Swear on this Life by Renee Carlino

Swear on This LifeTitle: Swear on this Life
Author: Renee Carlino
Publisher: Atria Books
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?

Anyone who has followed my blog for a while will know that I have a complicated relationship with New Adult books. It is very rare for me to find a new adult book that I like. My biggest issue with the genre from the majority of books I have read is the poor writing, annoying tropes, every tragic backstory you can think of and the cringe-inducing dialogue. I mostly stick to Colleen Hoover, although I've been disappointed with her last few books. I recently discovered Fisher Amelie and I will forever recommend Katja Millay's The Sea of Tranquility. Every now and again I will take a chance on a new adult book, hoping that it will pay off. I decided to give Swear on This Life a try because it was recommended by Colleen Hoover and I was curious. Unfortunately, I have to say that this was one of the worst books I have read in a very long time.

Image result for i hate this gifThe story follows Emiline, a writing instructor at UC San Diego, who always longed to be a writer but could never find the story she wanted to tell. When a debut novel blows up and becomes the next big thing, Emiline decides to read it. She is surprised to find that the book is about her. The author, J. Colby has to be Jase, the guy she grew up with and her first love.

Another reason I was curious to read this book was because of the childhood friends to lovers story line, as I usually find them super cute. However this story offered me absolutely nothing and I honestly wish I had never picked it up. My biggest problem with this book was that it was poorly written. It had some of the weakest dialogue that I have ever encountered. It also contains the whole 'book within a book', a book we are supposed to believe is getting world wide attention and acclaim, which made no sense given how poorly that book was written, so much so that it could make Fifty Shades look like a work of genius. It was just so, so, so, soooooo bad.
This also had one of my least favourite tropes that is ride in New Adult literature. And that is the tope of the tragic back stories. Why can' a lead character in a new adult book not have some awfully tragic back story? One has an abusive, alcoholic father and a mother who abandoned them. The other has a druggie mother, absent father and brother who dies tragically. Of course! It is always sooooo fucking over the top and ridiculous and I hate it.

Image result for i hate this gifThe book within this book made it hard for us to get to know the characters as adults. Instead we kept going back to a fictionalised version of their childhood. It made it hard to connect to them or to really buy their romance. Not to mention it had a really rushed and swift end. It felt like you got absolutely no pay off for sticking through the whole book. I just had a horrible time with this book and it has put me off trying anything else by this author.


  1. So sorry to hear you couldn't enjoy this one! I have to be honest, I didn't really have any interest in it, but knowing it was poorly written is pretty one of the biggest turn offs for me >.>


  2. I don't think I've read any NA books and I doubt I will (unless the book is SUPER good) because most of them seem to contain annoying tropes and weak writing. >.< The premise of Swear on this Life sounds really interesting but I won't be picking it up! :/ Thanks for the honest review! :)

  3. Ciao, sono una nuova follower; complimenti per il blog e belle recensioni! Se ti va ti aspetto da me come lettrice fissa, qui la mia ultima recensione


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