Elizabeth Margaret, or simply called Em, is a girl with passion in cooking. However, the option of telling her uptight and prestigious family that she wants to pursue career in cooking is off-limit. Her family would be furious, and Em doesn't want to hurt her family's feeling. Being a chef is not even possible in her wildest imagination.
This is Em's last summer holiday before she goes to Harvard and follows her father’s path as a lawyer, when a letter from her aunt arrives. Em doesn’t even know that she has an aunt until she receives the letter. She is invited by her aunt Matilda to spend her summer in Outer Banks. The more Em thinks about it, the more she wants to accept this invitation. This is her only chance of freedom. The moment when finally, her life begins.
The Summer My Life Began could be a much better book with more polishing. I judged most books I read by the first chapter. The first chapter plays a lot in my judgment whether to keep reading or shuffle the book to somewhere in my To-Be-Read pile. Sadly, this book falls on the latter. When I finished reading the first chapter, I got the impression that most part of this book will be about telling, not showing. I felt like I was overloaded with too much information regarding Em’s feeling. I would like to have more sides of Em’s shown in the following chapters, not thrown out in the first chapter. It made me think that I’ve known every bits and pieces about her already.
Fortunately, the writing is much improved throughout the story. There are also enough puzzles and magnetism of beautiful setting of an island out in the Atlantic Ocean that made me eager to read what happens next. Em and Cade’s relationship is also very adorable. There are some surprises that I didn’t see coming and they add to positive points of this book. I think The Summer My Life Began will appeal to fans of younger YA. If I were younger, I know that I would fall in love more with this story and the message behind this book.
We drove under the beautiful archway of bright red flowers growing on thick green vines that I had seen on the Pepper House’s website. We circled around a stone fountain with four carved goats spouting water from their mouths. Cade stopped the van in front of a Mediterranean-style whitewashed stone house covered in more beautiful red flowers.
He turned the key and silence filled the cab.
“Here we are,” he said, flinging open his door and getting out of the van.
I sat for a moment and smiled. Here I am.
Three cups of tea. Like it, but doesn’t give me much impression. Recommended to read in spare time.