Review: Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino

What’s it about?

“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?”

What I liked: 

The main thing I loved about this book was the premise of the book. I thought the storyline was very original and fun. I was intrigued by it from the get go mostly because if it actually happened to someone I can’t imagine what kind of experience that would be. It would be crazy to find your life being written about in a book by someone else. And not just someone else, someone you loved and haven’t seen for 12 years or more. That would be absolutely nuts! Because I was so interested in the premise, it was hard for me to put the book down. I just really wanted to see what was going to happen to these characters. I wanted to see how the new people and the old people in Emiline’s life would react to Jase’s book and what it was doing to her. I wanted to see what would happen when her past and present collided. I wanted to see if she would get a happily ever after. This book was addicting because it was so original to me in its storyline, and it did not disappoint.

What I didn’t like:

I would have to say what I didn’t like about this book was actually the flashbacks to the past when Emiline is reading Jase’s book. But this, I would say, is more because I was more invested in what was going on in Emiline’s life in the present because of this book rather than because I didn’t like those parts in the past. I just had more interest in seeing how everything played out in the now, that I would find the parts when she is reading about her past to be a little bit more boring. Boring isn’t even exactly the right word. It was more that these parts made me anxious to read the parts in the present.

Should you read it?

I would definitely give it a go. If you like a good, happy romance with a little drama this is definitely a book worth checking out.

Star Rating: 

Leah: 4/5 Stars

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