Review ~~ Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino
ABOUT SWEAR ON THIS LIFE:
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?
Abby’s 5 Blushes
I loved this. Like loved, so much I pm’d Renee as soon as I finished to tell her how wonderful it was. I was proud of her, and how often does that happen that you finish a book and you feel pride for how well an author did at something.
This story is unique and it’s beautiful in remarkable way. Reading this is that special journey in reading, where you feel like you’ve discovered a gem. I find myself wanting to look around me and ask, OMG did you read that? Did you feel that?
If you want to be captivated in that special way that only a truly amazing book can do, read this.
If you want to cry tears because of how beautiful a story is, read this.
And if you’re ready to carve out a tiny piece of your heart for Jase and Em, read this.
TERA’S 5 STAR UP ALL NIGHT REVIEW
Stephanie’s 5 Emotional Stars Review
This book captured me from the beginning. I was drawn to it. The story is warm, unique, heart breaking and amazing. I felt so many emotions. At times I had to stop reading because I felt so overwhelmed.
This story has two sides. This is the story of Emiline & Jase. They grew up in a small town in Ohio living in horrible poverty. They were neighbors, then best friends, then lovers. They lived in a small town where the main source of income, a paper plant, shut down. Leaving desperate times for those who stayed there. Emiline’s dad turned to alcohol and Jase’s mom, drugs.
Their fate is sealed when Emiline’s dad loses control and beats Emiline badly. He is arrested and the ripple effect is felt. After a short time in foster care it is discovered that Emiline has an aunt in California. And so she and Jase are separated as she is moved across the country.
Emiline never heard from Jase again after moving to California. At age 25 she is on her way to being a writer. She is struggling to come to terms with her past with her past, unable to work through everything that happened to her. She questions herself and her memories. Where is Jase? Did he forget her? Did she imagine their closeness? This is a writer’s block of sorts.
As Emiline continues to struggle her roommate decides to intervene by giving her a book to read.
“You’re finished already?” I asked.
“Stayed up all night. I loved it. You said I owed you for bailing on you last night, and this is my repayment. I think you can use the escape.”
“Maybe you can escape your own slightly flawed love story for a bit and get lost in something more satisfying-even if it’s fiction.”
And so here is the other side of the story. As Emiline starts to read the book she realizes immediately that this is her story – hers and Jase’s.
“From the first lines of All Roads Between, I saw myself in J. Colby’s story. That’s because I was in his story.”
The story fluctuates between real life and the fictional chapters of the book. There were so many emotions – happiness, sadness, despair, fear, loneliness, and anger to name a few.
I was so drawn into this story. I was on edge waiting to see how it would end. It stayed with me for days afterward.
5 emotional stars
Swear on this life by Renee Carlino is another prime example of her exceptional talent. This lady knows how to write pure romance and transcendent love stories. Her plots are always unique and creative. Swear on this life is a book within a book….
Jase and Emiline’s story was far from easy, but it was truly magical. It volleys from past to present. In the past, we meet two kids with absolutely nothing but each other. Living with abusive, neglectful parents, they were forced to grow up quick. Best friends that fell madly in love and became each other’s worlds. After a tragic event tears them apart, they lost each other. In the present 12 years have past, Emiline and Jase have had no contact… that is until Emi picks up a book that utterly wrecks her. It is her story written by Jase. As Emiline reads, she is forced to face her painful past and look at her present. This isn’t just a love story. It a story of self discovery….
What will happen when Jase and Emi finally come face to face? Will they still feel the same magic or will the past stay in the past?
Their past was what got me hooked. These kids killed me… Their innocents, love and loyalty towards each other was positively beautiful. Their situation seem dire and often tragic, but within each other they found beauty and strength…. I had all the feels!! I also loved the angst and frustration from the present. It all worked perfectly together. Another fantastic and memorable read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Renée Carlino is the author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, and Before We Were Strangers. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog, June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.
FIND RENEE ONLINE:
5 signed copies of SWEAR ON THIS LIFE