Em's life seems to be heading on a straight and narrow track. After graduating, she'll intern with her father at his law firm before heading to Harvard and life as a lawyer. That's until the letter from the Aunt she never knew comes, and Em suddenly finds herself in North Carolina, away from the pressures of her family and being able to finally let herself go. And what summer isn't complete without a gorgeous boy?Em is a girl who doesn't fit into the world she's grown up in, yet she doesn't let it show. Her life is pretty much dictated by her parents and her grandmother, from what to wear to where she'll go to college. Even Em's greatest passion, cooking, is frowned upon, and she has to do it in secret - until she gets to North Carolina, that is. Because of how she's been brought up, Em almost seems to have a fear of the world. Sure, she's independent enough that she'll convince her parents to go to North Carolina, but even once she's there, there's always a hesitation, a shell she needs to break through. I enjoyed Em as a character. While at times I thought her quite bland, and a bit under-developed as a character, I enjoyed watching Em's growth as a person, as well as how much more confident she grew.The Summer My Life Began started out rather slowly, but eventually picked up, introducing minor characters that in my opinion helped to make the book. Domino, the chef at the B&B was one of those characters that you just wanted to have in your life because he would make everything better by making you the most awesome food in the world. As well as giving free hugs. Aunt Matilda was a lovable woman, especially after you are introduced to Em's mother and grandmother at the beginning. Cade, who is our love interest, seems to have a bit more backbone than Em does, but they seemed to fit well together. Overall, The Summer My Life Began was a nice light read that would be perfect for moments curled up in a hammock overlooking the ocean during the summer. Okay, so maybe I'm going overboard with the visualisations, but that's what pile this book would be on for me. While I enjoyed reading it, it wasn't one that caught my attention as being anything other than a quick read. Having said that, summer romances are always great, and the secret twist in the book did actually take me by surprise!