Friday, May 18, 2012

Blog Tour: Book in Review: The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

Welcome to my stop on the The Summer My Life Began blog tour! There is one more stop today: an interview at Kary AnnAlysis. If you want to see the full list of participants you can also go to the official blog tour page.

Today I will be reviewing the book.




Elizabeth Margaret—better known as Em—has always known what life would contain: an internship at her father’s firm, a degree from Harvard and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is that it’s not what she wants. When she gets the opportunity to get away from it all and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em pursues her secret dream of being a chef, and she also learns that her family has kept some significant secrets from her, too. And then there’s Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn't. Naturally, she can’t resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels she is living on her own terms for the first time.

Why I Read This:

My "bookish belief" (see my review). It also counts for my contemporary reading challenges.


One of my most recent "bookish beliefs" (as I'm calling them) is that no summer should go without a book in hand that is both beachy and takes place in the summer. Throw in the actual word summer into the title and it's impossible for me to put it aside. So it goes without saying that when I saw this book I needed to read it.

Here are some bonuses that happen to appear in The Summer My Life Began:
- the free-spirited
- summer romance
- tourist town
- island living
- rebellion
- mystery

There were some great elements to the story. There was mystery - a secret that Em's aunt is keeping from her, a secret that her crush is keeping from her, and an artist she loves but remains nameless; there was rebellion - Em's stiffled life blows apart just by finally being able to do a few things and get some freedom; summer romance - a bit too love triangle at first, but with a realistic reason and ending with a romance that feels right and not forced; a great setting - everywhere Em went felt so peaceful and exhilerating - I wanted to know all about it. These were some my favourite things about the story.

It felt very cultured. And of course Em is cultured. She comes from a very rich family and a very priveledged life. That gives us insight into some fantastic things that she is interested in - art and cooking for one. It also gives us a viewpoint that is quite different. In addition to Em's rich life she's also been oppressed by her parents; told what she has to do with her life instead of asked what she wants to do. This was probably one of the most relatable things about her. It's something that anyone can go through. All you need is overbearing parents or an upbringing that makes you believe you are not allowed to be the person you want to be. But it's also something that Em has a unique perspective on because of her background.

The whole book had a good feeling to it. A good summer read for anyone who doesn't just want to read fluff. Unforunately for me, I must have been too perceptive because I could see the ending coming a mile away. I also felt that in the end, Em got everything she wanted. Everything. And that it was a little too sugar-coated. But that may have just been me.

My Rating:


I received an e-copy of the book from publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Want to learn more about The Summer My Life Began? Here are some places you can go:

You can see more reviews on Goodreads and add it to your own list.

You can buy the book from Amazon in both kindle and paperback formats.

About Shannon Greenland:

You can find her on Goodreads, her website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

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