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The Summer My Life Began - Shannon Greenland As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!4/5 Stars!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. He knows the real secret about her and this causes drama. Much of the drama is needless. Em's voice is a bit younger than I picture for a legal adult. She doesn't always seem like someone who just graduated as a valedictorian. It's not a very unique character set-up or plot, but the author really makes it her own.I don't know how, but the twist in this book really blew me away. I think it was my favorite part of the book - besides the romance. I mean, I'm a total romance junkie. And the romance in this story is very realistic and sweet. I love Cade. He's a great guy. The word that comes to mind when I think of him is actually "summer" because not only does Em meet him in the summertime, but he himself almost embodies it. Cade is a good match for a character like Em. Em is sweet, but she lets people rule her life and that bugged me. She's a sweet girl who didn't deserve to be controlled, but loved for being her own person.This book is a very light read. Perfect for sitting out in the sun and relaxing. It's got its own drama, sure, but it isn't drama that is going to make you need tissues. That's why it's so good for summer! It's refreshing to read something so carefree after the dark books that I've been reading lately! The Summer My Life Began is a recommended book for all-age teens who need an easy summer read!I received a free e-copy of this novel for a blog tour in exchange for my honest review.