The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
YA Contemporary Romance, Published May 2012
Read June 2012, 250 pages
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.
This is a fun book to take to the beach (if you do that sort of thing, which I don’t). Em has to get away from the strictness of living under her parents’ roof before she falls in line and becomes the lawyer they want her to be. When she arrives at her newly founded Aunt’s house, she soon finds the life she has always wanted. Em’s passion is cooking, but she has always been too afraid to stand up to her parents and tell them. Her newly found freedom allows her to cook at her aunt’s B&B. I loved the setting of Aunt Matilda’s house – I think I want to go on vacation there! I think Em was craving the same attention from her mother that her aunt then provides and that’s why she clings so closely to her. I liked Em’s blossoming relationship with Cade, but I wanted more! I loved Em’s relationship with her cousin too. They were definitely two peas in a pod! Overall, a good coming of age story with a little mystery – where has Aunt Matilda been her whole life?
“It’s strange, but I’ve always liked graveyards.”
I looked back. “Me too. It’s the —”
“History,” my cousin finished for me.
“Isn’t it amazing the names, the relations, how they died…?” Frederick’s voice trailed off as he pondered the headstones.
And I thought I was the only graveyard freak in the family.
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Publishing for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.