Say You Swear: A Review

Marissa Slowinski

Opinion Editor

“Say You Swear” by Meagan Brandy follows Arianna and her close-knit group of friends including  her twin brother Mason, best friends Chase and Brady, and her best girl-friend Cameron through going into college coming off from summer break. After a soul-crushing rejection, Arianna goes into her freshman year depressed and wanting to isolate herself, until she meets him– Noah.

Going into this book, I didn’t know anything about it. The summary on Goodreads and the back of the book didn’t give much away, so it was interesting to go in blind, especially after hearing great things about it all over Bookstagram. This book did not disappoint, and was 100% worth the hype that surrounds it. I fell in love with these characters. Their dynamic is playful and fun, with the aura of deeply rooted love for one another; it was insane how well written the interactions between the core 5 characters are. 

There are parties, smexy boys, sports (but those are kept to a minimum), drinking, and regular college antics in this book, which is something I enjoy heavily in real life lol. I fucking love a good party scene followed by a hanging-out-on-the-couch-hungover scene the day after. Ugh! It’s my favorite.

This book was emotionally driven and focused on character building with their interpersonal connections. It was complex, which fantastically stood out because sometimes college romances aren’t as layered or deep as I like. With themes of growing up, growing apart, seeking independence, and finding your happiness, I will be thinking about this book for a long time to come.

An element of this story that was surprising was the love triangle. I hesitate to even call it a true love triangle, but I don’t want to give anything away.  I’ll leave it at this: the “love triangle” trope is not one I gravitate towards at all because it usually fuels me with a burning desire to just pluck the main character off the page and scream at her. I didn’t feel that way while reading Say You Swear, in fact I felt like this plot device helped the storyline.

I don’t want to give away too much of what happens because I think the majority of the plot is left ambiguous for a reason, but all I can say is…you know who you want her to be with while reading this and God-damn he is flawless.

The connection between Arianna and her love interest is potent. They had such beautiful development with constant awareness for one another aided by pining lust mixed with friendly banter. The slower burn between these characters made their *spicy* scenes all the more toe curling and just so sweet. You can feel the love they have for one another even in the smallest moments. 

You can also feel the love between the people in Arianna’s friend group. The chemistry between everyone was perfect and reminded me of the best moments I’ve had with my closest friends. Friendship really is a bond that cannot be replicated and is so monumentally important to personal growth. I appreciated the inclusion of going through tough, trying times, and how they impact your friends, showing that true friends never stray away even if there is a period of minor separation due to mental health. The way it was presented rang so true, emphasizing how moving this book really was.

I have only 3 criticisms (yes I counted). The firs is that it was maybe a tiny bit too long? I’m not certain about my feelings about the length right now, so I’ll have to update when I come to a more concrete conclusion. The second is that the main love interest was a little ~too perfect~ but he was still an absolute God and I ate up every second he was on the page so what do I know. The third has to do with her brother, Mason. For how overprotective he was and how in sync  he was with Arianna, he really didn’t know what went down??? It took until the end for it to be revealed; and he was shocked?! Like he didn’t figure it sooner out…not even an inkling? (I don’t want to say specifically what “it” is that went down because spoilers, but jeez).  

Regardless, this book had me crying, laughing, and biting my nails and I can’t recommend it enough. If you want to get into sports romances/college romances I would say this (along with Icebreaker) would be my 2 recommendations at this time (and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t love sports or college romances). I blew through this one- AGH! I still can’t stop thinking about it. I love, love, love this book!

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