Published by Simon and Schuster on August 9th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General, Contemporary, New Adult, Thrillers, Suspense
From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.
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?
Welcome to my stop on the Swear on This Life blog tour! Renée Carlino’s latest novel is about a writer who gets the shock of her life when she reads a hot new bestseller- and it’s like reading her own life story. Can you imagine? Emiline suspects the mysterious author of the book is her long lost friend (and first love) Jase, and he’s put their painful past on display for everyone and their mother to read. Will their story get a happy ending this time around?
I’ve been meaning to check out Renée Carlino’s books for a while, and the book-within-a-book premise of Swear on This Life really sold me. The story alternates between present day and the past as Emiline reflects on her troubled childhood while reading the eerie similarities found between the pages of “J. Colby’s” book.
When we meet Emi, she’s struggling as a writer and in her romantic relationship- her life just hasn’t turned out as she’d hoped. When her roommate recommends this unputdownable book she gives it a shot, and all her long-buried memories of the past come crashing in.
The storytelling device is compelling and unique. I especially loved reading “Emerson and Jax’s” backstory and that J. Colby writes in Emi’s perspective. The book evokes mixed emotions in Emi- the author in her is maybe jealous that he stole her story, plus there’s their own unresolved relationship that’s on public display. I eagerly turned pages as I longed for Emi to read faster so I could find out what happened with Emi and Jase.
If you enjoy second chance romances, emotional reads, and books by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Colleen Hoover (and Renee Carlino!) don’t miss Swear on This Life.
Swear on This Life is on sale now.
About the Author:
Renée Carlino is the author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, and Before We Were Strangers. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog, June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.
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