Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

Elizabeth Margaret's life has always gone according to plan. High school valedictorian: check. Summer internship at a law firm: check. Acceptance at an Ivy League university: check. Then she gets the chance to spend the summer with her aunt - an aunt that she barely knows. As Em unwinds at her aunt's resort, she starts to question the direction of her life and wonders about what she really wants. Mixed in with her own self-discovery is the uncovering of long held family secrets that threaten to shake (and possibly destroy) the foundation of her family. It's going to be a summer that Em never forgets.

There's a lot to be mined from the teen on the cusp of something more, particularly someone who has always lived by someone else's rules. I had a bit of a hard time into the novel at the beginning; Em's family (with the exception of her sister) seem to be so cold and formal, and some of the dialogue seemed forced. Then I realized that it seemed forced because it was forced - all of the interactions seemed to be driven by duty and obligation.  But once she arrived at her aunt's place, the change in tone was so complete. There were times when the book reminded me of Gilmore Girls (a single mom, running an inn, a bit of a free spirit, creating family out of friends), but the story very clearly spins into its own space. Fans of Gilmore Girls and summer reads should definitely toss this one into their beach bags.

See more about author Shannon Greenland at her website.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Penguin Publishing.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
The Specialists: Model Spy by Shannon Greenland
The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Ha
Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle

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