Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino


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?

Find on Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon US:
Amazon PB:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:
Amazon CA:

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: August 2016.

Emiline had a rather rough start to life, when people talk about having a lousy childhood, she can definitely throw down with the best of them, in the years since leaving childhood and adolescence, Emiline has made the most of the life she was given, she's moved on from her past and is carving out a new normal for herself, her dreams of a literary career are somewhat stalled, her once good relationship has seen better days, now working as an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego she seems to be the only one not singing the praises of new writing sensation J. Colby. When she finally gives in to the deluge of recommendations to read his hit book, she's immediately enraptured, but not because the book is amazing like everyone claims, or because the writing draws her in effortlessly, but because shockingly J. Colby's masterpiece is her story, her childhood, every desperate, heartbreaking detail is Emiline's young life, and the only person who could know every detail is Jase her once best friend, the boy who owned her heart before walking out of her life over a decade before.

“Isn’t it weird that we had nothing at the time … but somehow it felt like we had everything.”  

The idea of a book within a book is a clever one, Carlino's works always seem to push the boundaries in the most subtle of ways, everything about Swear On This Life had me utterly captivated, the nuances of her writing, the sheer beauty of her story, Carlino's exquisite ability to draw me in so entirely that I want to devour the pages and yet savor every moment. The way in which Carlino takes the reader on a journey back to Emiline's troubled childhood, while maintaining the pace that ensures the reader is both desperate to know what once took place and where the future may lead for Emiline and Jase. Renee Carlino never fails to remind me why I so adore her books, there's a freshness to her work, and uniqueness that can't be matched, an eloquence that speaks directly to my romantic heart.

“We can’t go backward. There are too many regrets. Please just move forward with me?”  

Wistful and romantic at times, Swear on this Life examines the what was and what could have been, interspersed with the hurt caused by walking away, Carlino captures every moment with such brilliant clarity, reminding me once again why I'm so drawn to her writing. As past, present and future collide, this reader gave over her heart ready to experience every moment that this story had to give.

About Renee Carlino:

RenĂ©e Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women's novels and new adult fiction. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

Connect with Renee Carlino on Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment