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Book Notes: Expiration Dates

Sometimes you pick up a book on a whim and feel, almost against your will, pulled into the plot. Unable to extricate yourself because each chapter expertly leads you into the next until you’re in so deep you have to find out what happens. Such was my experience with Rebecca Serle’s forthcoming book, Expiration Dates.

Daphne Bell’s romantic relationships have all been bound by one thing: a piece of paper that appears before or in the initial moments of meeting a man telling her how long they’ll be together. So far, the papers have never been wrong. And then one day, on her way out to the door to a blind date set up by a friend, Daphne gets a paper with no expiration date. Just the name of the man she’s going to meet — Jake. Suddenly Daphne has all the time in the world to explore a relationship with Jake, and all the confidence of believing she’s guaranteed a lifetime with this person. But as things move along with Jake, Daphne wonders how much knowing you're meant to be with someone impacts truly wanting to be with them.

Rebecca Serle does an excellent job with the slow reveal, and she uses first person, which isn’t something I encounter too often in adult fiction. To begin with I experienced Daphne as a person with abundant self-confidence yet detached and without much personal passion. But the further I got into the book and the more Daphne revealed about herself, I began to appreciate how her life had shaped her. I kept turning down pages for lines I loved for their authenticity, until, by the end, it was all just so real and vulnerable I could have turned down every page. Expiration Dates is not a conventional romance by any means, but the pleasure of it comes from both the intricacy of the construction (which would lend itself to rereading) and the deceptively straightforward prose. This would be the perfect book to buddy read with a friend because there’s so much to discuss.

Expiration Dates comes out March 19th, so put in your preorder now and have a great book to look forward to!

— Lori