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The Summer My Life Began by Shannon…
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The Summer My Life Began

by Shannon Greenland

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NOTE: I received this awesome book from Netgalley.

Okay, first of all, I want to start with the formality of the first couple of chapters. It was super weird. Not only was weird that the girls called their parents Mother and Father, and the granny was never anything else but Grandmother, but also, the girls were addressed by two full names!!! Em, the main character was always called Elizabeth Margaret. Now take just one minute and contemplate this. Being called by your family by your two names all the time. As in "Elizabeth Margaret, could you please pass me the water?" or "Elizabeth Margaret, put on your shoes." or "Elizabeth Margaret, whatever."

That's just a mouthful, and a weird one too. Especially since Em, a.k.a Elizabeth Margaret never seemed to even notice how awkward it sounded. And to be honest, the moment she landed in the new place where her Aunt Tilly ruled, and she dropped all that formality, it was like a huge weight was taken off my shoulders. Seriously, when Elizabeth Margaret was done for and Em appeared, I could finally relax and enjoy the nice summer Em was having.

I honestly enjoyed this novel, because it was light and romantic and had this gorgeous guy (Cade), who was just so fabulous! I loved how Em grew to be who she wanted to be, instead of the person her parents wanted to manipulate her to become. I hate it when parents push their kids in a direction they aren't meant to follow. And I strongly believe that everyone should be free to choose their own life, even if it means ruining the parents' dreams.

Anyway, all the descriptions of the Outer Banks territory was splendid. It was like I was right there with the characters enjoying the sun, the breeze, the wildlife, the ocean. It was simply amazing!

Of course, there was some drama, some secrets going on underneath it all. And honestly, I never even considered that the secret would be so huge!! So that really amazed and surprised me, in a very very good way.

And every time Em was explaining what she was cooking, my mouth was watering!! For real. And I felt so jealous of the characters who got to taste her delicious food. I can't believe I'm saying this (or typing it) but it's the truth. It all felt so lively, and realistic.

Then there was Cade and his back story - misfortunes etc. - that just drew me close to him. I so wanted to know the guy, to figure out his mysteries, to know his secrets. It was like I stood right next to him, looking at his sexy sideways smile.

Then comes Aunt Tilly, with her even bigger secrets. Her problems with her Mother (a.k.a. above mentioned Grandmother), and how much she'd grown to love and appreciate the life she was living. I loved her sense of freedom and care.

Domino, the cook, also was a great characters that pulled some secret strings here and there.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves to read YA literature. It was totally worth my time. ( )
  VanyaDrum | Jan 26, 2014 |
The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
A few things struck my interest: an island, word summer and sky is blue.
Just two things I like to get out of every book I read: learn something new and to be
taken away to a new place. This book has that and much more.
Her whole life was planned out for her, as were her other brothers and sisters lives.
College, law school and then the family law firm. Just before graduation she had gotten
a note that Aunt Tilly wanted her to spend the summer with her at the Outer Banks in NC.
The island with the bed and breakfast is in the outer banks, loved hearing of the wild ponies
when Nicholas Sparks wrote about it.
They never talked about Aunt Matilda but they agreed to let her go for one month and then she
could come back and work a month as an intern.
She and her sister were planning on what she could do there, cooking was a high priority and a summer romance.
She loved to cook but her mother when caught, would scold her and tell her she's never to cook, always to be served.
She hopes to be able to cook this summer and meets a challenge when she can pick out what spices were in the fish the first night she was on the island.
When she arrived some bad things happened and some good things. It was not at all like she
expected and there were other family secrets as well. Why had no one even talked about the secrets so deeply hidden....
Love detailed descriptions of all the lush vegetation on the island.
Wow and to learn about surfing, never knew about a guard before.
And I love the indepth secret of the family, as more is revealed and more is hidden.
Love combinations of foods and spices, gives me an idea of what to use in my own homemade muffins.
I did laugh out loud when she answered the phone thinking it was her sister and it was her mother and she told her where she was. I never laugh out loud, it was SO unexpected.
Glassblowing, love to watch the artist do this craft in person, such a treasure to hear the objects being described.
Love the ending and wish there was another book as in a series, the next part... ( )
  jbarr5 | Jul 25, 2013 |
I read this one in a single sitting--the bus ride coming home from a class trip. It was a cute, light read with likeable characters--perfect for summer. I liked Em and sympathized with her dilemmas (though, honestly--how many people really have to struggle with the two-guys-want-to-go-out-with-me issue? Was it just me missing out?) and was definitely pulling for her to get her happy ending...however, when it came, it almost seemed a bit too perfect. Still, though, this was a fun book that didn't require too much brain power to get through. Exactly what I needed after a hard weekend of chaperoning. ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 3, 2013 |
meh. an okay summer beach read but it wasn't that great. not horrible, but not great. ( )
  Punkfarie | Mar 31, 2013 |
meh. an okay summer beach read but it wasn't that great. not horrible, but not great. ( )
  Punkfarie | Mar 29, 2013 |
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Em welcomes the chance to spend a month at her aunt's island resort where she can take a break from her family's expectations, but uncovering a family secret makes her reconsider her future.

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