- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books (August 9, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501105795
- ISBN-13: 978-1501105791
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (475 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Swear on This Life: A Novel Paperback – August 9, 2016
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Praise for Swear on This Life:
“Swear on This Life is Renée Carlino at her finest. Raw, real and gripping; I read it in one sitting.” (Colleen Hoover, #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us)
"This bestselling author knows how to deliver a literary punch, and Swear on this Life is her strongest yet.” (Redbook.com)
“Mysterious and compelling, Swear on this Life is the epic love story your summer needs.” (Bustle)
“Carlino fans will love this one, and so will readers who have not yet made her acquaintance. The tale is engaging and paced to keep the pages turning long after the lights should be out.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“[Readers] will find themselves simply smitten by both the novel in front of them and the story within the story. Romance readers and women’s fiction fans should snap up this charming love story.” (Booklist)
"Romance fans will find this heartfelt story of resilience and first love hard to put down." (Library Journal)
“Mesmerizing. A story of love and redemption, Renee Carlino's novel is a perfect reason for staying up too late to read.” (Shelf Awareness)
“Holy schnikes, this book...I love the juxtaposition of the story within a story, and I’m addicted to Emi and Jase’s ill-fated love.” (Heroes and Heartbreakers)
“Easily one of the very best reading experiences I’ve had all year. I absolutely loved every word and highly recommend it to everyone!” (Aestas Book Blog)
“I know we’re only a little more than halfway through 2016 but I’m proclaiming Swear on This Life to be a Top Pick of the Year. It has to be, thanks to the incredible storytelling ability of Renee Carlino.” (Harlequin Junkie (Top Pick))
“The single most intoxicating reading experience I've ever had.” (Angie & Jessica's Dreamy Reads (#1 Favorite Read of 2016))
“Renée Carlino is an author whose stories always make the heart grow tenfold, but with this book she brought mine to the point of bursting…[I] cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone seeking an exquisitely-written second-chance romance that will leave you lost in thought for days to come.” (Natasha is a Book Junkie)
“A beautifully-written second-chance romance that stays with you long after you’re done.” (Vilma’s Book Blog, 5 stars)
“Carlino's writing will transport you.” (Book Baristas, 4.5 coffee cups)
“Renee Carlino continues to astound me with her unforgettable and unique stories that touch readers’ hearts, and I am a FOREVER fan.” (Shh Mom’s Reading)
“Compelling and unique…If you enjoy second chance romances, emotional reads, and books by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Colleen Hoover (and Renee Carlino!) don’t miss Swear on This Life.” (The Reading Date)
About the Author
Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere but Here, After the Rain, Before We Were Strangers, and Swear on This Life. She grew up in Southern California and lives in the San Diego area with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog, June. To learn more, visit ReneeCarlino.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Oh wow!! Now I’m in quite the predicament because I was so sure The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon was my favorite book this year, but now I have this book tearing me apart. I freaking loved this book! I think Renee has outdone herself. I think this is her best book so far and that is saying a lot because I really loved Before We Were Strangers.
So what is wonderful book about? The book’s summary actually does an excellent job recapping the plot. Emiline (Em) is going through the motions of living a life…having a boyfriend and pursing a literary career. All of which remain unsuccessful as she’s nothing but a shell on the inside. As she stumbles across a new bestselling novel by a mysterious author named J. Colby, Emiline is thrown into the past. This bestselling story is her story. She is now reliving her tragic past. Emiline knows J. Colby has to be her childhood best friend and first love, Jase. And so the journey begins, as Em is forced to deal with her past and figure out her future.
“Our story is great. Maybe not all the other s***, but the story of us is perfect, Em.”
So…I loved this story’s entire concept. From the moment, I read the blurb, I knew I was going to love it. Renee delivers on this story. While the story is in present time, the majority of it is in flashbacks. The flashback of Jase and Em and how their story begins is so heartwarming and sweet, but also raw and painful at the same time. She does a wonderful job showcasing first love. Their love was so innocent, pure, and untainted; I loved reading how their friendship blooms into love; I’m a sucker for first love and this was just done absolutely right! Oh, my heart was pounding from all the emotions. Their childhood and how the ugliness of life taints their innocence just broke my heart. As a mother, I’m not sure how anyone could not provide for their child or love them. I just wanted to take both Em and Jase home and love them. Jase and Em were wise beyond their years. They grew up quick and I loved watching how they made each other strong. Their strong character made me love them so much more. Definitely two of the best characters I’ve read.
I swallowed and then tears filled my eyes. “I swear to god on your life and my own that I love you and trust you.” And that I’ll love you forever.
So then there is present day…I’ll be honest, I was having a hard time with Em in present day because she was a shell. The Em in the past with Jase was strong and vibrant, whereas present day Em was indecisive and broken. As the story begins to wrap up, I started understanding just how broken she was and why she was broken; I started to understand her and I realized that Em’s character is so real and it just make this story so much more raw. Then there is Jase. There is a reason why everyone keeps asking Em if she’s finished the book because oh my god, the last line in that book just got me…I was almost in tears and that doesn’t happen often. I was just on this long journey with them and then that last line just summed up everything. That last line sealed the book for me and how I felt. I’m a goner for this book.
So overall, I’m on a book high and that is how I know I’ve read a great book. I’m still thinking about it. Renee is definitely a top favorite author and she is just getting better and better. This is a must read!!! Happy reading!
"If you can surrender to the idea that there might be a plan, instead of reducing every magical moment to a coincidence, then love will find you. He found me."
Swear on This Life begins with Emiline and Trevor, a couple who met during their undergraduate programs at Berkeley. After Emiline completes her Master's degree, she attempts to write a book but is struggling and can't seem to find inspiration. Her roommate happens to be a successful writer and she encourages Emiline to read a bestselling novel by J. Colby that she discovered. Emiline has no idea what the book is about but she is engrossed from the very first page. As she continues to delve into the novel, she can't help but notice similarities between the female protagonist in the novel and herself. What Emiline discovers in the novel helps her to learn more about herself so she can heal from the past that continues to haunt her and she discovers the truth about the boy she used to know.
"'I kinda think it's like magnets. Put them close enough and they'll come together, but turn them around and they'll repel each other. When you feel the pull, you gotta give in to it.'"
"'I promise. You're still my best friend.' I said."
"He smiled. 'Swear on your life?'"
"'I swear on your life,' I told him."
From the very first page, I immediately became immersed in this novel. The writing and storyline are that good. I loved that the author seems to be slightly sarcastic at times and that shows through in her writing. I always appreciate authors who can insert sarcasm at the appropriate times without going too overboard. Emiline is a very real character and she has her own quirks, flaws, and personality traits that make her a likable person. She isn't perfect but she does the best she can with what she has and she learns that she needs to follow her heart, both in her personal and professional lives.
I also enjoyed the fact that there is a story within the novel itself and that shapes a lot of what happens to Emiline. There are many parallels between Emiline and the female protagonist in J.Colby's novel, for obvious reasons if you choose to read this book, but there are also differences, which end up playing a part in Emiline's life.
"We can't always control our circumstances, who our parents are, where we live, or how much money we make, but in those rare moments when we can shape our fate, when we do have the power to make our own happiness, we can't be too scared to do it."
I feel this novel is a complex one but it is also lighter and humorous at times. Emiline and her roommate Cara are great together and made me giggle numerous times while reading this book. I also happen to appreciate a good love story and Swear on This Life has it in abundance. There are some tough subjects that are brought up from Emiline's past but those help shape who she is. The one thing that I wish was a bit different was the ending, just because it seemed abrupt and I would've liked to have seen it developed more but it didn't affect my overall feelings on the book. It's more of just a personal preference. This book is deeply emotional, beautifully-written, and very hard to put down. I giggled at times and cried at others. I gasped in some parts and felt a sense of relief in others. If you are looking for a new book to read, I'd recommend Swear on This Life. I ended up taking a chance on this one since I'd never read a book by Renee Carlino before but, since I loved it, I've purchased another of her books and plan to read others as well!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book makes you realize that you need to live out some of life's what ifs.