In Five Years Review

As with most of the books I read, the synopsis of In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, immediately itched my need to snuggle up and read a good book for the entire afternoon. In Five Years focuses on the life of Dannie Kohan, who, just after she nails an interview for her dream job and gets engaged, falls asleep and awakens five years in the future. There, she finds herself in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and a stranger sitting next to her. Although she is only there for an hour, when she returns to real-time, Dannie struggles to move on with her life and forget the future that keeps popping up in her mind. That is until four and a half years later when she meets her best friend’s new boyfriend, the mysterious man she had met in her apartment during her future visit. 

The idea of experiencing an hour of your life five years in the future intrigued me –  though as I continued to read on, I was displeased with Serle’s execution. Dannie’s character had room to grow after seeing this window into the future but concerning inconsistencies in character development short changed the reader. In the beginning, Dannie liked numbers and that is demonstrated in the first chapter as she narrates how she lives her life through quantities and counting. Unfortunately, this trait was never shown again in the rest of the book. To add to this, the characters, from Dannie, to her best friend, Bella, her fiance, David, and the stranger from the future, Aaron, though relatable, have no complexities to them. Most were stereotypical, such as Bella the adventurous “party girl” who only possessed the typical surface traits of a human being: slightly selfish, lively, and courageous. 

There was a lack of flow from chapter to chapter. Serle’s passages would continue with Dannie’s story, yet pause abruptly in the middle of a passage, such as in a scene with Dannie and Bella when she interrupted with a lengthy, irrelevant backstory about Dannie’s family. Often, these flashbacks felt out of place and confused while changing the pace of the story. 

Although there were a few redeeming moments in In Five Years, such as the concept of a look into the future, the likeable characters and scenes, and portions of the ending, the novel misses details of character motivations, strong relationship bonds, and the “it” factor that makes me want to never put a book down.