Five First Chances

By Sarah Jost  

ISBN 9781728262703

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra                   


What would you do if you had one more chance for the life of your dreams?

Lou feels like she is stuck on the wrong path: alone, in a city far from home, watching other people be happy. When the man she’s in love with announces his engagement to someone else, Lou is consumed by ‘what ifs’.

That’s when she finds herself slipping back in time to a night two years ago, where one small decision changed everything…

Suddenly, Lou has a chance to fix her mistakes. But as her choices lead her down roads she never could have imagined, she finds herself stuck in a time loop of her own making. And with each slip, Lou notices her life intersecting with one person again and again. A friend of a friend who once lived on the periphery, who is slowly becoming the one person who makes her feel like she might finally be on the right track.

Lou is about to realize that our greatest love stories aren’t always the ones we expected, but are the ones we choose to fight for.

For anyone who has ever felt stuck on the wrong path comes a stunning, time-bending love story that challenges what it means to get things “right,” the kind of book that will pull at your heartstrings and make you realize that if you just open yourself up to the possibilities, our world is full of inspiring people poised to change everything…and you might just be one of them. (Goodreads)


As a debut novel, Five First Chances by Sarah Jost is a big time hit in my mind. Five First Chances is an engaging and interesting tale of the various ways (five to be exact) ones’ life could go if even one choice we made was different. An intriguing thought, I must say. I have wondered “What if I had done “x” instead of “y” on more than one occasion. With this novel by Sarah Jost, the reader gets to experience these “what if’s”.

The first sentence of the book was so poignant…” Baby elephants can die of loneliness” … Took me a while to figure the significance of this statement. I think that is what caught my interest and made me continue reading. Why make this the first statement of the book? Each reader will come to their own conclusion by the time they finish the book!

While it did take me a bit to understand what was going on with each “chapter” being a new reiteration of Lou’s life, once I caught on, I was hooked. It also took Lou a moment or two to catch on as well. I loved the journey that Lou took with each “new life path” as she grew so much in her own personal development. The character, in my mind, became more likable and relatable in each chapter. Every do over had its own foibles and challenges.

What I found interesting is in the end, life happened the way it was supposed to and no matter how often a “do-over” occurred, Lou’s life in essence came to the same ending – at least as far as Nick was concerned. Though Lou’s feelings and emotions regarding the ending certainly evolved in each re-iteration (trying to NOT add too much because I want the next reader to embrace the story themselves). The overriding conclusion – family matters – in whatever form the family takes!

Five First Chances made me take stock and bring to the forefront of my thoughts on this life we have – make the most of each day that we have as life is precious and its length is not always given. Love your family for who they are, warts and all. And laugh! And… go see the baby elephants in the zoo.

I do say though, if you have a hard time with going back in time, over and over again, then skip on this read. Or maybe give it a try and give yourself the opportunity to change your mind about going back in time…

As a first novel, Sarah Jost has done an excellent job of catching this reader’s interest and attention throughout the whole story. I look forward to any future endeavours that Ms. Jost chooses to write.