Book Review: Swear On This Life by Renée Carlino

Swear on this life

3 Stars – Quick, somewhat romantic read. (I swear).

Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino was chosen for a book club that I host, the Edmonton Chapter of The Girly Book Club. Yes, that is a shameless plug.  A “beach read”, which is a novel that I could lay in the sun with and drink slushie drinks while travelling along with Emiline, Trevor, Cara and Jase. The story within a story format is enjoyable and is clearly written for a young adult audience, given its blatant predictability. I appreciate that Emiline’s childhood hardships are explored in a depth that garners sympathy for her adult character. However, that doesn’t dismiss her inability to make decisions or be very self aware into her late 20s.

Late Bloomers

This is a late-bloomer book written in the young adult genre (teenagers as the main characters) since the adult versions of Em and Jase hadn’t had the opportunity to truly come into their own due to their circumstances as children. There is a type of strength that comes with having to grow up when you are still a child and a craving for safety that can be very hard to break out of. Emiline demonstrates this need for safety through her relationship with Trevor. Oh Trevor. Trevor and Emiline. Sigh. They’re that couple that you know. The ones that, from a hundred yards away, strangers can tell that they shouldn’t be together. They’re simply too wrapped up in themselves to care about anyone else. For example:

“He assumed his standard position as he slouched against the cushions, his feet kicked up on the coffee table, his hands clasped together behind his head. It struck me that there was something wrong about his casualness. We had just had a fight, yet his body language suggested that nothing had happened.” (page 95)

Em has her past and Trevor lost everything before he had the opportunity to really have anything. Together, they make a passive aggressive and angry pair.

In Swear on This Life, Carlino made some interesting choices in how she concluded the story (or didn’t). The neat bow Carlino places on many of the characters near the end of the book is surreal.  Real life isn’t like that and maybe that’s her playing with her fiction factor. Overall, a fun, fast read. Solid 3 stars.

 

Don’t Read More in 2017!

It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t be resolute in adding “read more” to your resolutions list.

This is pretty much how it goes: during the festivities of saying goodbye (and bye Felicia) to 2016, it’s inevitable that someone is going to ask what your resolution is. Internally, you’ll roll your eyes and either give a half-baked answer or you’ll be super prepared with a litany of responses (they said they had time right?). By March, these wonderful intentions will have taken a backseat to your other stuff, mainly Netflix and pizza.

All good, I’m not here to judge. I’m here to remind you why reading just isn’t your jam:

1) Recreation reading means you’ll spend your free time… reading.
(Wasn’t school enough?!)

 

2) Learning new words, and their definitions, gives you nausea.

(Knowing the meaning of those words is superfluous)

 

3) Books are so damn heavy. 

(If you wanted to lift, you’d go to the gym)

 

4) Books give you too much time away from the screen.

(Going to check the FBSnapInstaTwitverse now)

5) Legit, there’s no time to read books.

(Who has time for all those words without pictures anyway?!)

 

6) You might use intelligent sounding words in conversation.

(Dropping a linguistic mic only works with your nerdy/brilliant friends)

7) You read enough.(Social media counts right?)

And, if you really want to read more next year, check out How to Love Reading (Again).

Happy New Year and may 2017 be fabulous to you!

(If you loved this and would like to get ReadViews in 2017, sign up down below)

How to Love Reading (Again)

While your coffee order is being filled, you look around and you see people hanging out with friends and then, you spot them. And their love.

 

The reader. The solitary person hanging out with characters of a distant land, breaking through the depths of the human imagination while waiting for their work day to start.

 

You’ve wondered how people can spend hours in a bookstore. *Let’s not kid ourselves, book lovers would live among the stacks if we were allowed*.

You’re curious about what drags people into paper, ink and imagination. What could possibly take one from the land of the living into…a book.

Here’s a few things you can do to become a book lover:
  1. Start slow, it’s not a race.
    There’s literally no reason for you to start consuming books as if your blood is made of letters and your cells punctuation. Start with one book.
  2. Pick a good book. For you.
    There are millions of books out there. There are recommendations to go with each of them. Start with a book that appeals to you. Some questions to ask: Who do I admire and want to learn more about? What are my hobbies? Do I want to read a story or hard facts?
  3. Make the time to read.
    If you’re not a big reader, 15 minutes a day will ensure that you’re getting through that book. If you want to go hardcore and finish a book in a few days, then go for it. Take your time and relish the time you have to spend with the book.
  4. Start a reading log.
    This can be a simple sheet that says the day you’re reading, the book you’re reading and the amount of pages you read that day.
  5. Rinse and repeat.
    This is the most important step. Even if you didn’t like and/or didn’t finish the last book, try again. There are many more opportunities for you to fall in love with the depths of the printed human imagination.

If you’d like to get some ideas, take a look at my Readviews.