SWEAR ON THIS LIFE: A NOVEL
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?
Review by: Cristina
OMG this freaking book! I had no idea what to expect and it definitely took me on a ride. A book within a book is a double bonus too! Thank you Renee Carlino for giving me a lovely book hangover. Sorry not sorry. :D
Emiline dreams of being a writer but she was in a place where nothing was coming at her that was publish worthy. Her best friend and roommate, Cara gave her a book one day that she highly recommends reading.
As she begins the bestselling novel she quickly learns it entailed a life story from her past. Her thoughts, the experiences she endures at such a young age, and the feelings of solitude is bare to everyone to picture. Although it is classified as a fictional story she know the truth and reliving the life in written words will brings up a past that has her heart hurting once again. To top it off, she discovers that the author, "J. Colby" is the one person that she had shared said past with; her first love, her protector, and the one she ends up losing contact with.
Discovering and reading his book she is itching to find out answers. The big question is WHY their story? What is he trying to say here? However, encountering him and being in his presence again is something she is not quite ready for. Is she really ready to face her past again along with the one person who hurt her the most?
The ★★★★✩ 4.5 stars reads will take you on quite a journey. The mixed of the fictional characters with the present characters was perfectly written and gave the readers feels in all opposing angles: fiction and nonfiction, the ugly and the pretty, the sad and the happy, the yearning and the indifference, the love and the hate. Regardless of the outcome of both stories; the author had drafted a hidden deeper meaning that made the read flow flawlessly and falling for all main characters in the stories. Be prepared for double the feels and intensity. Sweet, beautiful, and emotional. This book will have your heart experiencing things to new heights.
Review by: Tatia
Renee Carlino is one of those authors that I always beat myself up over not reading more of. With every book, I think to myself that there is absolutely no way that her books can get any better. Anyone who knows her work knows that I'm always proven wrong. The way that she always comes up with a story that is so unique and always has me devouring it, unable to put it down. I don't know how she does it.
Swear on this Life revolves around a girl named Emiline who finds out her childhood best friend wrote a book about her life. She doesn't understand why Jason would write the story from her point of view, revealing all of the gritty details of her life, details she's never told anyone, not even her boyfriend of seven years. Her relationship with Trevor is a rocky one at best. This was a trait of Emiline's that really bugged me. Instead of confronting issues with him, she's always prone to running and avoiding it. She wasn't the only one who didn't deal with issues. Trevor had his own faults about him. So it could have been fate or just a huge coincidence that brought this book into Emiline's hands and forces her to face her past and the boy from it.
This story had so many different facets to it. I was trying to figure out Emiline's relationship with Trevor and her new rekindled relationship/friendship with Jason, the boy from her past. There were so many new developments that kept you guessing what would happen next, where the roads would lead her. I loved seeing her figure everything out, decide on her own which way she wanted her life to go, what relationships were worth trying to salvage. It's another book that I'll be able to read over and over again. Ms. Carlino has proven once again that she never disappoints.