Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog Tour - The Summer My Life Began

The Summer My Life Began
by  Shannon Greenland

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. (description from

Are you looking for your next beach read, but you don't quite want pure fluff? This...this is the book for you! Though it started off just a little slow as Em was dealing with her uptight, overacheiving parents, it became an easy to read, engrossing story about a girl finding herself at a beautiful beach bed and breakfast.

I have to mention the setting. This book takes place on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I've been there once for a wedding and it is beautiful. Shannon Greenland totally captured the quiet, wild beauty there and I quite literally just wanted to hop on a plane to go back!  There is one specific cave scene that just...  *sigh*'ll see.

Oh, and the food.  As Em spends time on the island with her aunt, she explores her cooking hobby. The descriptions of all the meals that Em mouth was watering as I was reading.   I could almost taste each meal. I may even try to recreate a few of the best sounding dishes!

The very best aspect of this book, though, is truly the idea of family redemption and forgiveness. I can't tell you everything without giving away the best surprises of the book, but I will say that the author did a fabulous job showing two families that had to come back together after some painful partings...and in a believable, touching way.  Em became the linchpin that drew everyone back together.

This could have been  one of those books where "girl discovers self, girl rebels, everyone fights, girl runs off, family follows, family reunites...the  end" but it was much, much more.  Em discovers some rather large family secrets and decides to follow a new path, but also devotes herself to keeping her family together. Her stubbornness and  the results that she is able to acheive made me tear up as I finished the book.

As I said, a great summer read, though perhaps not the fluff you might have been looking for in your next beach read. The Summer My Life Began is more...and it's well worth reading. Plus, I hadn't even mentioned the hot, hot boy that you will love! LOL :)

Full disclosure: ARC received from Publisher for blog tour through NetGalley

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