by Renée Carlino
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication Date: August 9th by Atria Books
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Source: Publisher via Netgalley
From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.
When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.
Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.
That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.
The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Some of us will look back on our lives and recall events that were a bit too perfect, but until you know the whole story, it’s impossible to see the universe at work, or even admit that there is something bigger than us, making sure everything that should happen does happen.
Emiline has been wanting to publish a book for a while, but every story she’s written doesn’t get positive feedback. Her roommate, mentor, and boyfriend advice to write something from the heart, to write about her life, but Em doesn’t want to. One day, her roommate Cara gives Em a book that she just needs to read! As Emi reads, she realizes that she’s reading about her past and she’s the main character. Aside from her, there’s only one other person who knows her well enough to write a story in her perspective, and that’s someone she hasn’t talked to in years.
If you couldn’t tell by my rating, I’ll let you know now: I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I read 85% of this book in ONE sitting! I only put it down because it was very late and I needed to sleep. But as soon as I woke up, I picked it up and kept reading until I finished it. It was hard to put down when the story begged to be read.
“Our story is great. Maybe not all the other shit, but the story of us is perfect, Em.”
I had read the synopsis back when I requested the book, but when I started reading it, I had forgotten all what it was about. It’s safe to say I went in blind and I’m so happy I did! The first half of the first chapter was a tad off-putting. The other half had me full on submerged in the story and the rest is history.
Renée did a fantastic job in giving alternating past and present. She intertwined them so beautifully that it felt like they were one (that’s a major compliment). The present story-line is told from Em’s perspective, and the past story-line is told through Em’s perspective but from J. Colby, the author of the book about Em’s life. Yes, you read that right. You’ll be reading a book about a book, and let me tell you, it’s the best thing ever!
He was going to drag me all the way through my painful past, steal my story, and not even dedicate the damn book to me.
Em’s and Jase’s pasts were tragically beautiful. They found solace in each other—a safe haven—at a very young age, when they didn’t have anyone else. They became the best of friends until their friendship evolved into so much more. In their world, they were the only ones that existed and they made sure to show love, care and kindness to one another.
We didn’t know it at the time, but we were lovesick. Our innocence was beautiful, impossible to capture again, impossible to re-create.
Jase was so patient waiting for Em to read their story in the book. Em was so mad when he changed the ending, but both Jase and Cara kept telling her to reach the ending. Em took her sweet time doing that, but Jase persisted because his love for her never ceased. He was waiting for his first love to return to him.
“Just being near you is enough for me for now.”
Overall, Swear on this Life is an engrossing, heartfelt, and unique second-chance love story that’s so beautifully written.
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WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HEARTFELT STORY? WHICH BOOK BY RENEE CARLINO DO YOU LOVE THE MOST?
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