Rebecca Serle has written some of my favorite books of all time; In Five Years, One Italian Summer and now, Expiration Dates.

With Serle's novels you can always expect something other worldly. There is always a thread that is supernatural and doesn't quite fit into the 'real world' that she's building through her words, but it all makes sense in some way. It's so exciting to immerse yourself into the world she builds and let go of reality without going full fantasy. 

What I also appreciate about her novels is that it's never just about romance. There are so many other themes that take center stage, like family or friendship, loss, grief, finding yourself. Her books center strong female characters with a little edge who need some help getting through life and that supernatural part is usually the answer. 

When I read the summary of Serle's latest novel, Expiration Dates, I was sold. What would you do if you knew exactly how long you would be in a relationship? That's what happens to our protagonist Daphne and it's an interesting ride.

Expiration Dates will be released on March 19th, 2024; I received an ARC from Netgalley for review consideration. 

Publisher's Summary

Daphne Bell believes the universe has a plan for her. Every time she meets a new manshe receives a slip of paper with his name and a number on it—the exact amount of time they will be together. The papers told her she’d spend three days with Martin in Paris; five weeks with Noah in San Francisco; and three months with Hugo, her ex-boyfriend turned best friend. Daphne has been receiving the numbered papers for over twenty years, always wondering when there might be one without an expiration. Finally, the night of a blind date at her favorite Los Angeles restaurant, there’s only a name: Jake.

But as Jake and Daphne’s story unfolds, Daphne finds herself doubting the paper’s prediction, and wrestling with what it means to be both committed and truthful. Because Daphne knows things Jake doesn’t, information that—if he found out—would break his heart.

My Thoughts

As I said above, I love everything I read from Rebecca Serle and Expiration Dates was no exception. I will say, this was less sad than the other books and much more focused on romance. I didn't cry or have an epiphany while reading but that's ok -- sometimes you just need a solid read that engrosses you and makes you smile.

Imagine if you got a slip of paper with an expiration date every time you met a potential romantic partner? How would you live your life? How would it change your perception of love and relationships? It's such an interesting way to think of things because no matter what, everyone is on a timeline and has an expiration date...with this, you're just getting told upfront. 

Reading about Daphne's life with these little slips of paper and how it didn't really jade her to her experiences was interesting. The way she developed a relationship with Hugo even though their romantic relationship expired was adorable, and I knew there was something else there throughout the entire book.

Serle went back and forth (as she usually does) between the past and present; we were able to read about Daphne's other relationships and then see her explore this new relationship, seemingly her last, with Jake who's slip of paper didn't have a date on it. She takes this to mean that this is her forever person, and she treats the relationship as such.

Throughout the novel you see Daphne keep secrets from Jake in order to make sure the relationship will work. She bends herself in ways that don't make sense because she believes in the little slips of paper...until she can't take it anymore.

I won't go into detail to avoid spoilers but there are a few twists that I was not expecting, all which left my jaw dropped. It was shocking to see how things played out and the reason behind them, but it also left you feeling oddly relieved.

I loved every moment of the book, until the ending. It was a beautiful, perfect ending but it felt too sudden and I wanted more from it, but I think that's also the beauty of left you wanting more with unanswered questions versus having everything wrapped up in a neat bow. 

Expiration Dates was beautiful, shocking, interesting and just a delight to read. Rebecca Serle has a way of making emotions jump off the page and having you believe the magical things in her books can actually happen. 


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