Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary
Release date: May 8th, 2012
Pages: 468 (ebook)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Pulse It
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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.

Second Chance Summer was a surprisingly honest and heartfelt story about the love and loss of someone that many people can't imagine living their lives without.  From the moment Taylor finds out that her dad has terminal cancer and won't survive until the end of summer, the family makes a point to spend the next few months together in a lake house that they haven't stepped foot inside for years.  Unfortunately, at Lake Phoenix, Taylor can't escape her past and is forced to face a lot more than her father's impending death.

It's obvious  that the Edwards family isn't used to spending a lot of time together.  They all have different interests, but any reader will see that they're trying their best during their last few moments as a family. Upon making her dad's last summer memorable, Taylor also spends time slowly rekindling friendships she left behind five years ago.  Though things didn't end well with her best friend or her ex-boyfriend, I found the bonds that tied them back together again to be quite realistic and exciting.

The relationship between Taylor and her father was what touched me the most, as I know what it's like to lose my own. It's easy to take others for granted, but once they're gone, you realize how much you truly care.  Thankfully, Taylor still has time and she spends it listening to him, trying to soak in as many of his stories as she can.  There's just something about knowing you won't ever hear the stories told the way he tells them again, no matter how many times you're heard them before.

The unique and breathtaking moments that the author included in this story were what made it worthwhile.  Second Chance Summer was so much more than another heartbreaking story about loss, but about another chance at the life that Taylor left behind.  There are no other words to describe this book than achingly beautiful.


  1. Lovely review, Chey. I'm looking forward to reading this, especially after reading Morgan Matson's Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. I keep asking myself why I read books that I know from the get-go will make me cry (*cough*TheFaultinOurStars*cough*), but you said it perfectly, so I'll steal your line ;) - they are achingly beautiful and I love books that make me think about my own life and what really matters. Thanks for posting this!

    1. I BAWLED reading this book! Haha. I haven't read The Fault in Our Stars yet, but now I'll have to. The ones with such deep emotion are always my favorites. :) Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!