After finishing In Five Years, all I could think about was what an odd book it is. Everything from the cadence of the storytelling to the style of prose was just a little bizarre – but not in a bad way. Every time I thought I had figured out where the story was heading, it changed course. For example, after the first couple of pages, I thought this book was going to be similar to One Day in December, but that was definitely not the case.
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.
The cadence of this book is a little weird – the book uses a lot of time jumps and at times it really feels like it’s skimming the story. While most of the time jumps make sense, a few were a little jarring. That being said, this was a very fast read – easily a one sitting book and the writing style was really enjoyable and introspective in nature. The story was also incredibly emotional – it tackled one of the characters getting a fatal cancer diagnosis.
One thing I really enjoyed was that this book didn’t focus too much on the romance side of things – it was more about the friendship between Bella and Dannie and how they navigated the hurtles life threw at them. Bella and Dannie were total opposites but they really complimented each other – I loved how they supported each other and pushed each other to not settle for anything in life.
Honestly, I mostly liked the ending. It was not what I expected (right from the start of the book, it’s easy to assume that Dannie and Aaron are going to end up together), but I liked that the ending honors Bella’s memory. What I didn’t like was that the book ended with Dannie randomly falling into a relationship with a side character. It felt forced and unnecessary for this story.
Overall, this was a good (and incredibly sad) book about the importance of finding your people in life and sticking with them through thick & thin. If you pick this book up, be sure to have some tissues on hand. 4/5