Member Reviews

Short and sweet, I enjoyed the main character of Daphne and her best friend, Hugo. I think there are some aspects of the story that could have been left out and not necessary for us to feel sympathetic for Daphne. She did love letting those notes have all the power. Not my favorite storyline, but I did enjoy the twisty, windy road to the end. If you liked her other novels, chances are you'll like this too!

Was this review helpful?

In Rebecca Serle’s latest EXPIRATION DATES, main character Daphne has received mysterious notes with the name of her soon-to-be romance and the length of their relationship since she was in grade school. This novel asks the reader to think about whether those notes are self-fulfilling prophecies or perhaps they actually know more than Daphne does. I loved this being the crux of the novel.

Unlike other notes Daphne receives, the most recent note just has “Jake” written on it and no length of time. Does this mean Daphne has met her forever love? I enjoyed the character of Jake, would have liked to have seen his backstory delved into more (his young wife had passed away), and I liked watching Daphne’s relationship with Jake grow and see how her prior relationships unfolded interspersed among the Jake chapters.

The characters are engaging. While the timeline jumps around to the relationships in Daphne’s past, I felt like it was a very natural progression, and I was pleased to find most of the time what I wanted the next chapter to focus on actually turned out to be true. I was a bit miffed that something important to Daphne’s character wasn’t revealed until more than halfway through. I did find it an intriguing plot point in how it integrated into her relationships and sense of self/pride, so I would have liked more time devoted to that.

Daphne’s former romance-turned-friend Hugo was an interesting choice as the friend with the most time devoted to him within the book. While he wouldn’t be the guy I gravitated to, I thought he was a great friend for Daphne.

Overall, this novel was the one I needed when I picked it up. Light enough but with some substance. I’m not sure about the ending. Without getting into spoiler territory, I wasn’t convinced enough to buy the ending.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely loved the concept of Daphne receiving individual cards with a name and an expiration date, telling her how long her relationship with that person was going to last. She finds herself trusting these cards with her whole being until she receives a card without an expiration date. I felt myself going on this journey with Daphne. I loved reading about each relationship she had with each person and what led to the end.

This book is also beautifully written. I DEVOURED her book In Five Years because of the story and her writing style and I found myself immersed in the story.

I highly recommend this book. Rebecca is a phenomenal writer and this plot twist was perfect!

My biggest issue with Daphne’s heart condition stems from my background as an ICU nurse. I have worked in healthcare for almost 10 years now and have seen many medical emergencies. I also worked on a floor that did pacemakers and ICDs for 3 years. I can count on one hand how many patients that I have performed CPR on or who I took care of who have had CPR performed on them who have not needed intubation and other serious medical attention. It was unbelievable to be that Daphne arrested out in the field (outside a hospital) and didn’t need intubated or anything like that. I understand that everyone is different and I have seen cases that haven’t however those cases were few and far between.

Was this review helpful?

This is my second book by this author, and it will be my last.

Decent premise involving magical realism, terrible execution -- it seems to be a theme of hers. This book represents several hours of my life I will never get back.

Where to begin with all the ways I hated this book?

1. Main characters I couldn't connect with. I could never remember Daphne's name, and Hugo was just an idiot. Why would you give this guy another chance? Jake was super boring and I kept picturing the guy who plays Howard on Only Murders in the Building. Why would anyone be attracted to either of them? And I have no idea why Kendra or the other person (whose name I have forgotten since I finished this book less than 12 hours ago) were even there.

2. That twist at the 60% mark was so out of nowhere and so dumb. Again, this seems to be this author's MO. Not sure where the story is going? Throw in a tragic health problem -- that will fix it.

3. When we get to the big payoff, I could not have possibly cared any less. I wasn't invested in the romance, or the characters, or what happened to any of them. The cover blurb promised "heartbreaking" -- um, no. I'd have to care about the characters for that. Not to mention that this payoff was obvious from the very beginning. Why did I have to suffer through the whole book for that when I already knew it was coming?

4. Atrocious writing. Please stop with the descriptions of what everyone is wearing. I DON'T CARE. You made eggs that were overcooked? I DON'T CARE. How is that relevant to anything that is happening here? What on earth would possess a writer to include stuff like that?

5. We never learn anything about where the expiration dates are coming from, or who is watching over Daphne's life. It's just this random thing that happens to her and no one else. Huh?

6. The thing with the Doc Martens -- what the h*ll was that about?!

7. The only character I cared about was the dog.

I know I'm an outlier on this one -- everyone else seems to have loved it. I just did not get it at all. There is nothing here to love. Save yourself and move on to something else on your TBR list.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC of this book.

Was this review helpful?

** spoiler alert ** Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this eARC!

I have never picked up a Rebecca Serle book before this one, but know of her work. The premise of this sounded intriguing so I thought why not request it via NetGalley. I was quickly approved and just as quickly picked it up. I immediately fell in love with so many elements of this book. Daphne's voice as the MC shines through so well and I loved going back in time to trace her many brushes with love and relationships. This book was a love letter to L.A. and a love letter to love and to the ways that each relationship we have shapes us no matter how brief. I adored the ways in which she characterized Daphne's feelings about living with an illness and restrictions and the "othering" that occurs when you have to live your life outside of the norm. That element struck very close to home for me and I so appreciate Serle's sensitive writing around it. I will be thinking about this book for a long time after. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fun and witty, but also deep and thought provoking romance. 10/10!

Was this review helpful?

I am incredibly grateful to Netgalley and Rebecca Serle's publishers for gifting me this book without even having to request it. I want to express my sincere thanks once again.

"When I read 'In Five Years' during the 2020 lockdown, it had a profound impact on me. The book touched me deeply and I found it to be exquisitely beautiful. I wholeheartedly recommended it to everyone I knew. The book that she released last year, "One Italian Summer," unfortunately did not resonate with me.

Expiration Dates that showcases Mrs. Serle's unique brand of magical realism. Having read three of her books, I can confidently say that this storytelling technique is Rebecca's bread and butter.

In the novel "Expiration Dates," the protagonist Daphne grapples with commitment issues, which are further complicated by receiving notes that indicate the "expiration date" of her relationships. However, it would have been beneficial to have more background information on this aspect, as it seemed to be overshadowed by Daphne's health issues. While I appreciate the author's attempt to shed light on the experiences of individuals with health issues, there is a current trend of every heroine having a health problem, which can sometimes feel forced. In the case of "Expiration Dates," introducing Daphne's health issues late in the book felt like a copout, as it then became the sole focus of the story. It is important not to patronize individuals who struggle with chronic pain and illness by using their experiences as a shallow plot device. Instead, the focus should be on the unique and intriguing concept of the book, without relying on character illnesses to create a sense of depth. People who face major health challenges or terminal illnesses deserve more thoughtful and authentic representation in literature.

Was this review helpful?

Oh wow this was such a unique romance! I've heard this author is one that every reader should read and those who said it were right! Gosh, this book is tenderhearted, emotional, and truly epic. I've never read anything like it! The only thing I wish is that I could read it for the first time all over again.

Was this review helpful?

I wanted to like this book, but it just felt as though it dragged on and on. I know this author is capable of much better writing, as I have loved her other books.

Was this review helpful?

I could not tell you how excited I was to receive an Advanced Copy of Expiration Dates!! Rebecca Serle is an auto-buy author for me, and this DID NOT DISAPPOINT.
What a beautiful story.
The relationships in this book felt so genuine and real. I was immediately drawn into the story, and couldn't stop reading.
I can't wait to purchase a physical copy!

4.5/5 - I wanted more Irina and Kendra!!

Was this review helpful?

I loved Rebecca’s first two novels. But reading this one, and looking back, I wonder if I have outgrown her writing style. While I love the magical realism and the big idea she writes around, it’s the getting there in this book that doesn’t give me the depth I crave in a story.

So much time is spent describing what a character is wearing and on their appearance, or on the decor of a restaurant. In every scene, I knew a character’s outfit, but did not understand their feelings. And because her books are already so short, this type of misguided focus makes the story come up short, too.

Spoilers ahead…because of this, Daphne’s relationship with Luke, and its ending, didn’t feel disappointing. We’re told he’s perfect. But so little time is spent developing their relationship that I didn’t care when she ended it like I know I should have. Similarly, the reveal of her heart condition didn’t gut punch me either. It just…was. I could tell you more about her sleeveless turtlenecks or heels she’ll need to take off at the end of the night or how “beautiful” every restaurant is more than I could pretend to have any connection to these characters.

This book lacked a depth her debut had. And I think it’s because if you’re going to write such short novels, they must go deep, be focused. This one felt shallow, like time was wasted in the wrong areas. I’ll be curious to give her next one a try, just to confirm if at 34 I’ve now outgrown these stories, but as is, this one doesn’t shine.

Was this review helpful?

4.5 out of 5. I was very excited to receive this ARC and got right down to it as soon as it was in my kindle! A quite intellectual rom com, asking a number of hard questions within a very romantic setting. How do you value life and relationships when there are expiration dates? It poses a lot of philosophical questions. Would you want to know the expiration date of a relationship before it starts? Would knowing these things affect your actions? And what about life, would you want to know when your expiration date is or live like it could be any day? Im still debating. In a way I do want to know. I am the type of person who has her tarot read and likes to know things so on the one side I would love the information. But then with information would i stop sensing my intuition?. I think information might also make me give something or someone a chance I hadn't thought of before or would probably never do, but could I potentially be stopping other chances to fulfil the prophecy given?. I am of two minds and it is so interesting. Another good question that is asked directly in the book: When do we stop believing in the things we do? And why does it happen so slowly instead of all at once? I devoured this book in one sitting a delightfully written book, and having absolutely loved In 5 Years but not gotten fully into One Italian summer, I'm glad this brought me back to when I read and adored In 5 Years. all these highbrow questions are left amongst a very light and entertaining retelling of Daphne's' relationship woes. Without spoilers the book has a great twist and a perfect ending, there were tears involved, but my curious mind wants to know more - what happens after??? I want a sit down with the author. This will be a must but for next years spring break.

Was this review helpful?

First things first, this is not your regular romcom at all as it involves some magical realism, Daphne’s acceptance of herself and giving her relationship a genuine chance. She receives a note at the beginning of her relationship that predicts the end date of that relationship. She believes it so much that she no longer lets her life take its own chances. It does go deep about how she needs to come out of this circle and needs to fight for her choices without constantly staring at the end. Her health concern felt like a twist that went on to become the focus of the plot but as someone who has seen a lot more about this health situation, it was just too emotional and I need to thank the author for including the main character with such a health situation. It is a beautiful story about hope and acceptance!

Thank you Atria Books and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest feedback and opinion.

Was this review helpful?

I am not normally a Rom Com kind of reader but this book is a perfect example of rom com LITERATURE.
Serle introduces us to Daphne Bell, who seems to be another typical millennial type who hasn't quite launched nor figured out what she wants in life. She seems to believe in a plan from the universe and based on her experiences its easy to see why. Daphne receives slips of papers in strange manners that specifically predict or state the time she will spend with her next romantic partner. She doesn't question is after the first few and she tells very few people.

I would have thought that the slips of paper would have caused to many questions in my mind, but Searl handles this all as a pro, and you quickly wonder to, "Where Is my slip?" All of the early signs in the story that signified problems in the plot to me were answered quickly midway. This is a well thought out story, original and fun and even the biggest rom com grinch will love it!

Grab the rom com of 2024 and enjoy EXPIRATION DATES!
#ATria #ExpirationDates #rebeccaserle

Was this review helpful?

I have read all of Rebecca Serle's books and this one did not disappoint. Breezy fun style and a great beach or weekend afternoon escape. Although I figured out the end, it was still a good book and her fans will enjoy every page

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! It was an easy and fun read, I read it in a day. The main character is lovable and has a couple surprises in store! Daphne gets pieces of paper telling her how long each relationship will last and I was so invested wondering what would happen and would she finally meet one? I loved that there were a couple of plot twists. 4 stars because I wished I loved her love interest a little bit more!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you so much to net galley and Atria books for providing me with an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have always been a fan of Rebecca Serle but felt that this title fell a bit short of previous ones. There is always a bit of magical realism which adds to the charm of the story. In this case each time the main character Daphne meets a man she receives a slip of paper with his name and a time frame on it it. The concept is very intriguing until she receives a note different from previous ones. This provides an interesting twist to her future. However when combined with a health issue and continued flashbacks to previous relationships the story takes a turn. This does cause some confusion for the reader. I will say that Serle did wrap it up in a very satisfying way to me. I was not a fan of the flashbacks as they did not seem to enhance the story or provide incite to Daphne. There were some rather poignant moments with the family which did give depth to the characters. I would rate the book at 3.5 but round up to 4 for scale. I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy chick lit and romance.

Was this review helpful?

I was invited by Atria Books to read this on NetGalley and I was intrigued by the summary. Daphne has been receiving notes since she was dating on how long she would end up dating a man. But then she gets one with just a name and no period of time, Daphne assumes he is the one. Of course, it's not that simple and there are secrets and doubts that keep this one intriguing until the end. Rebecca Serle is a new author to me and I'm so glad I had the chance to read this ARC that was provided by the Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

One of my more favorite books of Rebecca Serle, this is about Daphne who gets slips of paper for the men she meets. On these paper slips are their names and a duration - 3 weeks, 4 months, etc. One day she gets a slip of paper with just a man's name on it - no expiration date, just "Jake". So that means that Jake is The One, correct? But Daphne wonders if the paper is true, and struggles with key hallmarks of a relationship: honest and commitment. This is a book about love, but also a lot more, including our choices in life and what we choose to influence us. The really great thing about Rebecca Serle's books are that they are relatively short, but always pack an emotional punch.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book can easily be read in one sitting. It’s less than 200 pages and took me around 3hrs to read. With that being said; I’m not sure I mean that in a I binged it because it was so so good way…

It’s makes me sad to give a review that’s not absolutely glowing for an ARC, but this is my opinion and I’m always going be honest. And I believe that to be that this book just wasn’t for me.

In my honest opinion this book lacked so much. In 196 short pages, it lacked depth, detail and I feel like so much could’ve been said to fill it in or add substance. Countless big events in this book are rushed into, have no detail or emotion and just left me wondering….why 😰 It jumps back and forth alittle and I personally would have followed it easier with some before and after titles on chapters.

I enjoyed the characters and the plot, but there was no substance and emotion. I just felt meh the whole time 😢

Was this review helpful?

Rebecca Serle has been a favorite for me ever since I read In Five Years and The Dinner List. These two were honestly some of my favs of all time. I was SO excited when I was sent "Expiration Dates" via Net Galley - and in my opinion, one of her most mature, heartwarming novels to date!

Daphne is looking for The One. She knows exactly how long each of her relationships is destined to last (via a slip of paper she receives with her date’s name and the duration of their romance- a night, a few weeks, a few months, etc. - until one note finally arrives with no end date. ). While her latest date with Jake goes well enough, Daphne seems to be getting everything she wanted…so why doesn’t it feel that way?

A little magical realism, a little romance, a lot of finding your way.

Was this review helpful?