Publication Date: August 9, 2016
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My 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 should start by saying that this book has a pretty powerful message. I mean, really it does. And although it takes some time for readers to figure out exactly what this message is, taking the journey to get there is so worth it. WOW. This book blew me away. But in such a weird way. It’s really hard for me to explain it though because while I was reading I was constantly wondering what the heck was going to happen. And this made it drag out a bit for me. But once I got to the end of the story WITHIN the story, it hit me like a ton of bricks. So my message to readers who want to read this one- make sure you read it the whole way though. Every little detail is worth it. With that being said, this is the first book I have read by Renee Carlino and it won’t be the last. If all of her books can have a profound effect on me like this one did than I will definitely be adding her to my “must read all books by author” list.
So this story follows the traumatic and beautiful life between Emiline and Jase. Both of these characters are writers (and bookworms like me :D) and both have had some pretty rough childhoods. But we don’t learn about their lives in the conventional way rather, we learn of them through a story within a story. Sounds confusing right? It’s not, it’s absolutely unique and perfect! Jase has written a story about their lives growing up and for Emiline who is reading it after not seeing him for 12 years, the experience is pretty eye opening and heartbreaking. And while it takes her a LONG time to understand the reasoning behind the book and the overall message, it’s all worth it in the end. [I refuse to give much information about the plot because I sincerely believe that readers need to just read it for themselves|.
So yea, this book is WONDERFUL. A little slow going at first but so worth it when you consider the entire story as a whole. I will definitely be seeing what the authors other books are like (and I am really excited to do so) and I would definitely recommend this wonderful and powerful book to fellow readers!