Monday 2 March 2020

The Five-Year Plan by Carla Burgess Book Review*

*I received a copy via Netgalley to review but all opinions are my own
Trying to stick with one of my blogging goals for the year, I'm back with another book review. I said earlier this year when I shared my review of Big Little Lies and then People Like Us that I only wanted to share reviews when I felt really passionate about a book and The Five-Year Plan by Carla Burgess just captivated me from the very beginning.
The Five Year Plan by Carla Burgess on kindle held up in front of bookshelf
'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

When it comes to a romance, I tend to stick to the same sorts of authors because they very rarely let me down - Paige Toon and Carole Matthews, are just a few I've spoken about countless times before on my blog. Thanks to the likes of Netgalley though, I've been introduced to loads of new authors so this was my first book of Carla's. Whilst I thought it sounded like my kind of story just from the synopsis, I never quite expected to love it as much as I did.

From the beginning I couldn't help but like Orla. She was clumsy, funny, ambitious, just a good person and someone you'd want in your life. I found her so relatable throughout the whole book. I loved cheeky, Irish Aiden too. What is it about the Irish, seriously?! Swoon. I could picture him so clearly and from the moment he and Orla meet, you can just feel the connection instantly.

What starts as a friendship full of flirty banter soon becomes more serious though and over time they realise there might be more between them than they were both anticipating. The Five-Year Plan actually starts at them meeting again after a five year separation but then we go back in time to get the history of how everything happened the way it did. One of the first things I really liked about it being set out this way is that we get that initial 'OMG' shock when they meet again but then we get so much backstory so we can really start from the beginning with them. Another thing is that it was such a natural progression from friends to lovers for Orla and Aiden and it didn't feel rushed in any way. In fact, at times I do think the book was a little too long but the amount of detail there was only allowed for you to fall even more in love with the characters.

Of course, as I've just mentioned, there is a five-year plan in place which means initially their relationship is short-lived. Orla is a journalist desperate to rise up through the ranks in London. Men, babies and marriage are not in the equation. Whilst Aiden doesn't quite have a plan in place, his work also means he isn't ready for that yet either and his job which takes him all over the world, isn't something he's prepared to give up yet. So they go their separate ways. I was devastated for both of them but just as luck would have it, exactly five years later they're both at the same event one evening, and the feelings are still there. How much has changed in that time though? Are they the same people they were five years ago? Is it still not the right time for them? So many questions!

Whilst you'd love it to be as simple as them running into each others arms and living happily ever after, life doesn't work out that way. It was heart-wrenching at times and I was willing for them to find their way back to one another after so long apart but I did genuinely think at times maybe it just wasn't meant to be? You can feel the anguish they are both going through though and I think the decisions Orla especially has to make are really relatable as she had such a clear idea in her mind of how her life would go and falling in love with Aiden changed it all.

Whilst this wasn't a book packed full of twists and turns, it didn't need to be. It was a slow burner at the start but overall it's a beautiful love story of two people who were just always destined to find each other. It made me smile, it made me cry (surprise) and I just felt happy after reading it. Who doesn't love a book that makes you feel that good? If like me, you love a bit of romance, The Five-Year Plan is out in March!

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Heather Nixon said...

Its not something I'd usually read but the cover is cute! x

jennyinneverland said...

Although it's not my usual genre, I really like the sound of this because judging by the blurb, I really have NO IDEA how these two lives could collide because they're so different!

Tiffany Timms said...

It's lovely isn't it?! x

Tiffany Timms said...

They really are! Two people who under normal circumstances would likely never end up meeting, I loved how different it was to a classic romance xx

Gemma said...

The title really intrigued me as having a 'plan' and seeing if it will work out is probably something many of us can relate to. I like the idea that it starts after a five-year separation of the characters too!

Sophie said...

Not my usual kind of read but it sounds like a nice easy going poolside kind of book x


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