Tuesday 30 August 2016

Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino ~ #bookreview #lovedit

Swear on This Life


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?


Source: eARC for Honest Review Courtesy of Atria Books via NetGalley
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

My Swear on This Life Review . . . 


Renee Carlino has yet again written an amazing book.  I love the way the Renee writes her story.  She doesn't follow the stereotypical formulatic pattern that is normal for this genre.  Instead she writes from the heart and makes magic with her words.

Swear on This Life is like a story, within a story, within a story.  It was a brilliant concept and so well done.
 . . . the girl with no past; the girl who wasn't real and didn't exist. . . 
Emiline is struggling.  She's stuck where she is and lost with her passion.  For her she has always wanted to be a writer but is afraid to show herself in order to really write.   She's has tried to run from her past.  She doesn't want to let her past define her, but to do this she becomes lost.  Truly lost.  Sure she has friends, and a boyfriend but she isn't happy.  Truthfully the who she is now comes across a bit bitchy and unloveable. 
  . . . the past would only fester and eat away at us if we tried to hold on to it too tightly. . .
Then by chance a story comes to the attention of Emiline.  At first she was hesitant to read it, but then gives it a go.  To only find her past staring directly at her.   Now filled with tons of emotions she finds Jase the author of this new story to confront him on why he's written their story. 
"I know you so well.  I know what you're doing right now.  You're trying to push me away."
Now reconnected with her lost friend, Emiline has to discover herself in order to make right in her world.  By reading this book, it sends Emiline on a cathartic journey to become whole again. 
   I wondered if maybe I was the one who wasn't being present in our relationship.  I guess it's hard to be present when you're busy denying who you are and shutting out the world.
 As Emiline is on her journey we get to see more and more of her true self behind her snappy bitchy exterior.  When she talks to Jase we get to see their beautiful friendship and how it brings out the best in these two.
"Well, you're beautiful.  So there."  I froze. "Then again, you always were. "  "Oh, don't charm me with your wordy magic."
This book is like a literary version of those Matryoshka Nesting Dolls.   It's set in the present but we get to find out about Emiline's past while reading excerpts from the book she's currently reading.   It helps create so much depth of the characters and how her present came to be.

From the first smirk of Jase when the reconnected I knew what I wanted as an outcome from this story.
"No.  I did. I swear to you.  I always knew we would be like this one day.  I think you always knew too."
We aren't always as we seem on the surface and this especially goes for Emiline.  As she starts to heal and truly move forward we get to see the gem that she truly is and the love that she is capable of giving.   In truth though, how can you truly love another, when your heart already belonged to someone else.
We can't always control our circumstances, who our parents are, where we live, or how much money we make, but in those rare moments when we can shape our fate, when we do have the power to make our own happiness, we can't be too scared to do it. 
First loves are often the most beautiful and the strongest, which is the case for these two but life has a nasty way of making things difficult.   Circumstances may have forced them apart but it doesn't mean you can turn off the love you have for another.  Thankfully that's what fate and second chances are for.  This way we can get the slice of happiness we all deserve.

I truly loved this book and how it was written.  It was so unique and thoughtful.  I loved the growth and journey Emiline had to go on while we all waited patiently for her to finish the book so she could find her heart once again.

So thankful for the opportunity to read this book and can't wait for more from this amazing author.

5 Magically brilliant thumbs up!

thumbs upthumbs upthumbs upthumbs upthumbs up


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