I’m not much for contemporary romance but this is one novel that captivated me.I read quite a lot of Harlequin during a phase some years ago but it was mostly flushed from my system after overexposure. Swear on This Life already attracts you just by its name. At least it did me. Emiline, who is struggling to produce a good piece of writing, stumbles upon a book by a debut author, J. Colby, who is being lauded as a gifted writer.
When she goes through a few chapters of the book, she realizes that the book is about her childhood and that means that the writer can be no other than Jase, her childhood best friend and sweet heart. What’s more is that he has written the novel from her perspective. It continuously surprised her that Jase had penned down her thoughts so accurately, sometimes to the point that she herself did not realise her feelings.
She struggles with finishing the novel and keeps pausing after crucial parts of her life are revealed. She doesn’t want to finish it. Even as she meets Jase again, and realises that her feeling haven’t changed at all, she denies and ignores all of that.
Just, it was beautiful. There were somethings that didn’t entirely sit well with me. I din’t blame Jase for the way they separated (though I was tempted to) but I definitely couldn’t understand why he din’t come for her. I mean two-three years is already a long time, although they were children when they seperated, so I suppose that would have been a given but twelve years…? I just could’nt understand that. No explanation was offered nor asked for.
This book reminded me of another on my TBR list. I haven’t read it yet but from its synopsis, it just somehow made me remember The versions of us. She reads about Jackson and Emerson, and how their life turned out in the novel and how it might have been theirs (Emiline and Jase’s) and within the novel, there is another possible version of the future in the form of a book written by Jackson, the protagonist in Jase’s book who is modeled after him. And Emiline realizes that if she had taken a different turn (or a similar one), one of those versions could have been her life.
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?