Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

♔ Details

Title: The Summer My Life Began
Author: Shannon Greenland
Publisher: Speak (Penguin)
Release date: 10th May 2012

♔ Summary
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.
♔ Review

Em, our protagonist, has her life all played out. However, that's a future her family has decided for her. Because living in a successful and strict family, even if she doesn't realize it, means her lack of freedom. She has finished highschool, will spend the summer in an internship at her father's law firm and will be attending college at fall to study law. Now, what if a letter (from a newly-discovered aunt) comes home inviting her to spend the summer and her B&B like real vacations?

The Summer My Life Began wasn't what I expected. I thought it would be a perfect summer read; light, nice and highly enjoyable. But while it was nice, it lacked the depth I seek in my reads. It felt like things were too good to be true. In this book everything was nice, everyone was always happy and excited. To the point that when there was some "trouble", it felt too forced and uncharacteristic and out of the blue.

Another thing that bugged me was the little characterization. Like I said, everyone seemed to be happy at all times. As the story went on I found the turns a tad too easy to guess, and the love story appeared out of nowhere, with little feeling.

It was so sad to see this book disappoint me! I really hoped I'd enjoy it, and while it was still nice, the points mentioned above kept me from getting into it.

♔ Rating



Stepping Out of the Page said...

This sounds like it had a good premise, but it's a shame that it didn't work out so well for you. Thanks for the honest review - I think I'll be giving this one a miss. :)

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Arila said...

¡Qué pena que no te haya gustado! La verdad es que las historias contemporáneas en las que todo es demasiado perfecto pueden resultar algo aburridas... No lo conocía pero está claro que éste no me lo apunto.
Un beso :)

Gianna said...

Aww. Sorry to hear you didn't like this one, Sophie. :( I got this off Netgalley, hoping this book might be the one to get me out of my contemporary slump but I don't think this will be the one.

I hate it when books are just too perfect or likewise, when everything's just crappy and there's no light at the end of the tunnel :P

Rachel @ Unforgettable Books said...

That sucks on how you didn't like the characters and plot that much. I really like summer reads that are exciting, drama filled and have hilarious characters.
Hopefully you can find a good summer read. A suggestion of one of my favorites books to read in the summer is Secrets of my hollywood life. its so fun and light!

Mimi Valentine said...

Aww, Soph! How is it that, even when you don't like a book, you still write such beautiful reviews? :') It feels like almost everyone I know has either mixed feelings about this book or don't like it at all, and it sucks that it fell short for you too. I like my contemporaries light and enjoyable, but depth and complications and imperfections is what makes a book even more awesome! x)

Thanks so much for the beautiful honest review, Sophie! I'll probably save this book for a rainy day when I'm in the mood to read a book I can daydream in :) Hopefully you'll found your dream summer book soon! ♥

Nicola said...

Aww, I'm sorry this one was a let down for you, Sophie! That's such a shame. This is one my to-read pile for this month so now I'm pretty curious about how I feel about it.

If you don't mind recommendations, this week I read a book with a very similar premise and I loved it. It was quite realistic and not happy-happy-everything-is-perfect. It's not out until August but perhaps its one to look out for. :)

Lovely review! :D

Sam said...

I've seen a lot of people haven't been enjoying this book. The cover and description does make it sound like a great summer read, but it's a shame to hear it doesn't quite live up to that. Thanks for the honest review!

Beverley said...

Thanks for the honest review, Sophie! It's a shame you didn't really enjoy this :( I was thinking about reading this in the summer, I thought it looked like the perfect summer read too but I might give it a miss now that I've read your review because I don't really enjoy books where the characters are so happy all the time that it's unrealistic!

Book Blogger Mom said...

I was wondering if this book was any good. Thanks for the review.

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