Swear On This Life By Renee Carlino ARC Review | When Everyone Loves It But You.

Swear On This Life | Renee Carlino
Release Date: August. 9, 2016 | Atria Books
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher

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?

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

I have a list of authors, (not literally) that always appear on my " ooothissoundsgoodmaybei'llreadit " radar, yet I never pick up their titles. Renee Carlino is definitely one of them. Even though I purchased Sweet Thing some odd months ago, it's still sitting on my kindle waiting to be read, but honestly, I have zero motivation to actually do so. I'm sure it was a cover buy, (like most of my book purchases) but since I spent my coin, I might as well just read it right? Right would be right of course, but like I said, something about Renee just doesn't stand out to me, and Swear On This Life kind of proved that I'm not missing out on much . .

Well, sort of. 


It's 2016, where's the option to swap out characters technology? Have you ever read a book where you absolutely despised the main character? Not only can you not connect with them on any type of level, but their presence alone makes you want to pull your hair out, (no scratch that) makes you want to gouge out your eyeballs and make a character killing potion Harry Potter style? That was me reading Swear On This Life. I didn't exactly hate our main character Emiline or anything, it's just that reading from her perspective was the most agonizing thing in the world. In this story, we follow little Ms.Emmy, our aspiring writer MC. She's an adjunct writing instructor at a university, an avid runner, and . . . okay yeah, that's pretty much it as far as interesting goes. The problem that I had with Emmy, was that she read so juvenile. She was in her mid 20's, so around my age, yet if you didn't tell me this was new adult, I would've easily mistaken her for a 15-year-old. Like guys, the immaturity level was on 1000. It wasn't just difficult for me to like just her either. Her boyfriend, her roommate, most of the supporting characters, just didn't do anything for me. I kept reading in hopes that I would connect with someone, literally anyone, that moment never came, unfortunately.

Books Within Books FTW. As readers, we can all appreciate a book with a cool concept, especially when it's executed well, which happened to be the saving grace for Swear On This Life. While I wasn't feeling the characters and felt the writing wasn't on the level that I expected, I certainly was able to appreciate the fact that the author decided to step outside the box a bit by giving us two books in one. Yes I said it, this story includes not one, but two stories weaved together flawlessly. What would normally be considered flashbacks of Emiline's past life was told in her perspective, yet fictionally, in the bestselling title All The Roads Between by J.Colby. While I enjoyed reading about her past, especially with it showcased as an entirely different story, I do wish that we were able to get to know Emmy through the eyes of Jason. Think about it. A handsome and very important guy from your past writes an entire novel about you. Instead of him writing the story in the perspective of yourself, you get to read it in his, to see what he thought of you, what he saw when he looked at you -- all of his emotions towards you, just in the form of a fictional, (but not fictional) story. I don't know about ya'll, but I'd melt faster than a mcflurry on a hot summer day. That would've been such a hit for me, and I'm sure I would've been able to see Emmy as an entirely different character. I maybe would've liked her, but nope, it didn't go down that way. Bummer.

While I didn't go into this with many expectations, I still dived in with the hopes that I would be blown away. Most of my friends, especially my fellow new adult lovers, have raved about this book, and yet I sit here, bored as ever, clinging to the fact that the only thing I really liked was the concept. This story isn't a bad read, oh no, nothing close to that, but I had no connection to it whatsoever. Like It Ends With Us, it taps into the topic of abuse, both mentally and physically, yet I couldn't find it within myself to feel any sensitivity towards the characters involved. Like always, I'll forever enjoy books with controversial or tough content, I just need a little bit more substance to help support it, something Swear On This Life failed to do for me.


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