This is my first book by Renee Carlino and boy oh boy did I eat it right up! I’ve been so busy during the days lately, but I spent two long nights devouring this book and finished it last night at 1:30 in the morning. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened and quite frankly I’m still not sure which ending I wanted to get to faster the book itself or the book within the book. Either you’ve already read this and know what I mean or you need to read it to find out. This book was a solid 5 stars and made me cry and laugh and made me fall completely in love with love.
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?
When I first started reading I have to admit I was way more into the book within the book than the book itself. Which obviously doesn’t make much sense since its all the same book, but I just loved the story of the two kids who were growing up in such an awful place but making their own paradise by just being together. It was such a tragic and heartbreaking story, but it made me believe that happiness can be found anywhere and that true love can be found at any age.
I think my only complaint with this book was that the end was a little bit abrupt. I get how important it was to understand Emiline’s childhood and her relationship with Jason, but I wished there had been more of them in present time at the end. Other than that I really enjoyed the style of this book and how amazing their love story was. As a reader I think the most important thing is to believe the relationship and also feel it. I felt their love and each of their emotions as they felt them, gahhhh it was such an emotional journey! I enjoyed watching Emiline grow and let go of her demons and I love that Jason helped her do it. I really adored their story so much and already can’t wait to reread this book soon, definitely a new favorite read of mine!