Review by Kayleigh

Here’s the truth: I do want love. In some ways, I’ve been looking for it forever. Real love, the kind that makes you want to grow old together, makes you not just unafraid of all the time with one person but electrified by it.

Rebecca wows in her first romance that had me laughing and crying.

Daphne Bell believes the universe has a plan for her. Every time she meets a new man, she 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.

Told with her signature warmth and insight into matters of the heart, Rebecca Serle has finally set her sights on romantic love. The result is a gripping, emotional, passionate, and (yes) heartbreaking novel about what it means to be single, what it means to find love, and ultimately how we define each of them for ourselves. Expiration Dates is the one fans have been waiting for.

I love Rebecca Serle’s writing. Her novels always make me laugh and cry. Her characters are warm, flawed, funny and tragic. She makes me think and feel emotions with every book of hers I’ve read (In Five Years is one of my favourite books). So when I heard the synopsis of Expiration Dates and learned it was her first true romance, I was already sold, with some high expectation. I’m delighted to say that Rebecca far exceeded my expectations with Expiration Dates

I love Rebecca’s writing – it’s crisp but poignant. Her characters come to life off the page and feel like friends and people I know. In Expiration Dates, we meet Daphne Bell, who has a weird thing that happens to her. Every time she meets a new man, she discovers a slip of paper somewhere that day that tells her how long she’s going to be in a relationship with him. This weird happening has ruled her love life. Sometimes the relationships end. Other times she stays with them longer than she’d like because of the timeline. Other times she ends something she likes because the paper told her it was over. Throughout the book, Daphne has to decide whether she’s living her life by fate or destiny. Does she have to do what the paper says? If her true love doesn’t fill her cup with joy, even though the paper says he is, does that mean she’s wrong, or the paper? Interspersed through her story with Jake, the only man she’s met that hasn’t had an expiration date, we get to experience her other relationships, both the happy and the sad. Throughout the book we also get a glimpse into Daphne’s life and the different situations that have led her to the life she’s currently living. 

Expiration Dates obviously has romantic relationships in it, but I am loath to tell you too much about any of them because the relationships are really crucial elements of the plot. Daphne is a wonderful character: she’s smart, funny, loyal and flawed. She has secrets that she struggles to share with people she cares about and people who want to care about her. Watching her grow and go after the love she wants in life is all crucial parts of the story. In the afterword, Rebecca comments that “all of Daphne’s chapters matter, just like all of mine did, just like all of yours do.” Expiration Dates is about all of the moments in our lives that bring us to the people that matter and the opportunities that define us. 

Swoony, filled with magical realism, and a letter to all kinds of love: family, friends and lovers, Expiration Dates is the perfect book to read when you need a little happiness in your life.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.