Monday, May 21, 2012
"The Summer My Life Began" by Shannon Greenland
NOTE: I received this awesome book from Netgalley.
Okay, first of all, I want to start with the formality of the first couple of chapters. It was super weird. Not only was weird that the girls called their parents Mother and Father, and the granny was never anything else but Grandmother, but also, the girls were addressed by two full names!!! Em, the main character was always called Elizabeth Margaret. Now take just one minute and contemplate this. Being called by your family by your two names all the time. As in "Elizabeth Margaret, could you please pass me the water?" or "Elizabeth Margaret, put on your shoes." or "Elizabeth Margaret, whatever."
That's just a mouthful, and a weird one too. Especially since Em, a.k.a Elizabeth Margaret never seemed to even notice how awkward it sounded. And to be honest, the moment she landed in the new place where her Aunt Tilly ruled, and she dropped all that formality, it was like a huge weight was taken off my shoulders. Seriously, when Elizabeth Margaret was done for and Em appeared, I could finally relax and enjoy the nice summer Em was having.
I honestly enjoyed this novel, because it was light and romantic and had this gorgeous guy (Cade), who was just so fabulous! I loved how Em grew to be who she wanted to be, instead of the person her parents wanted to manipulate her to become. I hate it when parents push their kids in a direction they aren't meant to follow. And I strongly believe that everyone should be free to choose their own life, even if it means ruining the parents' dreams.
Anyway, all the descriptions of the Outer Banks territory was splendid. It was like I was right there with the characters enjoying the sun, the breeze, the wildlife, the ocean. It was simply amazing!
Of course, there was some drama, some secrets going on underneath it all. And honestly, I never even considered that the secret would be so huge!! So that really amazed and surprised me, in a very very good way.
And every time Em was explaining what she was cooking, my mouth was watering!! For real. And I felt so jealous of the characters who got to taste her delicious food. I can't believe I'm saying this (or typing it) but it's the truth. It all felt so lively, and realistic.
Then there was Cade and his back story - misfortunes etc. - that just drew me close to him. I so wanted to know the guy, to figure out his mysteries, to know his secrets. It was like I stood right next to him, looking at his sexy sideways smile.
Then comes Aunt Tilly, with her even bigger secrets. Her problems with her Mother (a.k.a. above mentioned Grandmother), and how much she'd grown to love and appreciate the life she was living. I loved her sense of freedom and care.
Domino, the cook, also was a great characters that pulled some secret strings here and there.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves to read YA literature. It was totally worth my time.