Review: Swear on this life by Renée Carlino

Swear on this life by Renée Carlino

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 rating:

When Before we were strangers got published I bought it on a whim, heard some good things about it and thought why not- then it turned out to be one of the greatest books I have ever read. So when Renee Carlino came with another book there were no doubts, a must read. 
Sweat on This Life is another beautiful book. Amazing emotional story and so beautifully written. 

There, we could make our own fictional world. We could be English royalty in the sixteenth century, or wizards or dragon slayers. We weren't poor, hungry, abandoned kids at the end of the desolate road. We were superheroies and magicians and presidents of our own country. 

Swear on this life is actually a book within a book. We have Emiline's POV as she reads a book- a book that turns out to be her life story, well mostly as the writer decided to make some creative changes. The author however, also in the book, Emiline's first love Jace, the one she grew up with. The one she dreamed of a better life with, away from the dirt road. Reality didn't turn out like that however. 

"I know I hate it, too, but I guess it's like reading a good book. The kind where you don't want to skip pages to see what happens at the end. Each moment is a story in itself."

While I could go on and on about the story, I don't want to. Like with all great books what I want is everyone to read it themselves and have the same experience that I had, read each beautiful moment for the first time. 

"Out story is great. Maybe not all the other shit, but the story of us is perfect, Em." 

As a booknerd I found no problem relating to Emiline with her being a booknerd herself. Really interesting though to have a known character, know the past and even know the past of a character you don't meet till later on. 

"You're still my best friend," I said. 
He smiled. "Swear on your life?" 
"I swear on your life," I told him. 

I said it once and I'll say it again... Beautiful writing. That and the amazing and emotional stories are what will bring me to read Renee Carlino's books. 

I loved this book. Simple as that. 


Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women's novels and new adult fiction. 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 project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.


Popular posts from this blog

Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard Spotlight + Giveaway!

Release day blast: Mum's the word by Staci Hart

Release blitz: Well suited by Staci Hart