Genre: YA Contemporary
Pub Date: May 10, 2012
A special Thank you to Speak Publishing for sending me this book to review.
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.
I've been in a reading funk. Everything I pick has been mediocre. Nothing had been holding my interest, until this book. I was already in love with this book by page 2. That is saying something!
Now, this story takes place in Outer Banks. Author Shannon Greenland has described a B&B that makes me wish with all my might that I could someday own a business like this. It's funny because my Mom and I were literally just talking about Outer Banks about an hour before I started reading The Summer My Life Began. It has been awhile since we'd been and were talking about needing a good beach holiday. You will really want to go to the beach when you read this! It is perfect. I loved everything about the scenery. It was as if it was a character. Not just a setting. It had life and meaning and I wanted to know more about it and wanted to go more places there. I wanted to know Outer Banks. I'll be dreaming about this picturesque place for the next few days, I'm sure.
From the minute Em lands in Outer Banks, I knew something was up. I had a hunch what it was and I was patiently waiting to see if I was right. I was right by the way. Not that it is easily solved, I'm just smart. Ha! There is a bit of mystery to this story and I loved that it kept things fresh and moving along. It was like a whole different plot working at the same time as a love story. Which I loved!
The love story. *Le sigh* I really liked Cade from the start, but he just kept getting better and better. I was looking forward to scene's with him and wanted to know everything about him. There were so many special moments between Cade and Em that I just wanted to curl up in and enjoy. They made me feel butterflies. YES! There is character development in droves and I liked watching the character's grow and change.
Overall, such a great story. This book reminds me of The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. Really summery and enjoyable. I want me some more Cade. I think I'll go to bed and re-read my favorite parts. He's dreamy!
Have to say: LOVED it. Loved it. Loved it.
I’m a coastal person and I’ve always romanticized the Outer Banks. I’ve got family down that way and pounce on any chance I get to visit that area. Reading this book really made me want to sell my stuff and open a quaint B&B on a secluded island and paint and read and write in my spare time. (Ha! Like I’d have any spare time if I ran a B&B!) And I don’t even paint!
There is even a great summer romance! Perfect summer beach read. The Summer My Life Began is a cute story about a girl on a journey of self-discovery. Will she come to terms with herself in time to set her life on a course of her choosing? Read it and find out!