Monday, August 8, 2016

Shannon's 5 Star Review: Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

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Swear on this Life by Renee Carlino
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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?

Swear on This Life is Renée Carlino at her finest. Raw, real and gripping; I read it in one sitting.” —Colleen Hoover, #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us

“Carlino fans will love this one, and so will readers who have not yet made her acquaintance. The tale is engaging and paced to keep the pages turning long after the lights should be out.” —Kirkus Reviews


Swear On This Life – Renee Carlino
5 Stars

I was lucky enough to be approved by Netgalley to read it. I’m so glad I did. I’m going to go back and read her other books that I haven't read, though, I know this book is very unique in and of itself.

I’ve never read a book that had a whole other book inside it’s covers. We start out meeting Emiline. In the book it doesn’t come out and say she’s settle but I feel as though she’s settled for her life. After having a hard childhood and losing her once in a lifetime love she’s settled for the adjunct teaching position rather than striving to write her novel. She’s settled for a seven-year monotone relationship with Trevor who’s now an armchair quarterback because of an injury that took him out of football. She’s often thought of that love of a lifetime, Jase. Where is he, what’s he doing, is he happy? You know all the questions we ask about past loves but continue to move and strive for the best and happiness.

Her roommate Cara comes in going on and on about this phenomenal book that she just happened to find an advertisement about in her mailbox. They talk about the infamous author J. Colby and Cara pushes the book on Cara, telling her she has to read it. Everyone is talking about this being the book of the year, you just have to read it. So Emilene decides to read it, if for nothing else, just to see what all the hoopla is about. What she finds inside the cover of All the Roads Between is her life story including her bad childhood, going into foster care, and that lifetime love, Jase. But wait. The only way that her story could be put in a book that she didn’t write would be if he wrote it. Without her permission. Huh, she doesn’t know what to think; all their childhood they both spoke of writing a novel but she always expected to write her own not to find her thoughts, feelings, vulnerabilities, and fears written by someone else, even if it was written by Jase.

Swear on This Life is the present tense and the past is written in All the Roads Between; we actually read J. Colby’s book and experience the past as he and Emi lived it. Granted, the names are changed but the words are truth. Reading about childhood friends who grow into lovers and then are separated by extenuating circumstances.

The purity and rawness of first love is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking but watching it end hurts and ruins us just as much as it does the characters.
Swear on This Life is a friends to lovers, second chance romance but IT IS SO MUCH MORE. It’s so in depth, so tangible, and causes one to do some soul searching. This is by far one of my top reads of 2016.

~~ “This could be the best thing for us, after it stops being the worst.”
~~ "It was about you... what I wrote. It was all about you."
~~ “I was still afraid that If Jase and I finally gave in to the force driving us together, we would crash into each other so hard that we’d break apart into a million pieces, impossible to put back together.”

Image result for renee carlino swear on this life

Image result for renee carlino swear on this life

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