Review: Swear on this Life by Renee Carlino

01 aa Talk about a book fog. Ever since I saw the cover for Swear on this Life I was intrigued. After my mad love for Before We Were Strangers part of me was nervous though. I mean that book was my #1 book for 2015, so that’s mighty big shoes to fill. But let me tell you, Renee totally nailed it. I woke up early on a Saturday morning, and never left the bed until I finished the book. I never stopped. I was pulled in and there was no stopping me.

SYNOPSIS
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?

There are so many things one can take away from the books they read. For me, this book makes me think of regret. Emiline had a very rough beginning in life, and to be honest, I fell like she’s been living in a fog for the past few years. Going through the motions, even though she doesn’t think so. When she discovers that J.Colby is none other than her best friend/boyfriend, from when she was younger, and that he has basically written about her life, she is completely blown away. While this book is technically fiction, there’s too much real life to just let it go. As she reads it, slowly, she starts to relive a past in which she has so desperately tried to forget.

When she comes face to face with Jase, all those feelings come fully out. She decides to take a good hard look at her life and decides what she wants out of it. She makes decisions that I don’t believe she could’ve made without this book’s nudging. Em and Jase’s lives were nothing like the fairy tales you wish for. They were raw and gritty and very real. They learned to rely on each other for their sanity basically. I think after reading Jase’s book, Em starts to realize that there’s more to her than she realized.

My heart was racing and quite a few places in this book. I mean legit racing. I wanted a HEA. I needed a HEA. But not everything in life is happy, so I had to hold on tight and hope. If you like second chance romances, with a hefty dose of angst and emotion, then be sure and grab this book. You can thank me later.

~Melpomene

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