Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

What if you started reading a book and realized it was written about your life experiences?  You're a writer that can't even write about your life, how can someone else?  She realizes it must be her best friend from the past.  How could he do that???

Atria Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review.  It is being published today.

Emi's mother left her and her father early in Emi's life.  Her father was a drunk.  She spent a good amount of her time staying out of his presence because he had a temper.  Jase lives next door.  He has no father and a mother on drugs.  They walk to the schoolbus together.  Jase invites her over to a shed he's dressed up a bit.  They use it like a clubhouse.  They work for the local farmers by gathering eggs.  They both do well in school.  But life isn't that great.  When her father finds out they are hanging together in the shed, he beats her up.  The cops take her away and put her in foster care.

Jase was her life.  She had no one else.  He didn't either.  So he comes to visit her at her foster home.  The woman taking care of her sees them together and gives her back to foster care.  She's not following the rules, she has to go.  From there, she goes to live with her father's sister who lives in California.  She and Jase lose track of each other.

Years go by.  She has a boyfriend now.  She has a job and she's trying to write professionally.  She doesn't want to read this book but her roommate insists.  Then she can't put it down.  She doesn't want to read the ending.  She's afraid to.

When he comes to town for a book signing, she's not sure she wants to see him.  When she does, he tells her to finish reading the book.

It's an odd romance tale with lots of bumps in the road.  I did like the idea of reading about your childhood in a book you didn't write.  The author shares pieces of that book with you.  It gives you great insight into Emi and why she acts like she does.  I also liked Jase.  The story ends happily even if there is some sadness in the middle.  All's well that ends well.

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