by Renee Carlino
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Just released: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Paperback: 320 pages
In class we say That's too on the nose when someone has written a story or a scene where exactly what you think should happen does happen.
There was just no stopping the mud, be we dealt with it the best way we knew how. We even played in it; we'd cake it on our faces, act like zombies, and try to scare Brian as he practiced with his band in the garage.
-chapter 2, page 31
From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.
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?
The format of this novel is a story within a story which plays out well. The tension and conflict in both storylines were equally drawn and had me wondering (with a bit of swooning) through to the end.
Some aspects of a writer's life are presented within these pages from pre-fame short story writing/journaling to successful book tour event traveling.
Got me thinking of those moments in life when things can't wait and you just have to go for it.
* review copy courtesy of and part of Summer Reading Challenge (here) @booksparks #SRC2016 #BestSummerEver