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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle | Thoughts

Published in: 2020
Format read in: ebook
Location: New York, US
Rating: 4/5

Why I read it: For the time travel aspect alone! Our protagonist sees a very different future 5 years from now. How much can change in five years? If you've lived through a pandemic, you can safely answer "A lot" to that question but this book doesn't feature any pandemic, so what happens after 5 years to Dannie?

One line review: A race against time to prevent a certain future from happening - whether or not Dannie succeeds, all her relationships will be tested against her determination.

Who should read it: I think most will enjoy this book - it's fast-paced, Dannie is relatable even if much of her circumstances are not. 

You mistake love. You think it has to have a future in order to matter, but it doesn’t. It’s the only thing that does not need to become at all. It matters only insofar as it exists. Here. Now.


Dannie is a planner and knows very well where she will be in five years - professionally and personally - and she has no doubt that she will achieve it. The night after she aces the interview to her dream job and her boyfriend proposes to her (she accepted), she goes to sleep feeling glad that all her cards are lining up exactly as she planned. That night, she suddenly wakes up five years later, in a completely different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, beside a stranger who seems to know her well. 

She returns back to her world and time an hour later but she cannot shake the memory of what happened. It certainly felt more than a dream or a vision. She tries her best to ignore it for the next few years, until 4.5 years later when she does come across the man from her dream.

For the most part, In Five Years is a very predictable fare and there's nothing groundbreaking about it. We known from the beginning that Dannie has a dream/vision/premonition/time travel experience and much of the book focuses on the following five years and the impact of that experience. And yet, despite some predictability, In Five Years still managed to be suspenseful all the way to the end. Did Dannie's vision really happen? Who is the new guy and what happens to her fiancé?

In Five Years was a very fast read, which was a good thing, because I had placed a hold on the book about five months ago and usually when my holds come through, I'm in the middle of other books - either I don't get to my holds or I read the holds and don't go back to the book I was reading before. I finished In Five Years in couple of days and enjoyed the read.

I love to read books that involve changing the past or preventing a future from happening. This wasn't really a time travel book - except for the incident at the beginning of the book, it doesn't really worry itself about the idea of time and its changeability. As you read the book, you'll come to predict how it will actually end, maybe not all the details but the gist of it. While I appreciated how it did end, I was bored a little bit by the journey. It felt sometimes as if the book was just trying to establish the ending. 

The other big part of this book was Dannie's friendship with Bella - these childhood friends were as different as two people could be and still very close to each other. This friendship is tested severely when Bella goes through a tragic life-changing experience. Sometimes, while I was reading this book, I couldn't believe there could be two friends like Bella and Dannie and other times, they represented the best of the best female friendships out there.

While this book won't win any favorite prizes, it certainly is a very engaging and suspenseful story while also focusing nicely on human relationships. I liked that despite the mystery in the book being about who Dannie actually ends up marrying, Dannie and Bella's friendship actually received a lot more attention and importance. It's not always that friendships are elevated, especially above romantic relationships.

If you have read this book, what did you think of it?