31 March 2012

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
Release Date: May 10, 2012
Publisher: Speak
Source: NetGalley
Rating: Bland

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. - Goodreads

I really liked the sound of The Summer My Life Began when I looked up the premise on Goodreads. I'm really into contemporary novels right now, and I love summer books so I was really looking forward to reading it and I was so, so happy when I saw it was available on NetGalley. Unfortunately, the poor writing style and the wooden characters meant that the book didn't live up to my expectations.

My main issue with this book is the writing style. There is a lot of telling instead of showing and lots of "I did this, and then twenty minutes later I did that." I couldn't get into the book and I found myself becoming very bored very quickly.

The characters weren't appealing either. Elizabeth Margaret (or Em) didn't have much of a personality. I knew she liked cooking, but that's about it. The secondary characters are all pretty plain, especially the love interest who is meant to be a broken, tortured soul. There's also a contrived love triangle in the beginning, and this annoyed me. Why does every book nowadays have a love triangle?

The author does throw a twist in, and it could have been good if I hadn't been able to tell what it was from the first chapter. It wasn't surprising for me, and so it didn't draw me in like it could have.

I can't recommend this book to people, because it was just so boring. I have read a lot of mixed things about it, so definitely check out some other reviews before deciding. You might like it! I just couldn't get past the wooden writing, dialogue and characters.


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