20 August 2016

Review #510: Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“You can love someone so much...But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”

----John Green

Renée Carlino, USA TODAY bestselling author, pens her latest tear-jerking new adult book, Swear on This Life which is a love story between two people who met when they were teenagers and feel for each other, but later they moved away from each other's lives thereby breaking hearts, but a decade later, they meet again through their first love story in the form of a bestselling story, but are they willing to reconcile what they lost?


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?

Emiline, a college student, gets hooked and engaged into the story of Emerson and Jackson that the whole world is currently raving all about. The current bestseller draws an impossibly close line of similarity with her own first true love story from her teenager days with her first love, Jason. And it seems to her that author J.Colby is her Jase, but anger grips her as Jason has used her story as well as narrated from her point of view without taking her permission to retell it to the world. Emi is furious as Emerson and Jackson blossoms with their bonding and with their individual stories of heart break, pain and loss. But will Emi find an effort to confront Jase?

Having read Carlino's previous book, I was expecting something enthralling by this author, so even though the synopsis sounds like a plot of some classic Hollywood cheesy romantic movie, the story is going to mesmerize the readers with its charm as well as intensity of heart break. Even though I do not prefer cheesy love dramas that are emotional as well as predictable with happy endings, but this book pulled the chords of my hearts like a guitar and let it play with it's tune. In one word, this book is something more than just emotional or something more than that will give tears of joy as well as pain. This book also made me wanna fall in love again and experience the bitter taste of heart-breaks which can be not only painful but can also be this beautiful.

The writing style is crisp and articulate and layered with lots of emotions. The narrative flows freely and smoothly and also the author has cleverly handled the shifting point of views. The prose is elegant as well as evocative that questioned me with all the probable things when it comes to choosing love over life. The pacing is really fast as the story sways from the teenage hood to adult hood smoothly yet with thorough depth.

The author has vividly portrayed the feelings of lost love by crossing two parallel stories, where one story is sorrowful and the other is sweet and passionate and at times intimidatingly raw. The author has captured the real definition and the feelings associated with true love through Emerson and Jackson's love story that is compassionate and will move the readers deeply. Both the stories are bound to leave the readers enlightened thoroughly with the intense pleasure of broken and torn romance.

The characters are tastefully drawn with enough realism to make the readers comprehend with their problems and happiness. The main character, Emiline is depicted through her past and present demeanor which are very different, in past, she is projected as someone curious, brave yet thoughtful, while in the present, she is depicted as meek with a bit of weakness. The rest of the characters are also very well-developed.

In a nutshell, this is a poignant, charming, engrossing and extremely beautiful story of love and heart break that is a must read for all those who harbor the feeling of lost love deep in their souls.

Verdict: Definitely a must read book, and I'm pretty sure you'll be thanking me later for having you recommended this book.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author's publishers for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book.

Author Info:
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 and two sons. 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.
Visit her here

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