Book Review: Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre(s): New Adult; Contemporary Romance

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] 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?


  • The formatting was SO CLEVER
  • I didn’t lose interest in either story
  • There were so many emotions
  • Jase followed his dreams
  • The story of their childhood was very realistic


  • Once Emiline got closer to the end of the book and she wasn’t reading from it, I feel like her part of the plot struggled just the tiniest bit

My Thoughts: This book was so cleverly written. I was reading both two books at once, but it didn’t feel like it because they were about the same character, if that makes any sense. I really enjoyed Jase’s writing better than Emiline’s present story, but they came together quite nicely.

I can’t even really begin to say how I feel about this book. It had me from start to finish. I almost never put it down. I wanted to see how it played out. I wanted Emiline and Jase to find each other. I was so engrossed in both stories, and I flew through this book.

I can’t say too much without giving it away, so really just go pick this book up now!


Renee Carlino

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