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Review: Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino

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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?

My Review

“If you can surrender to the idea that there might be a plan, instead of reducing every magical moment to a coincidence, then love will find you. It found me.”

“Our story is great. Maybe not all the other shit, but the story of us is perfect, Em.”

“We can’t always control our circumstances, who our parents are, where we live, or how much money we make, but in those rare moments we can shape our fate, when we do have the power to make our own happiness, we can’t be too scared to do it.”

Swear On This Life is one of those books that when you pick it up, you just know that it is going to be amazing. However, even knowing that, you won’t fully comprehend just how amazing it is, until you fully dive into it. I am still at a loss of words and blown away by the beauty of what I just read. This story is so refreshing, so unique. It is so epic and moving that I wish I could rate it more than 5 stars..

From the moment you pick up Swear On This Life, you are captivated. You are introduced to Emiline. She is a writer, struggling to find her place. She is at a crossroads in her life, not sure what direction she wants to take. She’s been in a long term relationship, that is going nowhere fast, and she can’t seem to make herself care too much about it. When her roommate gives her this must read book by the mysterious J. Colby, she had no idea that her life was about to forever change….

Swear On This Life was told in the most unique way. You are sort of given a story within a story. It is incredible. It is moving. It is heartbreaking and frustrating all at the same time. Your eyes will literally be glued to the pages. You will be dying to see what happened to Emi and Jase. You will be begging Emi to finish reading Jase’s story and hope that it when she does, that it’s not too late.

Swear On This Life is incredibly well written and captivating. This is one of those books that you are going to read until your eyes hurt. You will burning through the pages and begging for more. You will not be able to put it down. Jase and Emi’s story is raw and beautiful. It is a story about friendship and a love that lasts a lifetime. It is a story about forgiveness and never giving up. This story will tear out your heart, and then put it back together again. This story is exactly what a second chance romance should be and I loved every single second of it.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

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