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The Summer My Life Began [Kindle Edition]

Shannon Greenland
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
You Save: $0.40 (5%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews


"A terrific vacation read!" ~School Library Journal

From the Author

Visit Shannon on the web at or follow her on Twitter @Shan_E_Green

Product Details

  • File Size: 505 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Speak (May 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0064VQ6R0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,539 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect summer getaway! May 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
**Originally reviewed at my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl. The copy I received was complimentary, in exchange for an honest review.**

I am on a major contemporary romance kick these days, not to mention book that take place in amazing locations (which is why I asked the author to talk about it in her guest post below my review!). I am SO ready for summer, and traveling, and sitting outside reading in the sun. I'm tired of being cold! This book warmed me inside and out, and had me smiling like an idiot while I read it.

1. Let me live in this novel. Seriously. Most of it takes place in and around an adorable, picturesque B&B in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. I loved it. Pepper House has a very tropical feel with lots of flowers and warm breezes blowing through the open shutters to ruffle the bed canopies. Sandy beaches, mysterious caves to explore, a quaint little town where everyone knows who you are and what you're up to, mopeds, waves crashing against craggy cliffs, expensive yachts tied to the dock, and yummy aromas flowing throughout it all, of food and the ocean and the flowers and the soap Mr. Sexy used after his day of surfing. Can I please go!?!

2. The writing is my favorite. I loved the descriptions of everything. Shannon's writing drapes you in a flowy gauze dress and sits you on a beach towel in the sand, rocking big sunglasses and a smile. If only I could live in this world!

3. I fell in love with the characters. Elizabeth Margaret (or Em) is so much fun. She's feeling stifled by her parents and her rich life. She has to wear polos and plaid shirts, always act ladylike, and never do anything fun. Does she want to go to Harvard to be a lawyer? No. She secretly wants to be a chef, but she could never tell her parents that.
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4.0 out of 5 stars like she was always supposed to be there with all ... January 7, 2015
This book had kept me hooked from the first few chapters. In the first and second chapter it tells about the life of Elizabeth Margaret, who is called Em. She was going to have an internship at her fathers firm, get a degree from Harvard and have a career as a lawyer, the way her mother and father had wanted. But when she gets a letter from her aunt, that she never knew about, asking her to come and visit she might just want to go. When Em finally gets the approval from her mother and father she is off to visit her aunt in the Outer Banks. While in the Outer Banks she met her aunt, cousin, and Cade. She felt at home there, like she was always supposed to be there with all those friendly people. She fell in love with Cade, the lade back, mysterious surfer boy. They had a summer fling. In the Outer Banks she learns that life isn't all about getting good grades and becoming valedictorian. Life is about fallowing your dreams and doing what makes you happy not anyone else. She learned that her true passion was to be a chief. She would help cook the meals at her aunts B&B. Em also learns that her family has secrets the would change her life forever. When she learns the secret she will never be the same. This secret gives her the courage to tell her mother and father about her true passion and why she wants to stay in the Outer Banks.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for 7th and 8th graders. It uses very good vocabulary. How the author describes everything it makes you want to jump into the book and live there. The book is well written but a little cheesy. I recommend it for 7th and 8th grade because that is the time of your life you find out who you want to be in this world. Em never was allowed to be anything but what her mother and father wanted.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Summer Read January 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The first couple of chapters had me a little worried. It starts off a little slow and I wasn't sure Greenland would be able to pull the story together and make something memorable. Thankfully, I was wrong.

This is a sweet coming of age story that deals with a lot of things teens have to face: parent expectations versus teen desires, first love, and family dynamics. Greenland managed to tackle each of these topics in a way that left everything tied up in a wonderful bow, and yet it wasn't overly perfect. I do wish this book had gone a little deeper in exploring these topics instead of just the surface skim. The topics are addressed, but I felt like there was so much more there that could have been explored. The book was good, but if it had explored this a little bit more, it could have been great.

The characters were likable and very relatable. It was easy to see a piece of myself in Em, a bit of my high school crush in Cade, and my family members sprinkled somewhere in the book. It brought me back to the summer after I graduated and when I was thinking about taking the next step towards my future.

It's a lighthearted read that made me feel good about life. It was a quick read for me, but sometimes, those are the books you want and need to read. It's a wonderful, beachy summer read.

I was given the opportunity to read this through JKS Communications.
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1.0 out of 5 stars very disappointing August 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I expected a light, easy and entertaining read, and while it was certainly easy and light, it could not have been less entertaining. It was an extremely contrived story with very little development. I hate saying this, but it was a waste of $7.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
i loved it super sweet and good characters, the mother daughter surprise was a fun twist. very good read i needed it for the plane ride.
Published on May 22, 2013 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Ope's review of The Summer My Life Began
You think you know where this book is going from the beginning, but surprise - you don't! It has wonderful turns you just won't expect. Read more
Published on April 6, 2013 by Margie
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Summer Read
The Summer My Life Began is a fast, light read that's perfect for a day of relaxing in the summer sun! Read more
Published on January 21, 2013 by Emily (Book Jems)
3.0 out of 5 stars Exactly, It's Okay
This wasn't a great book but it wasn't a bad book either. The writing was average and the plot mediocre. I neither loved nor hated it. Read more
Published on August 20, 2012 by cmvaldes
4.0 out of 5 stars Summer My Life Began
My Thoughts: Em has her whole life planned out. Going in the fall to study law at Harvard and interning at her father's law firm this summer. Read more
Published on June 28, 2012 by princess bookie
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Summer Read!
Em: Known formally is Elizabeth Margaret. Oldest of 2 daughters and Valedictorian of her graduating class. Read more
Published on June 16, 2012 by SDLane
4.0 out of 5 stars Island summer fun!
Elizabeth Margaret, or EM, has her life all mapped out. She will attend Harvard and then work side by side with her father at his company. Read more
Published on June 11, 2012 by Roso
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect summer read
The island setting and cute summer romance make this book the perfect beach read. A novel about learning to accept who you are and taking a stand for yourself, The Summer My Life... Read more
Published on June 10, 2012 by Kris
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet story...
I read this one in a single sitting--the bus ride coming home from a class trip. It was a cute, light read with likeable characters--perfect for summer. Read more
Published on June 7, 2012 by rebecca moe
3.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Letters Inside Out
I love the lightness that most "summer reads" call for, but at the same time I love books based in the summer that are troubled. The Summer My Life Began balances both nicely. Read more
Published on June 2, 2012 by Amanda Miller
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More About the Author

Shannon Greenland, or S. E. Green, is the award winning author of the thriller, KILLER INSTINCT, the spy series, THE SPECIALISTS, and the romance, THE SUMMER MY LIFE BEGAN. She lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog.

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