by Renee Carlino
Published August 9th 2016
“There was once a boy and a girl…”
Swear on This Life is a story about Emiline who is finding it hard to get out of a place she doesn’t want to be. In her career, she would love to be an author but she is stuck teaching writing in a college. In her relationship, she is at a place where she is questioning the reason she is with the person.
Emiline has not gotten passed her past life and she gets irritated when her friend asks her to write about it since she is not doing so well with her current stories. But she is forced to deal with her past in the most brilliant way, through a book written by her childhood sweetheart (Jase) who she has not spoken to in over a decade.
“I was guarded and withdrawn, hiding in my relationship with Trevor, in my job as an adjunct professor, in my writing. I knew all of this, but I wasn’t sure how to get out of the rut.”
The story is superbly put together with a great mix of the past and present life. I loved the whole aspect of looking into her past through a book within a book. But let me say that I had a difficult time connecting with the heroine in this story. Don’t get me wrong, the story was amazing and delivered in a unique way but there was just something about Em I could not understand.
Maybe I was still riding on the memory of Before We Were Strangers which is another book of hers I have read and how it made me feel. But something was definitely missing this time round.
I just could not understand why it had to take her so long to finish the book yet she had the guts to and meet him when she was not even hallway through it. Seeing that she was an avid reader, I just wondered why she couldn’t just get over with it. But I guess it was difficult for Em because the book was recounting her past. That’s just me though.
Jase was an amazing character. I loved him! Past and present. I kind of got why his journey had to happen the way it did. He might have pissed off a lot of people but he had to get back in her life that way. It just made sense.
Another thing I had a hard time with was the love triangle. He was not lovable at all. It was hard to feel any sympathy towards him. He felt like an unnecessary piece of the puzzle. (Are there unnecessary pieces in puzzles? You get the point though). It pissed me off because it felt like the relationship should have been over a lot faster but I also get why it had to happen the way it did. I get it and I made my peace with it.
The ending made me cry. I love a book that can make me cry! And by the ending, I mean the ending of the book within the book. I loved how Jase was able to twist up the story to make Em wake up from the coma she was in. I think the ending made it worth it for me.
All in all, the book was an original. The past was brought in an original, unique way. I think I loved that the most. Despite all the little things that irked me, I liked the story. I didn’t love it, but I liked it enough to finish it. I guess I just went into it with very high expectations that were shot down. It was a second chance story that was well portrayed. I just had a hard time connecting with it. It hurts to give it three stars because I was expecting so much more out of it.