Title: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Published by: Simon & Schuster (May 8, 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.
What I Thought
First of all, oh my goodness! I loved this book!! I decided to read Second Chance Summer, because I, personally, don’t feel like my summer reading is complete without at least one book by Sarah Dessen and/or Morgan Matson. And let me just say, this book delivered!
I really adored all the characters in this novel. One of the things I love the most about Morgan Matson’s books are that they’re never just about the romance. Her characters always delve deeper into friendships and family relationships, and Second Chance Summer was no exception. While I really loved Henry and Taylor’s relationship, the character growth that happened in her own family was my favorite thing about this novel. Aside from a few flashbacks, this book completely takes place during the summer months, and to be able to see these characters learn and grow in such a short time left my heart filled to the brim and aching at the same time.
Obviously, this book is quite heavier that Matson’s other books – I did ugly cry, I’m not even gonna lie. That being said, the whole book is not overly sad. There are just as many joyful parts as there are sad ones. I felt all the emotions while reading this book, and I think that’s why I loved it so much.
Another thing I really loved, is just the overall atmosphere. My family and I have a trailer we go to often in the summer at a campground, which reminded me of Taylor and her family’s lake house. There’s not a whole lot to do, but that’s why people love it; everyone is just a little more relaxed while they’re there, and everyone sort of gets this vacation-y state of mind. In the beginning of summer, anything feels possible, but as the days go by that slowed down feeling of summer settles in, and Second Chance Summer really conveyed those feelings for me.
Overall, Second Chance Summer was a perfect summer read for me. The romance was sweet, the friendships were strong, and the family relationships were real. This book will make you laugh and definitely cry. Second Chance Summer was exactly the book I needed to read when I read it. I would definitely recommend it to fans of contemporaries!