Thursday, May 10, 2012

REVIEW: The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

Title: The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
Pages: 250
Publisher: Speak (Imprint of Penguin US)
Publication Date: 10th May, 2012
Format: eGalley
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 summary

This was an instant request on Netgalley when I first saw it, because hello?! SUMMER. But unfortunately I didn't really fall in love with it.

The Summer My Life Began had a good concept, but I felt like the story wasn't executed very well and consequently, it fell a little flat for me. There was a lot of potential to be a really fun summer read, and I really wish it had fulfilled that, rather than being the clichéd, wannabe-mystery I thought it was.

I was a bit torn on Em. I could relate to her passion for cooking because I LOVE cooking but that was it really. Her relationship with her parents didn't work as well as I would've liked it to, and I think she came across really spoilt at times. I mean, there was a small bit of me that was all "You have EVERYTHING, but you're unhappy and I want to give you a big hug." but most of me was like "You have EVERYTHING, why are you acting like such a brat?" And I think there was one line about her sister that she must have said about five times throughout the novel and it just really annoyed me for some reason. The other characters didn't really stand out to me either, although Frederick sounded like somebody I might like to know and Beth seemed quite sweet.

It was nearly a did-not-finish, but I did want to know what happened at the end, so I carried on. Predictable, (a bit) repetitive and frankly quite dull in places, The Summer My Life Began is in the minority of summer books I didn't enjoy. I've seen lots of bloggers give it three stars and above on Goodreads though, so you might want to check out some more reviews to decide whether or not you want to read this.

"Across the room, the front door to the Pepper House opened and in stumbled a couple, both tall and lanky with bright red hair. "The honeymooners," Frederick whispered."



  1. Nooooo! :( This was one of my summer of 2012 must reads but I'm hearing a lot of reviews like yours with people not liking it, what a let down. Thank you so much for the honest review though now I can put other books I really want to read before it :)

  2. Totally agreed. I thought this was very dull!


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