Oh wow!! Now I’m in quite the predicament because I was so sure The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon was my favorite book this year, but now I have this book tearing me apart. I freaking loved this book! I think Renee has outdone herself. I think this is her best book so far and that is saying a lot because I really loved Before We Were Strangers.
So what is wonderful book about? The book’s summary actually does an excellent job recapping the plot. Emiline (Em) is going through the motions of living a life…having a boyfriend and pursing a literary career. All of which remain unsuccessful as she’s nothing but a shell on the inside. As she stumbles across a new bestselling novel by a mysterious author named J. Colby, Emiline is thrown into the past. This bestselling story is her story. She is now reliving her tragic past. Emiline knows J. Colby has to be her childhood best friend and first love, Jase. And so the journey begins, as Em is forced to deal with her past and figure out her future.
“Our story is great. Maybe not all the other shit, but the story of us is perfect, Em.”
So…I loved this story’s entire concept. From the moment, I read the blurb, I knew I was going to love it. Renee delivers on this story. While the story is in present time, the majority of it is in flashbacks. The flashback of Jase and Em and how their story begins is so heartwarming and sweet, but also raw and painful at the same time. She does a wonderful job showcasing first love. Their love was so innocent, pure, and untainted; I loved reading how their friendship blooms into love; I’m a sucker for first love and this was just done absolutely right! Oh, my heart was pounding from all the emotions. Their childhood and how the ugliness of life taints their innocence just broke my heart. As a mother, I’m not sure how anyone could not provide for their child or love them. I just wanted to take both Em and Jase home and love them. Jase and Em were wise beyond their years. They grew up quick and I loved watching how they made each other strong. Their strong character made me love them so much more. Definitely two of the best characters I’ve read.
I swallowed and then tears filled my eyes. “I swear to god on your life and my own that I love you and trust you.” And that I’ll love you forever.
So then there is present day…I’ll be honest, I was having a hard time with Em in present day because she was a shell. The Em in the past with Jase was strong and vibrant, whereas present day Em was indecisive and broken. As the story begins to wrap up, I started understanding just how broken she was and why she was broken; I started to understand her and I realized that Em’s character is so real and it just make this story so much more raw. Then there is Jase. There is a reason why everyone keeps asking Em if she’s finished the book because oh my god, the last line in that book just got me…I was almost in tears and that doesn’t happen often. I was just on this long journey with them and then that last line just summed up everything. That last line sealed the book for me and how I felt. I’m a goner for this book.
So overall, I’m on a book high and that is how I know I’ve read a great book. I’m still thinking about it. Renee is definitely a top favorite author and she is just getting better and better. This is a must read!!! Happy reading!