Author: Rebecca Serle Series: Standalone Genre: Contemporary Fiction Release Date: March 10, 2020 Book Length: 272 pages Publisher: Atria Books Review: 3/5
Where do you see yourself in five years?
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. 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.
This book took me through a rollercoaster of emotions – happiness, shock, sadness, annoyance… it was all in here. I should probably preface this by saying that this isn’t a love story, as I had initially thought. And you know what, I’m really glad it wasn’t, because the ‘lovey’ parts were probably my least favourite about it. This book is about friendship; it’s about how life is fragile and complicated, and about how as much as you meticulously plan for the future, it can, and will, surprise you.
I’ll start off with my favourite thing: that the book centred around a female friendship. If you have a friendship like Dannie’s and Bella’s in your life, consider yourself lucky. I liked that they were almost completely opposite and complimented each other in ways that the other needed. I’ve recently found that this is a trope that I adore, and an underrated one at that. I’d love to read more books surrounding female friendships like this. At one point, their dialogue actually made me tear up; it was really heartwarming.
The setting of this book is in New York, and I loved all the references to the city. However, there was a point where it felt like too much. It set the scene really well, but I think it would have been just as effective in a smaller dosage – it almost felt forced after a while, like it was being shoved down my throat. The whole scene that took place in Dannie’s premonition also annoyed the heck out of me. I know that people cope with grief in different ways, but I found it highly far fetched that Dannie would do that. Also, Aaron in general… *facepalm*. He was being painted as such a good guy the entire time, but I don’t think that’s true based on everything that happened all the way back to the beach conversation. I also wish they had built up Dr. Shaw’s character a bit, because by the time things were revealed as far as he’s concerned, I truly felt no emotion for the situation. I was like cool… but who really is this guy? I had no attachment to him and I wish I did.
But anyway, I flew through the book, I really couldn’t put it down. This ended up not being what I expected, but more so in a good way. Had the story revolved around anything but Dannie’s and Bella’s friendship, I don’t think I would have liked it as much, due to the nature of how the ending unfolded. I’m glad I didn’t feel invested in the love portion of the story, or else I surely would have been disappointed.