Booklist, Top 10 Women’s Fiction of 2016
Goodreads Best Romance of August
Redbook.com’s “20 Books by Women You Must ReadThis Fall”
Popsugar’s “21 Fiction Reads to Add to Your Fall Reading List”
Bustle’s “11 New Romance Books Perfect for Summer Beach Reading”
Brit+Co’s “16 Must-Read Adult Books Out in August”
Sunset magazine’s “Bookmark this: Your ultimate summer reading list”
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?
Swear On This Life
Swear On This Life by Renèe Carlino
If you've read other reviews of this book, you'll have noticed a common statement: Swear On This Life is like nothing you've ever read before. I found myself intrigued by the concept of the book and was gripped within the first few pages.
Emiline, an adjunct writing instructor struggling with her own writing is given a best-selling book by her roommate who insists that she read it ASAP. Within the first few pages, Emiline realizes that this is her life story, written in her point of view. The details of this best-seller are so particular that it could only have been written by Jase, her childhood best-friend/first love that she lost touch with many years ago.
We get to read chapters of the story within the story and I truly felt that it was brilliantly executed. I'll be honest and say that I didn't really care for present-day Emiline; she was a little too selfish and immature for my liking but getting to know her past did change my view of her somewhat. Jase, then and now, was a real sweetheart; selfless, wise beyond his years, and his love for Emiline was almost tangible.
This is my first book by Carlino and I fully intend to rectify that. While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I felt that certain parts were perhaps a touch anticlimactic - I just felt that the way things panned out didn't really live up to the build-up. I also would have really loved a more of Jase and Emi in the 'now'.
*arc received courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for honest review.
**Reviewed by Melinda for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
I honestly could not put this book down for 6 hours, and that was only because it was 3am and I had work the next day..
An incredible story about how we all heal from past traumas in our own time and how when we do, we can love and truely love. Couldn’t recommend reading this more.