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?
Emiline is just trying to figure out her life after a childhood of tragedy. She is now a writer, still unpublished and and adjunct writing professor at UC San Diego. Her boyfriend, Trevor was an up and coming football star until his shoulder injury and now floats along in life. One day, Emiline's roommate Cara introduces her to a new bestseller called All the Roads Between by a mysterious new author. From the first sentence Emiline is blindsided, somebody has written about all of the nitty gritty ups and downs from her childhood. Only one person could have written something so specific about her life, Emiline's best friend, first love and the person who she has spent the last twelve years trying to get over, Jason. Will reading his book about her experiences help her get over her past or just bring back the memories that she has been repressing?
A story of love, loss, getting over it, and beginnings and endings. As soon as Emiline realized that a book had been written about her by her childhood friend, I went through the rollercoaster of emotions with her; anger, sadness, disappointment, love, relief, forgiveness and realization. Much like the book infers, I had no idea how anything would end. I really did like that there was a story within a story to tell of Emi and Jason's childhood adventures, instead of just flashbacks. This book made me feel so much, so quickly and I devoured each page just as quickly. This is a deep love story, but so much more. For anyone who has ever had to get over something from their past, Emi's emotional journey will seem all too real and familiar. Overall, a unique, powerful story that will have you gasping for air the entire way through.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Renée Carlino is the author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, and Before We Were Strangers. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog, June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.
FIND RENEE ONLINE:
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble