Review: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

  • Post last modified:October 5, 2022

Well, hi there! Long time no see! Before we get to my review of In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, I want to acknowledge that I’ve been missing for a bit for obvious reasons (probably don’t need to explain), and haven’t done a ton of reading. But now that I’m freed up a little for the summer, I’m pushing myself back into the swing of things blog-wise.

I’ve been exclusively listening to audiobooks recently, and that’s a start, so I thought I would talk a little about one I can’t stop thinking about: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. Also going to try a little something new and bold the statements I think are most important to the review — just in case you want to skim.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle Summary

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle cover

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.

In FIve Years by Rebecca Serle review

I’ve clipped that blurb a little, but that’s the gist of things. And let me tell you — this book gets heavier than you expect it to. If that turns you off (like it probably would have me), don’t t worry too much, because Serle manages to keep things balanced throughout.

One of my biggest criticism was the overuse of tropes, though I will admit that I think the book would not have stayed as charming as it did for me without them. So I’m a little torn here.

The two starring women are life-long best friends, one a hardworking, Ivy League, wannabe lawyer, and the other a seemingly ethereal manic pixie dream girl. Of course, the former largely credits her adventurousness to the latter, in a friendship that in the beginning feels overdone. At one point, Serle even gets a little meta and addresses it, quoting Mindy Kaling and then having Dannie reject the idea that the tropes don’t happen in real life. For me, this was too much. I understand what Serle was trying to do, but I don’t think her self-awareness gives her permission to lean into the cliches.

Her characters are also loaded — in the money sense. I don’t really want to detail all the ways this is exemplified, only that despite Serle’s attempts to play up the humbleness, it reminded me heavily of a more mature Gossip Girl. The lavishness of their lives didn’t get in the way of me rooting for them, though.

The best thing about this book for me was that even 80% through, I was still unsure what was going to happen. While there were a million tropes that made my eyes roll back into my skull, it definitely was not predictable, and it kept me going. I will add that the ending made about 0 sense to me, but I’m giving no more info on that. Message me if you want to unpack it together.

In summary, I enjoyed In Five Years. Despite my criticisms, there was certainly enough substance and originality there to pull it off. If Gossip Girl meets Me Before You sounds up your alley, I would recommend you pick this one up.

All the best,

Looking for more of my reviews? Check out my review of The Arc by Tory Henwood Hoen or my Very Spoilery Chat of It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle is scheduled to be released March 10, 2020.  Although and Atria Books provided me with a free review copy, this did not in any way affect my review.

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