Dannie Kohan knows where she will be in five years. Or at least she thinks she does. Her path seems clear, realistic, achievable. In fact, she basically has her life planned out by the year, and so far her plans have worked.
However, the night of December 15, 2020, Dannie has a vision of the future exactly five years from the present–something more solid than a dream, and something so vivid that her logical, corporate lawyer-oriented brain cannot pass it off as a mere fragment of imagination. What frightens her is that the future she sees is farther from her planned version of the future than the earth is from the sun.
The rest of the book takes place primarily in 2025–during the months leading up to the vision of the future that Dannie saw on December 15, 2020.
What I particularly liked about this book was the setting. Dannie lives in New York, a little star in a thriving, pulsing sky of skyscrapers and fashion and business. The fashion, the food, the language, and the references were all relatable to today’s young generation.
I also loved Rebecca Serle’s voice. The book is full of beautiful, flowing words interluded with sharp, short sentences brimming with emotion. Her descriptions–of food, characters, emotions–are incredibly detailed and vivid, and I think they add so much richness to the book.
Lastly, the characters. From determined, rational, detail-oriented Dannie to joking-but-serious and caring David (Dannie’s boyfriend) to spontaneous, beautiful, loving, and imaginative Bella (Dannie’s best friend), the characters of In Five Years are all so endearing in their own ways. I loved how realistic they seemed–from their aspirations to their worries, their strengths to their flaws, their language to their quirks.
If you enjoy books that you just can’t stop reading until you’ve finished them, I would highly recommend this book. It’s fascinating to see all the pieces of Dannie’s vision enter her real life, to turn page after page wondering what will happen–wondering if Dannie’s vision will really come true.
I would recommend this book for older teens and adults, as it is a romance with characters in their early thirties. In addition, there are some intense parts when Dannie faces loss and heartbreak.
I think In Five Years is a beautiful, sad, inspiring book that will leave readers with a multitude of emotions and thoughts about how they live their lives. The story might also make readers think twice if anyone were to ask them where they see themselves in five years.
– Mia T.