Review: Five Years Gone by Marie Force

Three Stars

THE ANGST. Oh dear lord, the angst. Why you gotta do me like that Marie??

There have been a few books I’ve read and thought, “these people need therapy.” But Marie Force’s is one of the first books I’ve seen where the heroine acknowledges how much she needs help and gets it. Thank goodness.

To be honest, I was a few pages from DNFing this book before Ava decided to get professional help. Basically, she dated a man in secret for two years. He told her he was in a super, top-secret, military group so he didn’t introduce her to anyone in his family and she kept him from her family and friends as well. There is a terrorist attack on an American cruise ship and her boyfriend tells her goodbye and leaves without a word.

I love the premise. John (the disappearing boyfriend) is a big question mark and an integral part of the plot. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a love triangle romance, but it has a similar feel. It’s more like love triangle lite. What I liked less is that Ava spent the five years he’s been gone as a huge sad sack. She cried and mourned and missed him for YEARS. She was basically in limbo. The book starts when she decides to take her life back and move back home to New York City after her sister’s wedding where she meets Eric, her hot and successful new brother-in-law.

I finally started to get into this book around 40%. I am a huge Marie Force fan but this is a pretty big jump from her usual books. The parallels to 9/11 are obvious and sometimes a little heavy handed. The important and interesting aspects of this book are how different people deal with grief. Most of the characters in the book have dealt with some kind of personal tragedy and Five Years Gone is their recovery story.

Overall, I was interested enough to finish and even started liking Ava by the end, even though I was super annoyed every time she cried (seriously, don’t make that a drinking game while reading this book, you’d be dead. The girl has serious tear ducts). The supporting cast was interesting. If you’re looking to start Marie Force’s books, I probably wouldn’t start here, her Green Mountain series is my favorite!

**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**

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