The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

48%

43 Critic Reviews

it didn't really seem real; like this wasn't/ couldn't be real conversations because some things the characters said and the ways they talked just seemed too... stiff to be real teenagers and family.
-The Book Lover's Report

Synopsis

Award winning, 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.
 

About Shannon Greenland

See more books from this Author
Shannon Greenland is the author of the book series The Specialists, as well as several suspense novels. She lives in McLean, Virginia.
 
Published May 10, 2012 by Speak. 256 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Summer My Life Began
All: 43 | Positive: 20 | Negative: 23

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Misti Pyles on Apr 19 2012

Em is a great character...Her love for her family motivates her to do things she doesn’t like, but she’s aching to push the boundaries of her life and find out more about herself.

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Katy Times

Below average
Aug 13 2012

I felt there were a bunch of senseless, useless scenes that just dragged out the beginning when it should have been used to talk more about Em's situation with her family...Overall the book is pretty cliche

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Rather Be Reading

Good
Reviewed by Magan on May 31 2012

This was definitely a book that called to me while I was sitting at work anxiously looking forward to the next time I could begin reading again...Definitely pick this book up for your next beach trip

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365 Days of Reading

Below average
Reviewed by Lauren on May 10 2012

The Summer My Life Began is a cute read with great intentions. The thing is, these intentions are presented in a way that seems a bit cheesy... I was bummed to discover that the ultimate result was far too rosy to be realistic.

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Reading In Winter

Good
Reviewed by Kristilyn on May 08 2012

I loved how Em was taken out of an environment she had grown up with, one of which she knows no different, and thrown into a more lax home, with her aunt’s carefree spirit and loving home.I really liked how the writing drew me in immediately.

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The Readers Den

Below average
Reviewed by Jasprit on May 10 2012

I can’t deal with books which have an unexpected turn of events, but then everything’s hunky dory straight away. With this book I felt that things got resolved way too quickly for my liking.

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Kiss the Book

Below average
Reviewed by W. Nielson on Aug 31 2012

The writing style was simple but kept my attention. The character development was decent, and everything worked out a little too perfectly. Nothing to rave about- just a quick, easy read.

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Good Books and Good Wine

Good
Reviewed by April

If you are looking to get through a flight or to just relax by the pool and shut your brain off for a few ours, check this book out. It’s adorable, has secrets, and character growth.

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The Book Scoop

Good
Reviewed by Rowena on Jun 06 2012

this book was full of great stuff and I'm glad that I read it. The characters were great, the storyline was easy to follow along with (even with all of the secrets) and it was a good time reading it.

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My Keeper Shelf

Below average
May 08 2012

Personally, I wanted a bit more angst from Em, her form of teenage rebellion is not very, well, rebellious! It was all very polite and nice and there's not a teenage tantrum in sight.

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Letters Inside Out

Below average
Reviewed by Amanda on May 07 2012

The Summer My Life Began is definitely a book to watch for this summer! It’s light enough to be a beach read, but deep enough that it can entertain in any and all situations.

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The Sweet Bookshelf

Good
Reviewed by Mary De Bastos on Mar 28 2012

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!

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Nick's Book Blog

Below average
Reviewed by Nick on Mar 21 2012

this book was a major disappointment. It was pretty lackluster

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Anna Reads

Below average
Reviewed by Anna on May 10 2012

something was missing. I just didn’t connect to the characters...because of my inability to connect with her as a narrator, I felt like she was too often telling me about things rather than making me FEEL them with her

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Ex Libris

Good
Reviewed by Kate on May 25 2012

This book was the right mix of heavy emotions, fun and romance and I think it would make a great beach read for those that are fans of contemporary YA.

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A Book and a Latte

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Apr 30 2012

This story seriously made me fall in love with the Outer Banks of North Carolina...The food descriptions were amazing and I wish recipes were included in the story, or that I had taken better notes.

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A Girl, Books and Other Things

Below average
Reviewed by Alex on Jun 15 2012

I just had a few issues with it that made it an OK book for me but no more than that. I did enjoy the setting and I liked Em, even if the big family secret could be spotted miles away.

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Justin's Book Blog

Good
May 08 2012

I didn't really feel like there were any subtle clues or anything leading up to it, or I just didn't catch on to it.. But I really felt like it was a good ending, it felt right. Shannon did a fantastic job with this story.

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Moonlight Reader

Good
Reviewed by Ange on May 07 2012

This fun-loving book, is an enjoyable contemporary read. The writing is so fun and absorbing to read and you will fall in love with every single quirky and unique character. Definitely a read for those that love the YA contemporary genre.

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Confessions of a Readaholic

Good
Jul 21 2012

The Summer My Life Began is a fab beach read, for anyone who wants a fluffy, sweet contemporary with a some profound depth to it.

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Ashley Loves Books

Below average
Reviewed by Ashley R. on May 09 2012

I wasn't very impressed with the main characters...Em was typical, Cade was typical, the stark differences between her family and Aunt Tilly were typical. The evolutions of each one were exactly as expected, too.

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Book Labyrinth

Below average
Reviewed by Ashley on May 04 2012

I would have liked more romantic moment between Em and Cade in order to lead up to the ending. This book also had some cringe-y moments, though. The "reveal" was obvious.

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I Read Banned Books

Good
Reviewed by Jen Bigheart on May 02 2012

This book was a breeze to get through; light and entertaining. There were aspects of the book that were predictable, but teens love that.

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Musings of a YA Reader

Below average
Apr 20 2012

I didn’t think my expectations were high – and yet I was still left disappointed...if I could use one word to describe everything about The Summer My Life Began, it would be “blah.”

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Catching Books

Below average
Reviewed by Sarah

I really wished that the author made the plot go a little bit slower and developed the characters more..I really felt that things were moving very fast and the characters didn't have a slow development..just a fast paced one

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Painting with Words

Below average
Reviewed by Iffath on May 10 2012

It was nearly a did-not-finish, but I did want to know what happened at the end, so I carried on. Predictable, (a bit) repetitive and frankly quite dull in places

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Ya Yeah Yeah

Below average
Reviewed by Jim Dean on Apr 26 2012

I wanted to love this one...but it fell somewhat flat for me. Greenland's writing has some really strong points, especially her mouth-watering descriptions of the food Em cooks, but her characters are generally fairly bland.

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Lauren Reads YA

Below average

The Summer My Life Began is a cute read for a day at the beach, but not one of those spectacular books that you will remember for a long time.

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Camisado Mind

Good
Reviewed by Shanise on Jul 20 2012

Their romance felt real and honest and I loved that...Every character on the island was fun and had so much life that it made me want to live on a resort on an island as well.

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Catch The Lune

Below average
Reviewed by Hilda K. on May 12 2012

The Summer My Life Began could be a much better book with more polishing...When I finished reading the first chapter, I got the impression that most part of this book will be about telling, not showing.

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My Fiction Nook

Good
Reviewed by Sandra on Apr 22 2012

The author paints a realistic picture of a young girl at the edge of adulthood, struggling with what she wants for herself and what her parents expect of her, one who's finding the strength to choose her life for herself.

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Memories Overtaking Me

Below average
Apr 18 2012

I enjoyed The Summer My Life Began, however there really wasnt much of a "WOW" factor for me. I feel that it needed al little more character to character development.

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The Book Lover's Report

Below average
Reviewed by Cierra P. on Jul 22 2012

it didn't really seem real; like this wasn't/ couldn't be real conversations because some things the characters said and the ways they talked just seemed too... stiff to be real teenagers and family.

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Kruse Reviews YA Literature

Good
Reviewed by Mrs. Kruse on Jul 04 2012

Greenland creates a wonderful tension in a plot that highlights an ageless conflict...It is this very classic struggle that would enable educators to pair this story well with classic literature

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I Solemly Swear That I'm Up To A Book

Good
Reviewed by Miriam on Jun 07 2012

Shannon Greenland manages to draw you into this amazing world of the little island and you never want to escape from their ever again...the story development was very beautiful and very unique in my opinion.

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The Book Belles

Below average
Reviewed by Montana on Jun 02 2012

Em, the main character, annoyed me so much for the first part of the book. I found her extremely rude, arrogant, and judgmental- basically just like the rest of her family

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A Daydreamer's Thoughts

Good
Reviewed by Faye on May 23 2012

this was a novel that left me feeling happy and alive and just good. I loved the last line of the novel and I feel that it is something that everyone should feel about themselves.

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Chica Reader

Good
Reviewed by Lilibeth Ramos on May 23 2012

I'm glad this brief summer read is being published close to the summer months because it will just add to the wonderful experience of reading the book under the warm sun.

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The Girl In A Cafe

Below average
Reviewed by Hannah on May 11 2012

While I enjoyed reading it, it wasn't one that caught my attention as being anything other than a quick read.

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Early Nerd Special

Below average
Reviewed by Clementine Bojangles on May 10 2012

the book’s obvious plot twists feel too predictable. From the moment Em stepped on the island, I had the book’s big reveal figured out. I kept hoping to be wrong, but I wasn’t.

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Young Adult Novel Reader

Good
May 07 2012

Shannon Greenland has an amazing way of writing that makes you feel completely immersed in the story. I honestly felt like a movie was playing before my eyes

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Lovey Dovey Books

Good
Apr 27 2012

It says much about a young girl when she meets family, that she had no idea existed, and doesn’t get torn up about it...She is decidedly a strong and admirable character.

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Miss Remmers' Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Miss Remmers on Apr 24 2012

Was it worth it? Sort of. I won’t say it got better … but there were some surprises. Some that I totally saw coming because, really, could it have been anything else

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Reader Rating for The Summer My Life Began
84%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 53 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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