Swear on This Life By: Renee Carlino Published: August 9, 2016 Publisher: Atria Books Add to Goodreads Source: eARC from publisher in exchange for a honest review GR's Summary: 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?
Swear on This Life, by Renee Carlino, is a second chance at love romance. This story was emotionally stirring, thoughtful, and filled with life lessons. As I read about the main characters, my heart was broken and then mended back together. Emiline "Em" and Jase are unforgettable characters that came to life with the way that Ms. Carlino gave them so many layers and facets to their characterization.
Emiline is an adjunct professor and struggling writer. She has been in a tepid and apathetic long-term relationship with Trevor for seven years. When her good friend and roommate, Cara, recommends a book called, All the Roads Between, she decides to read it, and is shocked to realize that it is the story of herself and her first love, Jase. He has now become a huge success, and this bothers Emiline, because he has become famous by telling her story. Jase is on a book tour and will be stopping in San Diego, where she currently resides. What will happen when Emiline decides to confront Jase at his book signing?
I enjoyed reading both Emiline's present, as well as her past through excerpts of All the Roads Between. Swear on This Life was a poignant and bittersweet story. It was painful to read about all that Em and Jase had to endure in their youth. Yet, Ms. Carlino did an excellent job of establishing Em and Jase's deep connection, the way that they were forced to grow up way too soon, and how their childhood shaped the adults that they would become. It was easy to see why they longed for one another, and their tragedies forged a love that no one else could ever compete with.
I give, Swear on This Life, by Renee Carlino, 5 Tragic Youth, Lovesick Teens, One and Only Love Filled Stars! If you are looking for an emotional story that will hook you, and keep you turning pages until the very end, you have found the perfect book!
I’m the author of Sweet Thing, Sweet Little Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, Before We Were Strangers and upcoming SWEAR ON THIS LIFE (August 2016') . I’m a California native currently residing in a beach town in Southern California where I live with my husband, our two boys, and our sweet dog June.