Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

By 11:33 AM , , , ,

Second Chance Summer
   by: Morgan Matson

Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed
Page Count: 468 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak. Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

 
 
I have been wanting to get my hands on this book for some time now, so when I saw my cousin got a copy from her friend, I decided to steal it and read it quickly over break. I'm really glad I did! Second Chance Summer is a book that will absolutely put your heart through the ringer and I can't tell you how many scenes where I teared up. Matson does such a brilliant job of writing beautiful scenes that will move you and leave a lasting impression in your heart.
 
I am such a daddy's girl, so reading this book was especially difficult for me. I can't imagine seeing the strongest man I know deteriorate to a point where he's unable to take care of himself. Taylor is forced to deal with this head on, instead of running away from it all like she wants to. I wouldn't consider it selfishness, but more that she's at a loss as to what to do. How do you sit there and watch your father wither away? She is not looking forward to spending a summer in the place she never wanted to set foot in again, having hurt two people she cared about because she was unable to be honest with them.
 
What starts out as the worst summer ever, slowly evolves into a summer of change. Taylor isn't beyond repairing those friendships she once had, but it will take some work on her part. Henry Crosby is the cute nerdy nature boy whose heart she broke by not defending him against her former best friend Lucy Marino. Lucy ended up liking Henry, but he and Taylor already had something forming and instead of telling her best friend this, she kept it a secret, only to have it blow up in her face later. I liked seeing this play out, as Matson does flashbacks of that fateful summer everything went down. Watching her fall for 12 year old Henry is adorable and I really liked seeing that.
 
Now, at 17, Henry is not the same sweet little boy he once was. In his place is an incredibly hot boy who is not at all thrilled she's back... and his next door neighbor. I am a big fan of second chance romances, so I did like watching Henry and Taylor repair what once was damaged. Their romance also isn't the focal point of the book either. It's there and it's sweet, but there is so much more to the story than the romance. Lucy is also present and she is not very warm to Taylor either. Working together is quite tense, but eventually the two find a way to forgive and move on.
 
The scenes with Taylor's dad were what really got me. As the summer goes on, Taylor finds herself wanting to spend more time with him, learning about his life, and reliving his favorite movies, music, etc with him. The scene where she plays Casablanca at the movie night she's forced to organize? Oh cue the waterworks. I was a mess. He imparts her with some valuable wisdom and what he does for her at the end? Oh my goodness.
 
Taylor's second chance story at the lake house isn't perfect. She may be reconciling with Henry and Lucy, but she still makes mistakes and runs away from people she should be running TO because she thinks she's doing the right thing. Really, she's just scared and doesn't know how to handle everything that is happening. She feels guilt for enjoying herself and blames herself for things beyond her control simply because she's not there. Her guilt is misplaced and she makes a choice that will really hurt the person she has worked so hard to not let down again.
 
A beautiful story of love, family, and friendship- Second Chance Summer is one of those books that will stay in your heart long after you've finished.

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4 comments

  1. it sounds like a book that will break my heart! and I am also a big fan of second chance romances… they might actually be my favorite so I need to get my hands on this book.. especially since it is the only morgan matson book I still haven't read!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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  2. I am very leery of YA contemporary lately. They just haven't been working for me for the most part but I do admit that this one sounds interesting and if you enjoyed it so much I'm sure it would be something I enjoy. Great review!

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  3. Ooh, this looks so good! I've been seeing this one for quite a while now, but it's only now that I read a review and it looks really great! Thanks for sharing and great review! :)
    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor

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  4. I loved this one! I have to admit that I wasn't as much a fan of the romance in this one so I'm glad it wasn't the focus. All dad daughter stories get me so this one was definitely waterworks for me too. :(

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