Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino - Stacy's 5*** Review and #Giveaway @renayz @AtriaBooks #BlogTour #NewRelease
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?
Emiline is a struggling writer who's just trying to get her work noticed. When her best friend gives her a book that is apparently the new "it" book that everyone is talking about. The Author is about the same age as them and is just blowing up the charts with his debut novel, she's reluctant to read it but she needs something to pull her out of her funk so she decides to start reading, and that's when her heart drops.
This beautiful story is told in one of the most unique ways ever. Crafted so carefully with detail but not overwhelming, almost delicate but extremely powerful at the same time. It felt like magic just drifted up off of the pages and I was in a bubble the whole time and I didn't want it to end. I know that may sound dramatic, but that's truly how I felt. I can't get over how much these words and this story captivated me.
As advertised, this book truly is a book within a book. And I found myself just as consumed with both stories. It was amazing to me how the Author was able to run these two stories parallel to one another and have them NOT confuse me. Quite the opposite actually! It was such a seamless transition, and one that was invisible from the beginning. I completely accredit that to the marvelous writing because I'm certain that was no easy task.
I haven't cried like this in a long time. The inner workings of this book will take you through so many emotions, at least for me it did. It was like looking at one of those music boxes that have the transparent glass so you can see how everything works on the inside, so intricate and beautiful and at the same time misleadingly simple. I wasn't myself reading this story, I was Emiline. And I felt everything she felt, I turned into her and I cried for her, and laughed at the funny parts. Just wow. I couldn't have skimmed even on accident, I needed to read every word. This quote pretty much sums it up:
"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.”
I'm pretty confident in saying that I've never connected with a character as much as I did with Emiline. Not only through the eyes of another in a different time, but with her character in present day. My experiences were different than hers, but I felt her sorrow and her drive to find her inner peace. Her character will stay with me forever. I also felt surprisingly connected to Jase, her childhood best friend and now acclaimed Author J. Colby, even though as a reader my interactions with him were so different, I absolutely loved him! He was always there for Emiline, whether it be taking care of her as a youth, or magically working the strings behind a work of fiction. He was so strong for her and he knew exactly what she needed to heal from the trauma of her childhood.
About 80% in and I want to yell FINISH THE BOOK EM! Because it was so obvious that would be a pivotal point of realization for her, but she needed to find that for herself. I actually moaned a horrible sound and sobbed for them, and in that moment I knew this book had just done one hell of a number on me--in the best way possible! The Author does an absolutely beautiful job of storytelling in the most unique way, her words are stunning and brilliant and they hit me right in my core. Everyone needs to read this book, it was a breathtaking experience, and one I won't ever forget! This is my #1 TOP READ of 2016, hands down.
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