Review: The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland.

Posted June 6, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Rowena’s review of The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland.

Main Character: Elizabeth Margaret
Love Interest: Cade
Series: None
Author: Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

A great summer beach read filled with sunshine, cooking, and—of course—romance!

Elizabeth Margaret—better known as Em—has always known what her life would contain: an internship at her father’s firm, a degree from Harvard, and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is, it’s not what she wants. So when she gets the opportunity to get away and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em learns that her family has some pretty significant secrets. 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 that for the first time ever, she is really living life on her own terms.

I’m a sucker for a good summer romance book and this was one of those. I haven’t seen too many good reviews for this book but that didn’t stop me from giving this book a shot and I’m glad that I did because I liked this book.

Elizabeth Margaret aka Em has had her life mapped out for her by her parents. She went to school, got the best grades, was valedictorian and was a good daughter to her parents. She lived to please them and if her own desires fell by the wayside, so be it. So it wasn’t a surprise that she was following in the footsteps of her father by going to an ivy league college, becoming a lawyer even though what she really want to do was cook. Her parents were hoity toity and they were the kind of people that had “help” and their kids were not to hang out with the help or help them with their work. It didn’t stop Em from cooking with the family cook in secret and when she knew she could get away with it and because she did all of that, she was a damn good cook.

Just before finals, Em receives a letter in the mail from her mother’s sister that she never knew existed. Of course she’s curious so she goes to her Mom and wants to know why she never knew about her Aunt Tilly. In the letter, Aunt Tilly invites Em out to her place for a visit and Em wants to go really bad. Too bad her parents don’t want her to go and neither does her unbending grandmother. But with the help of her younger sister Gwenny, after graduation, Em is on her way to visit and meet her long lost Aunt Tilly.

This was an interesting read because it wasn’t the light and fluffy read that I was expecting. Em learns so many things over the course of her time with her Aunt Tilly and I was too caught up in all of the secrets she was learning to put this book down. And she learned a lot of secrets. I ate it all up.

I thought Greenland did a great job of making me come to care for Em even when it was hard. There were times when I wanted to smack her a good one because she snapped at Cade or she assumed things before she asked any questions but in the end, I liked Em. I like the person that she grew to be in this story. I loved that she made a life for herself that was hers and hers alone and kept fighting for her family when they turned away from her. She was strong and she was good so I was a fan.

I was also a fan of the romance that blossomed between Cade and Em. I loved Cade. I knew that there was more than met the eye with him and even though he was hot, he was also a good person. He wasn’t always the perfect guy but he was perfect for Em and I dug the way that they came together.

As I was reading this, I really enjoyed getting to know Gwenny. I wanted more from her. I kept thinking, “I would totally read a book from Gwenny’s POV.” She was so different from Em but she was a great addition to this story. I so hope that Greenland decides to write Gwenny’s story. I’d so love to read it. I loved that she was honest and so loyal to Em. She supported Em’s decisions and she was a fantastic sister to her. Loved her!

Overall, this book was full of great stuff and I’m glad that I read it. The characters were great, the storyline was easy to follow along with (even with all of the secrets) and it was a good time reading it. I would definitely recommend this book.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Speak.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
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6 responses to “Review: The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland.

  1. Awesome review. I’m glad you checked this out and ended up enjoying it. I love books where people aren’t in high school, so that’s kind of cool too. Sounds like a real page-turner. Thanks for your thoughts.


  2. Bookworm1858

    I’m glad you enjoyed it; it wasn’t to my taste as I thought the characters were all too shallow and cliche. The cover screams summer though!

  3. Rowena

    @Lauren: Thanks for stopping by, I did enjoy this book. It’s a great beach read and with summer coming up…=)

    @Alex: It’s a total beach read. Great for the summer, I enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see your thoughts on the book. I hope you like it as much as I did.

    @Bookworm1858: Aww, that sucks you didn’t enjoy it more. I thought it was good and really liked seeing Em grow throughout the book.

    @Shannon Greenland: Wow, thanks so much for stopping by. Thanks for writing such an entertaining story.

    @Nath: Let me know if you end up reading this one. I’m curious to see if you’d like this book or not.

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