Thu, May 10, 2012

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland Review

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland book cover

The Summer My Life Began
By Shannon Greenland
Publication date: May 10, 2012
Speak (Imprint of Penguin), 250 pages
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley

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.

— Goodreads.com description

Hmm, I’m torn on The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland.

On one hand, the subject matter was intriguing and the setting was beautiful. What girl (or woman, for that matter) doesn’t want to daydream about escaping to a B&B on an island? Hellooooooo! Love that!

In that respect, this book was a great summer read—the type of book that helps you escape from reality for a few hours.

But…something was missing. I just didn’t connect to the characters. I think part of this was because Elizabeth Margaret was meant to be a rigid character, at least at first. And I get that, I do, but her voice was so formal and off-putting. And, because of my inability to connect with her as a narrator, I felt like she was too often telling me about things rather than making me FEEL them with her, you know?

I love the story idea, and I’m down with most of the plot. I just felt the writing wasn’t as captivating and the characters as developed as I’d like.

Still, The Summer My Life Began is a cute choice for a beachy contemporary read.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Email
Posted by: Anna   •   In: family, romance, shannon greenland, summer
8

8 Comments

  1. Emily Woodhouse said:

    It really is an awesome read for summer. I’m so glad you loved this book(cause I did too;)!) Awesome review! 😀

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 10, 2012

  2. a. knight @ paranormal indulgence said:

    That will make the story THAT MUCH HARDER to read and sit through, because I’m a character girl through and through, and if I can’t FEEL for them, really like and connect with them, then I won’t be feelin’ the book. Still, it’s great that it’s lighthearted and cute summer romancey read.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 10, 2012

  3. Mary-Sweet Bookshelf said:

    I loved this book! Such a great summer read. But, I did feel the same as you with the voice. I honestly wish the story was told through Cade’s POV. I felt more from his story and characterization than Em. I really loved Cade and wanted him in every scene!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 10, 2012

  4. Mary-Sweet Bookshelf said:

    I loved this book! Such a great summer read. But, I did feel the same as you with the voice. I honestly wish the story was told through Cade’s POV. I felt more from his story and characterization than Em. I really loved Cade and wanted him in every scene!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 10, 2012

  5. Magan @ Rather Be Reading said:

    I really connected with this book. I think it’s because I had a lot of the same pressures that Em did. Great review, Anna!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 10, 2012

  6. sarah@catchingbooks said:

    Totally agree with you!! I really couldn’t connect with the characters either and overall I just couldn’t relate to them!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 10, 2012

  7. Ashley @ Ashley Loves Books said:

    I completely agree with your review – it was a cute summer read (made me yearn for vacation!), but it didn’t really work for me. I think Em was just too generalized an 18-year-old girl, to the point where everyone can see a bit of themselves in her, but there’s nothing really dimensional and solid to really connect with. Still, I wouldn’t have minded reading it laying out in the sand!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 10, 2012

  8. Jasmine Rose said:

    I’ll have to keep this one in mind if I’m looking for a complete fluff summer read, but otherwise I think I’ll move it down on my TBR. I hate when a book is just missing that THING that makes you connect with it. It makes me feel off-balance.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 10, 2012

Leave a comment

Name

Email

URL

Comment   Some HTML okay. No links, please.