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.