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The Summer My Life Began by [Greenland, Shannon]
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The Summer My Life Began Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and up

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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)
  • Publication Date: May 10, 2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0064VQ6R0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #791,446 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
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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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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Format: Paperback
The Summer My Life Began is a fast, light read that's perfect for a day of relaxing in the summer sun!

Elizabeth Margaret, or Em as she's referred to in most of the story, and her sister are born into a world of prestige. As they grow, they must learn to meet their family's expectations: perfect grades, ivy league education and a high-standing job like a lawyer or a doctor. All Em wants is to be a chef and get away from the high stress of her family's expectations. So she decides to go to an aunt's Bed and Breakfast. She's never heard of this aunt, but receives an invite as a high school graduation present.

The way that Em's life is depicted really annoyed me, but based on television shows, movies and other books, the way she grew up seems normal for a upper class citizen. For me, it was hard to believe and actually a bit frightening. My parents want me to be the best I can be, but they want me to do what I want to do. To see someone's parents so prejudice to people who aren't rich, or careers that aren't high end, is very unnerving to me. I wanted Em to immediately get out of that house and find her own way.

As soon as Em makes her way to her aunt's home in North Carolina, I wanted to visit my own family there. The way Ms. Greenland writes the scenery really makes you want to go to the Outer Banks. And eat a lot of food. Reading Em's descriptions of the food she's cooking made me literally drool. I'll admit to having to have food around as I read this one. That's how delicious the meals sounded! Ms. Greenland has a way with descriptions!

I had a few issues with this book, but overall, I enjoyed it. There are a lot of cheesy aspects in this book. Rich girl falls for the poor, mysterious boy. It's almost insta-love.
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