Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: The Summer My Life Began

Elizabeth Margaret has her life planned out - a summer internship at her father's law office, then she'll be attending Harvard for the next several years until she returns to her father's office with a law degree. But then life throws her a curve ball.

A letter arrives in the mail inviting her to North Carolina for the summer, from her Aunt Matilda. Em didn't know she had an aunt. After a compromise with her family, she's headed to the Outer Banks for a month.

From the moment she arrives when the airline looses her luggage and she's forced to wait two hours for her ride, life begins to change. Em begins to loosen up. Tilly, her aunt, smothers her with love and the opportunity to relax. She's not pressuring her like Em's parents and grandmother.

Em lets herself be. She  loves cooking, but she always had to cook in secret due to her parents' disapproval. Now, she's free to help out in the kitchen of Tilly's B&B. She tours the island with her new friends from the B&B including her cousin. She goes on a date with a college boy, but realizes she can't stop thinking about a more unsuitable boy. Since she has only a month of freedom, she decides to take a chance on a boy and most importantly herself.

My Thoughts: I loved Shannon Greenland's Specialist series and was so happy to hear about her new book.  I loved the setting for this book. It made me want to desperately go to the beach. I could feel myself there with the wind whipping through my hair and the sun beating down on me. A fabulous read to jump start summer!

I loved Em. She was brave stepping out of her comfort zone, dealing with family issues, and looking at her future. I adored the moments between her and her sister. I loved how Gwenny's influence helped her to relax.  They had a perfect sisterly relationship.

The family as a whole has a dark secret that Em tries to uncover. Why hasn't she heard of Tilly and her cousin Frederick before? I really liked how Em felt instantly at home in North Carolina. She had a connection with both her aunt and with Frederick - not to mention the chef.  I admire Tilly for her sense of self, for her past, and for her easy going ways. I enjoyed the moments between Em and the chef, Domino. 

I adored the moments between Cade and Em. He was so mysterious. I enjoyed watching Em figure him out, layer after layer. I loved their date; it was magical. Plus the heat between them was intense! 

Cover Thoughts: Love the carefree look in front of the ocean.

Source: Net Galley for a blog tour through JKSCommunications

Check back tomorrow for an interview with Shannon Greenland.