Excuse me while I put my heart back together after reading this one. This is not my type of book normally at all but I don’t even know where to start with this.
Five Years From Now by Paige Toon follows the lives of Nell and Vian as they grow from innocent 5 years old thrown together by their parents falling in love all the way through to full grown adults with their own families. They meet as 5 year olds as Nell’s dad and Vian’s mum move in together. Tragedy strikes sending Vian to live in Australia with his dad, leaving Nell and her dad to cope in England. Following this Vian and Nell are thrown together every 5 years and as they get older their feelings become more and more complicated, is it possible that Vian and Nell are meant to be? But how can they make it work when they live on opposite sides of the world?
I wasn’t sure of this one after the first chapter or two but so glad I stuck it out. I wasn’t really sure where it was going at the beginning but soon I found myself unable to put it down. I absolutely adored the relationship between Nell and Vian, particularly in the beginning when it was just like eery other childhood friendship that starts off with them almost not liking one another.
This made the entire story feel all the more real and believable because as the reader you were able to watch them grow into adults but see their relationship change too, showing the differences in relationships and responsibilities to them as you grow older.
It is such a sweet concept, I think the tagline explains it very well – what if you met the right person but at the wrong time? It’s interesting because in all the romantic books I have read it never considers that you may have already met the right person but that the timing will never be right. This left me, as a reader, constantly on the edge of my seat thinking will they or won’t they? Will they find a way to work or will they ultimately always be dragged back apart?
It was even more interesting to see it begin through the eyes of a child growing up because that meant as a reader we were along for the ride, feeling the teenage pain and frustration, along with the more crippling adult heartbreak and reality of the situation they both found themselves in. I loved that I got to see both these main characters make mistakes like every other human and genuinely suffer the consequences. It’s so easy in a romantic book for things to just turn out ok because they have to but for one of the first times I felt like there were real consequences for these characters and that the reality of life isn’t always fluffy and lovely, sometimes hard decisions must be made but things can work out afterwards.
I felt truly invested in the characters because I got to watch them grow and change as they got older. I felt Nell’s pain near the end after Vian made his decision, but this made the ending all the sweeter but at the same time the ending felt believable and natural.
I could feel the discomfort between both characters when they were reunited at 15. It was as if they were meeting for the first time again and they didn’t know how to be around each other. There was also a sense of darkness between them due to what happened the last time they saw one another. Watching their feelings change as they grow older.
Overall I genuinely absolutely adored this book, which was made better by the fact that it is a type of book I normally wouldn’t be too invested in so personally I feel that speaks for the quality of the writing. Not sure when I’ll get over this book to be honest with you all! The characters were believable and heartwarming. The relationship was so real and was very much a case of meeting the right person at the wrong time. Absolutely beautiful.