· Pages: 250· Published: May 10th 2012 by Speak· Format: Ebook· Acquired: Net Galley/ JKS Communications· Date Finished: May 26th 2012
Synopsis: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.Thoughts/ Review:Let me tell you when I first took up the opportunity to read this book courtesy of Net Galley and JKS communications I was a bit hesitant. I was looking for a good contemporary read, but I wanted something a little different. When I started it I was concerned that it would fail to meet my hopes, but I was pleasantly surprised by The Summer my Life Began and Shannon’s style was so easy to get into that at times I forgot I was even reading.
The setting, magnificent and what better time to read a book about Summer when you’re stuck inside and daring to be whisked away to somewhere fresh, warm and exotic. I loved the location and the setting as it takes place in a Bed and Breakfast near the ocean and every page is radiant of this warmth throughout the novel, so even when situations turn for the worst [and they do] I always felt right there, in the moment kicking it back with a cool smoothie and taking in everything like air.
The cast of characters is varied but they all come together and really define what it means to be a family; one that our main character Em has never really had before. A close one that is, with her uptight, upper-class parents [who I would gladly love to locate firecrackers somewhere dark] ruling her life the story really plays out the needs for adventure and experience while not going to overboard with having a passionate romance.
To say I loved the characters would be a bit too much, but I certainly enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them and their separate stories – especially the hot summer love interest – Cade who very much reminds me of a boy I was madly infatuated with in high school. Also at times Em’s blatant insensitivity kind of frustrated me, but I know within myself that put in her position I would not be able to keep my mouth shut.
The Summer my Life Began is definitely a book to pick up if you are looking for something for the Summer, but are also looking for something with a bit a few twist and turns and while it was an easy book to read it does deal with some issues that a lot of teenagers [hell adults] go through at some stage of their life; like Identity, what it means to be a family, what is love and lust and how to follow your passions and pursue interests when others might be crapping on your dreams. I really enjoyed those aspects of the novel above all else, because it took me back to when I was younger and also put things into perspective in my adult life.
Overall – I am so glad that I picked this one up, it was just what I needed between reading some heavier books and it was a great one to start especially when I wasn’t feeling the best and I needed a little pick me up. It was a tad predicable in parts, but if you can overlook that small factor and just enjoy it for what it is then I hope you enjoy reading The Summer My Life Began and if you have already let me know your thoughts on it.
I am going to give this:
Pick up if you like: Contemporary, Romances, Food, Laughing and a book that will take away and allow you experience a little bit of summer yourself.