Swear On This Life By Renee Carlino ARC Review | When Everyone Loves It But You.


Swear On This Life | Renee Carlino
Release Date: August. 9, 2016 | Atria Books
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher
Rating:




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?

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



I have a list of authors, (not literally) that always appear on my " ooothissoundsgoodmaybei'llreadit " radar, yet I never pick up their titles. Renee Carlino is definitely one of them. Even though I purchased Sweet Thing some odd months ago, it's still sitting on my kindle waiting to be read, but honestly, I have zero motivation to actually do so. I'm sure it was a cover buy, (like most of my book purchases) but since I spent my coin, I might as well just read it right? Right would be right of course, but like I said, something about Renee just doesn't stand out to me, and Swear On This Life kind of proved that I'm not missing out on much . .

Well, sort of. 

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It's 2016, where's the option to swap out characters technology? Have you ever read a book where you absolutely despised the main character? Not only can you not connect with them on any type of level, but their presence alone makes you want to pull your hair out, (no scratch that) makes you want to gouge out your eyeballs and make a character killing potion Harry Potter style? That was me reading Swear On This Life. I didn't exactly hate our main character Emiline or anything, it's just that reading from her perspective was the most agonizing thing in the world. In this story, we follow little Ms.Emmy, our aspiring writer MC. She's an adjunct writing instructor at a university, an avid runner, and . . . okay yeah, that's pretty much it as far as interesting goes. The problem that I had with Emmy, was that she read so juvenile. She was in her mid 20's, so around my age, yet if you didn't tell me this was new adult, I would've easily mistaken her for a 15-year-old. Like guys, the immaturity level was on 1000. It wasn't just difficult for me to like just her either. Her boyfriend, her roommate, most of the supporting characters, just didn't do anything for me. I kept reading in hopes that I would connect with someone, literally anyone, that moment never came, unfortunately.

Books Within Books FTW. As readers, we can all appreciate a book with a cool concept, especially when it's executed well, which happened to be the saving grace for Swear On This Life. While I wasn't feeling the characters and felt the writing wasn't on the level that I expected, I certainly was able to appreciate the fact that the author decided to step outside the box a bit by giving us two books in one. Yes I said it, this story includes not one, but two stories weaved together flawlessly. What would normally be considered flashbacks of Emiline's past life was told in her perspective, yet fictionally, in the bestselling title All The Roads Between by J.Colby. While I enjoyed reading about her past, especially with it showcased as an entirely different story, I do wish that we were able to get to know Emmy through the eyes of Jason. Think about it. A handsome and very important guy from your past writes an entire novel about you. Instead of him writing the story in the perspective of yourself, you get to read it in his, to see what he thought of you, what he saw when he looked at you -- all of his emotions towards you, just in the form of a fictional, (but not fictional) story. I don't know about ya'll, but I'd melt faster than a mcflurry on a hot summer day. That would've been such a hit for me, and I'm sure I would've been able to see Emmy as an entirely different character. I maybe would've liked her, but nope, it didn't go down that way. Bummer.

While I didn't go into this with many expectations, I still dived in with the hopes that I would be blown away. Most of my friends, especially my fellow new adult lovers, have raved about this book, and yet I sit here, bored as ever, clinging to the fact that the only thing I really liked was the concept. This story isn't a bad read, oh no, nothing close to that, but I had no connection to it whatsoever. Like It Ends With Us, it taps into the topic of abuse, both mentally and physically, yet I couldn't find it within myself to feel any sensitivity towards the characters involved. Like always, I'll forever enjoy books with controversial or tough content, I just need a little bit more substance to help support it, something Swear On This Life failed to do for me.

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It Ends With Us By Colleen Hoover ARC Review + GIVEAWAY | Queen Of The Feels.


It Ends With Us |  Colleen Hoover
Release Date: August 2, 2016  | Atria Books
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 384
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher
Rating:


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Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most. 


Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. 

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. 

Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened. With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.




 If you're apart of this community and don't know who Colleen Hoover is, riddle me this: What have you been doing with your life? Colleen, " CoHo " for those of us who think we're her best friend, is one of new adult's top authors, delivering popular titles such as my personal favorite, Ugly Love, Maybe Someday, November 9, and much more. She's known for creating unforgettable characters with dynamic relationships, as well as her gutsy twists that are sure to pull a heartstring or two, but does this mean that some of her books aren't a miss for me? Certainly not. While I absolutely loved UL, I DNF'd Slammed just after 30%, and after finishing off Maybe Someday a few months ago, I felt a bit indifferent about it. After being a little letdown, I figured that maybe the invisible author didn't quite have the " Midas touch " as I initially thought . .

and then I was struck by It Ends With Us

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Buzzworthy. Being Traumatized by Zenith's hype and it's failed attempt to live up to it had me so freaking hesitant to start another popular title. The hype around Colleen's titles are always at an all-time high, but it seemed like the buzz was on fire when it came to her new upcoming release. Tons of reviews swarmed in with high praises deeming this, " Her Best Book Yet, " which talking CoHo language basically means " this shit slays harder than Beyonce's edges, " which is definitely a whole lot of shoe to fill. I tried to go in with a neutral mindset, but by the time I started I was way too excited, (like I just seen Zayn Malik naked excited), and unsurprisingly my expectation level had reached 1000. Now you guys know I have to keep it real, so I'll be one of the first to admit that this story isn't without flaws, but not only did Colleen close this book out with such finesse, she managed to deliver a genuine, gut-wrenching, eye-opening message, that is beyond important for women but young and old to receive.

Going into this story blind definitely worked into my favor. I had zero idea as to what the story was even about, only that I wanted to love it, and for the most part I did. After the end of the first chapter, I noticed that CoHo took a completely different approach with the concept this time around. It has a very ' heavy ' vibe to it, so going from Maybe Someday, (a cutesy title IMO) to something slightly darker, was for me, a very nice change. In this novel, the story follows Lily Bloom, as she navigates life as a normal 24-year-old. She moves to Boston, meets this older guy, (gross) a neurosurgeon by the name of Ryle. She hits it off with pretty well, things move into high gear at a pretty fast pace, (including the relationship. I need to buy her a ' slow-the-hell-down button ') flashbacks are told, cute boy from the past makes his debut, and there, right freaking there, is where shit goes from, " oh, this is kinda cute and annoying, " to " oh fuck what is going down?! "

Characters
For some odd reason, I never cared too much for the leading females in Colleen's books. I would like them of course, but not enough to say, " wow I really enjoyed reading about this character, " however, Lily was completely different for me. First of all, she was quirky as hell, which I absolutely adored. She read alot like how I picture Colleen to be, strong, feisty, clumsy, and incredibly hilarious, with a vibe that in real life, I'd be able to connect to. I also enjoyed how flawed she was, how all of them were actually. Ryle was funny, annoying in a cute way, arrogant, and hella ambitious, yet he had a dark side to him no one expected to be brought to light. (Not even me ya'll) Then there's my favorite Atlas, a guy from Lily's past who proved to be the sweetest fictional guy I've ever read about. The dynamics between these leading characters are strong, which helped to support the concept in many ways.

Concept
It's one thing to be blindsided by a concept, but it's another to be blindsided by a concept that packs this much of a punch. If " Queen of the Feels " was an award she was fighting to receive with this story, then dammit it's hers for the taking. Domestic abuse is a topic that has been showcased before in fiction, but never have I ever, (to my knowledge atleast) have read a story where the words are actually memories of the author's. There are scenes in It Ends With Us that aren't fictional, making this the most authentic experience I've ever received.

Predictable
The most frustrating thing about It Ends With Us is that for me it was super predictable. With this type of concept, I need to be on the edge of my seat, and I was . . sort of, it just was watered down a bit since I was able to guess 95% of the plot and it's twists. This also affected the way I connected with the story as well. I failed to connect emotionally with all of the first half and most of the second, it wasn't until an unexpected plot twist came about, that I truly began to feel. (Code-word for cry FYI.) The last 20% including the author's note had me balling like a baby, so to say Colleen redeemed herself would probably be an understatement.

Rushed
I've noticed this in some of her previous titles, but for some odd reason, most of her relationships feel so rushed. So many things, life changing things, go down between Lily and Ryle within just a couple of months, and honestly it was the most annoying thing ever. Why can't things happen gradually? It wasn't insta-love, but then again it was? Idk, just trust me when I say, shit hit the fan so quickly, I didn't even have time to smell it before it hit me in the face. Colleen also focused so much time on Lily's relationship with Ryle, that she failed to completely develop Atlas. His backstory is both beautiful and inspiring, I just wish she took the time to give him more of a story line within the plot, instead of sticking him in only when it was convenient.

When it comes to storytelling within the NA genre, Colleen is one of the best, there's absolutely no denying her talent. While I had a few problems with this novel, I couldn't help to appreciate her courageousness for shedding light on a reality that she witnessed first hand. Even with flaws, her poignant message still managed to overshadow it all, giving me a truly unforgettable experience . .

And that is why Colleen and her gutsy novel It Ends With Us deserve every bit of praise it receives. 


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