“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.”
I’ll be honest, after the first four pages of this book I questioned whether or not I should put it down. It reads like every other cliched novel about a rich girl who has everything and her parents have a plan for her that she doesn’t like so she gets an opportunity to visit an aunt she’s never met and spend the summer with her. There she meets a guy so unlike herself (gasp a surfer) and she falls in love with him and then she has to deal with going home to a life and a Harvard education she doesn’t want.
Oh pity me.
Really – these are the thoughts going through my mind. Why did I not put it down? Well, it was only 250 pages and I figured it would be a good break up of paranormal books in the middle of my readathon.
Was it worth it? Sort of. I won’t say it got better … but there were some surprises. Some that I totally saw coming because, really, could it have been anything else and others that completely took me off guard. The romance was nice and enjoyable, the characters were developed well, the setting was imaginable (boy do I want to vacation on the Outer Banks), the “lesson” was well taught, and the plot was fine but not necessarily COMPLETELY predictable.
Despite the blandness and predictability of the beginning and the “woe is me, my life is so unbelievably hard” theme, toward the end of this book I did enjoy it. The last time I remember contemplating putting the book down was on page 103 but from there the pages kept turning and, as it turns out, I was drawn into the story, the characters, and the plot. This could have something to do with Cade, however.
If you’re looking for a relaxed Sunday read or something to change up your preferred genes, “The Summer My Life Began” is a short novel that does have some “gasp out loud/heart stopping (because of the romance)” moments that will have you wanting to visit the Outer Banks and seek out your very own B&B.
To the FTC, with love: Galley from NetGalley