In Five Years

I seldom get a reading high. That adrenaline rush you get when you complete a book within hours, reading it from cover to cover, and glorifying all of its content. However, I did get one by reading In Five Years. Sure, after giving it a few days I was able to see the errors I’d purposefully turned a blind eye to, but still I have to give kudos where kudos are due. The fact that I was able to finish this within a day, without the nagging voice in my head forcing me to go be “productive”, is a prime testament to this book’s allure and captivity.

In Five Years follows our Type-A main character Dani. Dani has an exact vision of where she wants her life to go, and how she’ll get there. Up until the beginning of the novel, she’s perfectly on track even to the smallest detail. That is, until she has a strange and vivid dream. The dream takes place five years from now, and in it her life is entirely different to what she had imagined, but she’s happy. After Dani wakes, she begins to contemplate the merit of the plan she’s set for herself, and we as readers get to follow her journey up until that point five years later. 

I went into this knowing it wasn’t a romance. It’s what everyone seems to reiterate again and again. Naturally, I prepared for that, yet I don’t think there’s a way to predict the way the story ends. It’s a bit of an unpopular opinion it seems, but I love the ending. I found it perfect and fitting for what this novel needs. 

I’m someone, who like Dani, feels the need to iron out every detail of my life. So I find it beautiful that the ending shows, not just to Dani but to the readers, that no matter how much you think you know how things will turn out; life has a way of showing you how easily things change at the very last moment. Overall, it felt true to the theme of the novel and, quite cheesily, to life. 

I’m aware there are confusing elements to this book, but even if I were to make a list and pinpoint every error within these pages, I’d still be in awe of the story. It’s been such a long time since I’ve read a book I love, based solely on my feelings/experience rather than its critical quality or objective superiority.

This book made me question things. Since I’ve finished it I’ve been thinking a lot about love and being in love. How there’s so many of us paired up with one another based on the way we “fit” together rather than a genuine draw existing between two individuals. I know this all sounds oversimplified, but I guess my point is that I love when a book is able to make me contemplate life. It gives an opportunity for growth, and for that alone I’m grateful.

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