Contemporary Romance

ARC Review: The Five-Year Plan – Carla Burgess

Rating 2.5 Stars

What’s the story about?
Orla is a trainee reporter with a five-year plan: work her way up the career ladder, move to London and secure a job on a big national newspaper. She doesn’t want a boyfriend, he’s only going to hold her back anyway.

Aiden spends his life travelling the world and living in a tent. He knows his goal: to photograph animals and raise awareness of global warming and wildlife conservation. He’s definitely not looking for a relationship past the odd casual hook-up!

So when Orla and Aiden’s lives collide, they do everything to not fall for each other – with the opposite effect. But they stick to their plans, and go their separate ways…

Five years later, they meet again.

My Review
The Five-Year Plan was a fairly cute story. I’ve been really loving the whole missed connections and second chance tropes lately and when I read that this story was about two people meeting and trying to hold off on falling in love with each other for five years as they get their careers sorted, I got very excited. It’s a wonderful storyline but unfortunately the story’s execution didn’t quite get there for me.

The story begins in the present with the two characters meeting again after five years. They’re both nervous and exchanging lots of longing looks across a crowded room, and the chapter ends leaving you hanging. Then it flashes back to five years ago when they met.

To be honest, I felt the pacing of the story between past and present to be a little awkward. When we see the two characters meet and their relationship begin to flourish, I didn’t really feel much of a connection to either character or their relationship. I pretty much could have gone either way on whether they ended up together or not which isn’t the best feeling for a romance novel.

I also felt the craze over everyone knowing who the hero was to be a little unrealistic and the communication between many of the characters felt almost immature and adolescent in a way.

That all being said though, I’m rating this 2.5 stars because it had a lot of potential! It was a great storyline that needed a better execution and with a few more revisions of pacing and dialogue it could have been really great.

Disclaimer: Thank you to HQ Digital and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

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