Honest Review: Five Years From Now by Paige Toon

by Theja Pk
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In this blog post, I am going to give you an honest review of Five Years from Now by Paige Toon so you can decide if it’s the right book for you.

Five Years From Now – Paige Toon

3 out of 5
book cover of five years from now by Paige toon showing butterflies on a blue background

GENRE: Literature & Fiction
PUB DATE: November 21, 2023
TROPES: childhood friends to lovers
TWs: grief & loss of loved one

3 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Overall Enjoyment
3 out of 5


funny, easy to read writing

engaging slow burn

well portrayed theme of grief

emotional heartwarming moments


disappointing ending

pacing was all over the place

lack of emotional depth

FMC was hard to like

About the book

In the spirit of Colleen Hoover and Josie Silver’s One Day in December, a heartbreaking story of star-crossed, fated love, and two people who are brought together and torn apart every five years until they must make a choice that’s bigger than their lives alone.

A love stronger than distance. A fate determined by time.

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love. They become best friends and each other’s whole world. Then tragedy strikes and Van is sent to the other side of the globe.

Five years later, they find each other again. But they’re no longer children and the bond between them smolders into flames. New feelings surprise them both. They are destined, soulmates. Until an untimely discovery tears them apart again.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, even as life and circumstance divide them. They will have to make a choice, but it’s bigger than their lives alone. Is it bigger than their love?

Who should read this book?

Read if you like:

  • Childhood best friends to lovers
  • Slow burn
  • Beach vibes
  • Closed door romance 
  • Time skips 

Why you should read this book

1. Funny and easy to read writing

Paige Toon‘s writing in the first part of the book while the main characters were kids was well-written. It had a lot of explanation and less of a visual description, which I expected from a child’s POV.

There were alot of witty moments as Nell was narrating the story when she was a child that made me laugh out loud.

2. An angsty slow burn that keeps you engaged

Because the characters are separated every 5 years due to emotional reasons, I couldn’t help but eagerly await their reunion. This book had me reading late into the night.

3. The theme of grief is shown well

Without spoiling too much, the author skillfully explores the theme of grief, and it was one of my favorite aspects of the book because of its authenticity and depth. It almost brought tears to my eyes.

4. Heartfelt moments that make the characters’ struggles relatable 

The book evokes emotions in some parts, and if you enjoy stories that tug at your heartstrings, then this one will resonate with you.

Why you should skip this book

1. Disappointing ending

I’m a big fan of slow burns and angsty romances, as long as the ending is worth it. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed by how this book concluded. It just didn’t make sense to me.

The ending deviated from the typical romance story and didn’t seem logically consistent with the characters involved.

2. Confusing pacing and minimal emotional depth

The pacing of their relationship could have been better. They would have bursts of passion every 5 years, but in between, they barely spoke due to the drama that occurred right before they split up again.

I wanted to root for them, but I didn’t fully believe they had the emotional connection necessary to be together.

It felt more like an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” situation that made them want to be together.

I wanted to believe that they were soulmates for each other but there were instances when I questioned whether this was a slightly co-dependent relationship.

3. FMC was difficult to like or relate to

I have mixed feelings about Nell. There were moments when I felt a deep longing for her to find happiness, but there were also moments when I wanted to shake my head at her reckless behavior.

She seems to be a passive bystander in how her life unfolded, and this aspect of her character didn’t resonate with me, given the story I was reading.

Best Quotes

  • I know this might be hard to believe right now, but one day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened.
  • If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours. If they don’t, they never were.


The message the author was trying to get across was that when you look back on life, you will understand why things happen.

If that’s the intended lesson, then this book is not bad. But at the heart of it is a love story, so the ending didn’t meet my expectations.

This was my first book by Paige Toon, so I was disappointed that it wasn’t enjoyable for me. However, I do hope to give her previous works another try.

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