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Five Years From Now by Paige Toon

Five Years From Now

by Paige Toon

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Quick take

They say timing is everything. Well, two childhood friends who had to wait twenty years for their due would like a word.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NonLinear

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LoveTriangle

    Love triangle

  • Illustrated icon, icon_FriendstoLovers

    Friends to Lovers


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?

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Five Years From Now.
Five Years From Now



“Oh, baby,” I murmur, brushing Luke’s hair away from his forehead as he fights back tears.

He’s still my “baby,” even if he is almost fifteen years old.

“I can’t believe I’m going to be holed up for the rest of the summer,” he says in a choked voice. “And I’m going to miss Angie’s party,” he realizes.

I suspect this fact hurts him even more than his broken ankle.

“She’ll probably get off with Jake and that’ll be that, then,” he adds bitterly.

I lean in and squeeze his shoulder. “Angela Rakesmith looks at you like the light shines out of your backside,” I say pointedly. “You have nothing to worry about there.”

Despite himself, my son grins, but it’s quickly followed by a grimace.

“Do you need more painkillers?” I ask with concern, my hand halfway toward the button to call the nurse.

He shakes his head. “They make me feel sick.”

“I’m sorry you’ll miss the party.” I am genuinely sympathetic. Luke has been looking forward to it so much. “That sucks. But think of all of the attention you’ll get when you go back to school. The girls will be clambering over themselves to sign your cast. Angie will be jealous as hell.”

His bottom lip wobbles and he swallows rapidly, but there’s no holding back his tears of misery and frustration.

“I had so many plans for this summer! How did I do this surfing?” He slaps his hand on the bed.

“It could’ve been worse.” I shudder at the thought.

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Why I love it

“One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…”

Life is a fragile and ever-surprising thing; it can be hard to keep our bearings. So I appreciate when a book can serve as a refuge from the vagaries of the world, offering words of hope and solace. Paige Toon’s new novel Five Years From Now is just the winter balm you need, if you’re like me. It is a genuinely heartwarming ode to giving ourselves a little grace.

Nell and Van met as children, striking up an immediate kinship. But tragedy soon moves their families in opposite directions. When the two reunite five years later as adults, their friendship rekindles and then blossoms into something more. But just as they begin to explore where their relationship might go, they are separated again. This cycle repeats for two decades as fate toys with the two would-be soulmates. Then a choice is put before them to break the cycle and figure out once and for all if they are destined to be together.

Exploring the passage of time and the challenges of deciding who to share our lives with, this is an emotional and affirming story. For anyone who has met the right person at the wrong time, it will be all too relatable. But it also extends a warm hand and says: chin up, the world is still full of possibility. Who couldn’t use a bit of that right now?

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Member ratings (973)

  • Diana S.

    Morganville, NJ

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️-Nell’s dad loves Van’s mom and so they are forced into a brother sister relationship. The older they get, the more they realize that these feelings of love don’t feel very sibling like.

  • Natalie L.

    Leland, NC

    I have a weird feeling due to how the book started to how it’s going to end but I’m so glad I chose this book. I feel as if I’m with Nell and Van. And can I just say I LOVE the name Vian. Amazing!

  • Karmen P.

    Bethesda, MD

    Between love and like - started slow but premise is interesting.Thought the 5 and 10 year storylines were a bit much/unrealistic. Kids that are 5 and 10 don’t think or act the way they were portrayed.

  • Kristen A.

    Madison, WI

    Love a slow burn childhood friends to lovers plot line and this one was heart wrenching. Really enjoyed this book and I couldn’t get through it fast enough, I just wanted to know how it would end.

  • Erica M.

    South lyon, MI

    This book made me laugh and cry, really all the feels. It’s a love story about 2 people and their changing relationship over 38 years. There’s a happy ending but not the one you’re expecting.

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