Monday, August 8, 2016

Book Review: Swear on This Life

Title Swear on This Life
Author Renée Carlino
Release Date August 9, 2016

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?

I absolutely loved Before We Were Strangers. Before picking up Swear on This Life, I definitely didn't think Renée Carlino could possibly top it. I'm amazed to say, I was wrong. This book is even better. I could have easily read this in one sitting if I didn't need a few hours of sleep, but two sittings is just as well.

The way this story was told was perfect. In present day, we get Emiline's story as it unfolds. Her past is shown, though slightly fictionalized, through J. Colby's book. At first it might seem strange to read a book within a book. However, that strangeness lasts all of two seconds. The execution here is flawless.

This is a beautiful second chance romance. If you've never read any of Renée Carlino's books, Swear on This Life is a pretty fantastic place to start. If you have read her stuff before, it definitely won't let you down. This is an absolutely fabulous book and another winner for Renée Carlino.


5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

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