in her five year plan! Oh no!!

I felt a touch of magic in this tale, had some tears (oh my dear), was somewhat disappointed in the end, had some laughs and just wanted a few more chapters.

Thanks to Atria for my review copy! OUT MARCH 2020
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,066 reviews3,607 followers
July 2, 2020
One huge….WOW!

Where will you be in 5 years? Have you thought about it?

Dannie has methodically planned out every detail of her life from the time she was a young girl. You name it…career, family, every single aspect of her future.

What happens when she actually gets a glimpse into the future? Five years to be exact. Is it anything close to what she had imagined or planned? Is it too late to change her destiny and reverse course?

This was a superbly written story of love and friendship that wrapped itself around me from the start. Though I could have finished it in one sitting, I started it late in the evening and had to wait till the next day to finish. Until then, it was all I could think of. I couldn’t wait to lose myself in this read once again.

By 70% the tears were rolling down my face and didn’t stop till long after finishing. I believe the term is emotional wreck! I haven’t been moved so deeply and left crying that hard reading a book in a long, long time. Such a touching, soulful experience.

Highly recommend!

A buddy read with Susanne that we both just loved and devoured! Thank you Susanne for gifting me this incredible book!
Profile Image for Christy.
3,809 reviews32.3k followers
January 26, 2020
4 stars

 photo D97530CE-524E-4E23-9ED8-D4711D649940_zpszf1h6t8a.png

This book was nothing like I expected. If you're looking for a swoony romance or easy to read chick-lit type book, that's not what you're getting here. This was a hard-hitting contemporary fiction that hit me right in the feels. After reading the blurb, I thought I had an idea of how this book would go, but I wasn't prepared for what happened. It had twists and turns I didn't see coming, but I loved it.

Dannie is an attorney and a number oriented person. As a fellow Type-A person who knows it takes 24 minutes to get to work without traffic, and 7 minutes to get to my mom’s house, I appreciated Dannie’s character. She's just interviewed for her dream job on the same day she got engaged to her long-term boyfriend. Her life is going pretty perfect. She falls asleep and wakes up to her life, 5 years later. 5 years later, she's in a different apartment and engaged to a different man.

It was just a dream, but it didn't feel like a dream to Dannie. It's something she held on to for years... Dannie's story isn't a romance. It feels weird calling it a coming of age story, but it felt that way. Dannie had growth and figured out the person she wanted to be with the help of her best friend, Bella. Her friendship with Bella was my favorite part of the book. The last 10% of this book had me sobbing, and even though the ending wasn't what I thought it would be, I feel like it fit the book and it fit Dannie's story.

This book was complicated, made me think, and really made me feel. The writing felt effortless and had a great flow. Even though it wasn't easy to read at times, I flew through it and never wanted to put it down!
Love doesn’t require a future.
Profile Image for Helga.
887 reviews124 followers
April 2, 2020
Reading the description of the book I thought it is going to be a light read and given the sad circumstances we live in nowadays, that was what I wanted.
But how wrong was I! This book is anything but fun and even the tragedy wasn’t deep enough for it to be a heartrending one.
It was just clichés after clichés and everything in the book was extreme. Like if somebody was handsome, he was the god of hansomeness. If someone was an artist she was the goddess of all art. In every chapter there was a fancy restaurant’s name with the fancy menus and venues. And don’t let me start on the number of times the brands of each piece of clothing the characters wore is mentioned.

It was shallow to say the least. That is the word I can come up with for the book. Shallow. Like the author wanted to brag about all the cool names she knew.

I didn’t connect with any of the characters and still don’t get the point of the book.

The synopsis is also misleading and unfair to those readers who are sensitive towards the sad circumstances that happen in the book, given the fact that said circumstances cover 2/3 of the whole book.
June 16, 2020
5+ stars! Keep tissues handy!

Emotional. Surprising. Intense. Thought-provoking. Heart wrenching.

Dannie and David are both highly motivated in moving up in their careers. They “get” each other and fully support one another in their career progressions. Dannie and David get engaged after dating for two years, yet over four years later, they still haven’t found the time to plan their wedding. Bella is Dannie’s life long best friend. Their friendship is the one stable thing in Bella’s life. Bella is spontaneous and emotional, she falls in love easily and hasn’t had a relationship last more than a few months before she is on to the next thing....that is until she meets Greg.

This storyline wasn’t anything like what I had expected. It was shocking, raw and highly affecting. It was a unique, emotional love story like no other. I’m not one to read love stories so don’t let that deter you if that isn’t generally your thing.

This novel started off strong then lost a bit of intensity before the halfway point. After the halfway point, the storyline dug its way deep into my heart and didn’t let up until the end (I’m still not over these characters and it’s been days since I finished). This novel is a tear jerker. It’s full of heart, love, loyalty, true friendship. It lived up to the hype and surpassed my expectations.

The writing was excellent. The characters were endearing and unforgettable. This story will make you think - so much to contemplate. I highly recommend!

I will end with my favourite quote from the book which I found extremely powerful:

“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 that it exists. Here. Now. Love doesn’t require a future.”

Thank you to my lovely local library for lending me a copy of this outstanding book. I look forward to what this author comes out with next!
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
June 9, 2020
5 Crying through my Tears Stars!

Pass Me the Tissues Please!!

Falling asleep on what has been the best day of her life, Dannie couldn’t be happier. Attaining her dream job and getting engaged to David, the perfect fiance all in one day, she is excited about what life holds.

When Dannie wakes up an hour later she finds herself somewhere else completely, with a different man, wearing a completely different ring. The date on the calendar is five years into the future. Falling back asleep, she wakes back up the next day in 2020, with her fiance, David.

The future. Dannie has seen it and nary a moment goes by that she puts “Aaron” out of her mind. Then it happens and she meets him. For real. In that moment, Dannie's mind is blown. Talk about a game-changer.

Every second thereafter, I was on the edge of my seat. Hanging on. Holding on. Holding my breath. Holding back tears.

What can I tell you? “In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle is not what it purports itself to be. It will rip your heart out and leave you in tears. You will be so immersed in these characters and their lives that you will definitely need a hanky or two by the time you finish this novel. It is a story about love, friendship, family, heartache and so much more.

If this book is not on your radar, it should be. If you have not considered reading it before now, you need to. “In Five Years” will most definitely appear on my Goodreads Best of List for 2020 and has made me a huge fan of Rebecca Serle, such that I am currently reading her prior novel, “The Dinner List.”

This was an amazing buddy read with Kaceey, which left us both in tears.

A huge thank you to Mimi at Goodreads for the galley, Atria Books and NetGalley for the arc to read and review.

Published on Goodreads on 6.7.20.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,478 reviews19.2k followers
March 11, 2020
This was such a bizarre reading experience for me. I was completely hooked to this from start to finish and I did VERY much enjoy this book, but I have some complicated feelings. I really liked all of the characters and I truly believed in all of their bonds and the messiness of their relationships/actions, but there were some things about this book that just made me feel a bit weird and I'm not really sure how I feel about it. I'm going with a 4 star rating for now because I really enjoyed the writing and I absolutely flew through this one, but that rating is definitely subject to change (in either direction!) the more that I mull this one over.

TW: terminal illness, false pregnancy, death of a loved one
June 17, 2020
In Five Years is a stunningly beautiful, brilliant and insightful love story that gave me so much to think about!

The story starts with a hook that had me asking myself a few questions and anticipating the answers. I do have to admit I was a bit worried about the direction this one might go. I am a romance eye-roller, and I went into this one expecting to exercise my eyelids with some eye-rolling. Lindsay, my eye-rolling partner, read this faster than I did and loved it, so I figured there had to be an emotional pull to it, and she warned me to have some tissues handy. Well, I was so happy with a major turning point in the story that packs in some emotional depth to the story, I wasn't excepting!

I loved the contrast between long time friends Dannie and Bella, and it added so much depth to the story giving me so much to think about. I was expecting not to like one, but they both are likable, interesting, well developed and insightful characters

This is such a well-done story that challenges us to look at how unpredictable life is, how hard it is to control, and sometimes the choices we make are not ours to make, making this one an excellent one to discuss. Through my discussion with Lindsay, I saw love a bit differently then I did going into this one. I highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.2k followers
May 27, 2021
Soul-stirring, striking, & an unexpected gem!

IN FIVE YEARS by REBECCA SERLE is an engaging, touching, heartwarming, and absolutely beautiful story of love and friendship that I was immediately drawn into and quickly devoured. The storyline definitely kept me intrigued and took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride right to the very end.

REBECCA SERLE delivers a fantastic, captivating, emotional and beautifully written story here with some startling twists and turns that will definitely give you all the feels. The characters are so relatable and genuine that it is extremely easy to get emotionally attached to them and be fully absorbed in their lives. I was thoroughly impressed with the storytelling here and the direction that this story took was downright ingenious. You think you know what is going on but wait, what just happened? Totally surprising the reader, well me anyway. There were definitely some aspects to this story that kind of ruffled my feathers a little bit but on reflection I thoroughly enjoyed how everything played out.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: N/A this time around because my ARC didn’t have a finished cover.
Title: Intriguing, effective, relevant, emotive, meaningful, and a significant representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, witty, engaging, readable, and beautiful. I absolutely loved the writing style!
Plot: Intriguing, unpredictable, poignant, emotional, twisty, heartwarming, touching, moving, thought-provoking, insightful, entertaining, captivating, and steadily-paced.
Ending: An emotional, thought-provoking, and slightly vague ending which I thought worked out very well.
Overall: 4.5 Stars rounded up! Our main character here, Dannie totally captured my heart and fully consumed my thoughts while I was reading this story. I highly recommend it!

Thank you so much to Mimi from Goodreads for the ARC.

This review can also be seen at Traveling Sisters Book Reviews blog:
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 16 books1,511 followers
February 17, 2023
I loved this book. A real gem. Wonderful voice, wonderful prose. A strong female protagonist who easily carries the story. The three-dimensional characters are so well drawn they could walk right off the page and have a cup of coffee with you. The writing craft here is amazing and will spoil me for the next book I pick up. The prose is economic and yet dense and lush, a unique juxtaposition difficult to pull off.
I read mostly Thrillers and mysteries which have acute plot points in the four C’s of writing, Conflict, Complication, Crisis, and Conclusion. In stories like this one the prose and voice in the four C’s are mere blimps. I was swept along in the enchanting Fictive Dream.
At first, I believed the motivation was set too firmly, (MAR, Motivations, Action, Reaction) and that the Conclusion would be overt. The premise also made this problematic. But again, the prose and engaging voice had me by the throat pulling me along. So, I didn’t care if the ending was a foregone conclusion. This story is loaded with emotions and takes those emotions right to the edge of melodrama without crossing over. You come out the other end of this book shaky and weak, wrung out from the emotional roller coaster. It’s that kind of book. I highly recommend this book.
I might not have spotted this little gem if not for my friends on Goodreads. A great read.
David Putnam author of The Bruno Johnson series.
Profile Image for Kylie D.
464 reviews509 followers
March 10, 2020
In Five Years is a wonderful book, both heart warming and heartbreaking at the same time. We follow Dannie, a lawyer on the rise in NYC, who at the start of the book gets engaged, and following the celebrations falls asleep. When she wakes everything is very different. She is in a different apartment, with a different man, and realises it's five years in the future.

When she eventually wakes up back in her own timeline, she thinks it's a dream, though a very realistic one, and puts it behind her. Until one day, after four and a half years have passed, she sees the man from her dream on the street.

This book then goes on to tell the tale of how Dannie gets to that point five years in the future. It covers life, love and grief, and is full of surprises. At times it was a little slow, and got bogged down a bit, but all in all it's a moving tale, and I have no hesitation in recommending it to readers.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Debbie W..
724 reviews483 followers
May 27, 2021
I enjoyed the interesting beginning, the unexpected ending and the build-up in the middle.

The character development, likable or not, was well done! I could relate to main character Dani's ambitious nature, strong sense of loyalty, organizational skills and love of her career.

I loved the descriptions, especially of the fashions and the food. Author Rebecca Serle must really know New York City's cuisine - she had me salivating throughout the story!

Based on the saying, 'Where will you be in five years?", this turned out to be a thoughtful, bittersweet story about love and friendship.
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