Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary /Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication: May 8th, 2012
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.
It’s been a while since I last read a book of Morgan Matson (actually it’s been more than a year). Summer’s coming up again and I was just craving a good summer contemporary. So what better than Second Chance Summer? I knew from the beginning that there would be some crying involved (well some? A whole lot!), so I braced myself. But I couldn’t imagine this book being so devastating and beautiful at the same time.
The story is told from Taylor Edwards perspective, as she just heard her dad has pancreatic cancer and he has only three more months to live. Her family decides to spend their last summer in Lake Phoenix, where they used to always go a few years back. But Taylor doesn’t want to go – because when she left five years ago, she left things quite messy and she doesn’t want to face those messy things again.
As I read from Taylor’s perspective, I sometimes loved her, but the other times she just really irritated me. She’s a good person, don’t get me wrong – but she was insecure in a way that bothered me beyond extent. When someone was being ‘mean’ to her, she just couldn’t stand up for herself and that really bothered me. Speaking of myself, I learned to stand up for myself (even though I found it really hard back in the day), but Taylor just wouldn’t do that and I kind of pity her. I wanted her to speak her mind and be bold, but unfortunately, she thought different about that.
The true storyline of this book was about Taylor’s dad and his nearing end. I thought Morgan was very bold for putting out this story because it’s oh so relatable for all of us. Speaking of myself, I lost my granddad back in December and reading about Taylor and losing her dad made me remembering everything again and it got me bad because it just hits home really bad. Morgan told the story in a beautiful way and just the story in his whole is gorgeous – just because it’s a true and everybody can relate to it.
So back to the romantic side of the story, and let me give you a recap. So when Taylor left five summers ago, she left it kind of messy – she just runs away from Henry (who she was currently dating) and Lucy (her best friend) and never looked back again. So when she turns up five years later and she encounters them both – it’s kind of awkward. But as time goes on, we learn that Taylor still has a crush on Henry and secretly still wants him.. but does Henry want her too?
I thought Henry was such a sweet, cute and loyal guy. I could say he’s actual goals, but as charming as he is, (sorry Henry) Frank is still my #1 as it comes to Morgan’s fictional boys.
This time around Morgan still gets to amaze me, because also in Second Chance Summer she manages to combine the friends, family and love elements so well – I seriously don’t know how she does it, but it’s one of the many things why she’s my favorite author.
Another thing I liked about the story (which is actually totally irrelevant but I don’t care) was that the girl who works at the Dog shop is called Wendy. So when I found out, I actually screamed and fangirled all the way. It’s probably super dorky, but I was just super honored that my favorite author used my name as a character. And seriously guys… you have to agree with me. It is pretty cool, right?
So, to sum it all up for you: Second Chance Summer is the perfect summer contemporary for you to read if you want a romantic, cute, but also beautiful and a little bit sad story. Second Chance Summer is literally everything combined in one and that’s why I’m giving it four stars.
Also, be sure to keep an eye out for Jaike’s review!