By Shannon Greenland.
Publication Date: 10th May 2012.
Firstly, kind thanks to the publishers, Speak, for granting me the permission to review an early release of this book via Netgalley.
This book was read on my kindle.
THE SUMMER MY LIFE BEGAN: A fabulous romance with a very unexpected guy . . .
The opportunity to explore her love of cooking . . .
The freedom to be whoever she wants . . .
This is what seventeen-year-old Em gets when she goes to spend a month at her aunt's island resort. It's a dream come true—and exactly the break Em needed from her strict family and their high expectations of her.
But when Em uncovers a long-buried secret about her family, everything changes. And suddenly, Em finds herself making some big choices about her future—choices she never dreamed she'd have the chance to make . .
Firstly, many thanks to the publishers, Speak, for granting me the early review of this book for which was kindly received. This book was open to everyone on Netgalley for a period of time after i was granted access, however, I was pleased that i was given the opportunity prior to this.
The book description gave me a buzz of....'I need to read this'. A summer read with intrigue and suspense and just what i need- a light-hearted book but with interest. Now, i was right in some aspects, this book is a lovely light-hearted summer read, there was intrigue and suspense but it didn't hit the note I expected it too. I really enjoyed the book because it was so easy to read, i didn't have to think or really connect, I felt like I was watching a TV programme or a film and being spoon fed everything rather than having to use my mind and imagine.
The characters, some likeable- Em, Gwenny, Cade, Tilly and some not- Em's parents. Em was dull to begin with but over time she grew on me, her character developed into a stronger, more determined and confident one. The characters all needed more depth to them, to put some meat on them bones as such, sadly they weren't and again you were 'spoon fed' as it was told to you and not shown. More, likely this was the style of the writing and the quick pace of the book maybe. Another major depth that was needed, even though it was touched upon, is the connections with certain characters; Em with Gwenny, Cade and Tilly. Don't get me wrong, you were told this but i didn't feel it, it was sort of 'oh ok', rather than 'aww or wow', the complexity of the characters connections, especially the family ones really need just that bit more depth, a bit more time to feel it and become absorbed with the story.. The romance was lovely, nice and simple, and heart-warming, but, given the nature of the 'Summer made my life', it could have been more passionate, intense, made you feel the connection. I do like a bit of romance though and i was really happy for Em as in...good for you girl!lol.
The storyline, for me it wasn't anything new. It was all done before in some kind of form and i guessed the family secret way early in the book, same as I knew what was going to happen with other storylines- the romance and her career. What I absolutely LOVED was the fact it had an Epilogue at the end to let you know what had happened a month or so on, for me that just brings all the snagging ends together beautifully and makes you close the book with a smile on your face. I mentioned early in the review how I felt about this and lacking depth, being told not shown and the whole spoon feeding. I didn't need to use my imagination or think, the kind of book you sometimes do just need and that's probably why I read it so quickly. It did have interest to keep you reading, you wanted to know what was happening and gain some answers. Even though the big intrigue is the family secret, there is also some smaller suspense storylines to add further intrigue. I won't mention these as I don't want any spoilers in my review, but I knew what was going to happen with all these storylines quite early on too...damn!!
Overall, I enjoyed this book, I am glad I read it and I would recommend it for a light-hearted read but I would explain what I have said. A lot of people absolutely LOVE books likes this, an escape from life in a book but without complexity in depth or storyline- perfect! I feel a bit harsh giving the rating I have but I feel it is justified as this, if there were halves I would say 2.5.
Sorry this review is a bit all over, rambling and lacking in parts.
I have given this book 2 out of 5 stars.