Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Date Read: January 31
Format: Hardcover from local library
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 wasn’t sure I was going to like Second Chance Summer and it had nothing to do with the summary of the book or even that it was one of Morgan Matson’s earlier works. The summary actually sounded like something up my alley and after reading the majority of Matson’s other works last year, I knew I was going to be in for a good read. But the reason I didn’t think I was going to like this book was because as I was reading it and I found out what happened on Taylor’s birthday and the devastating news that Taylor’s dad got. He has stage four pancreatic cancer with only four months left to live. The trip to the Pocono Mountains is his last ride. As a girl who is very close to her dad, I read books that go after the MC’s dad with a little hesitation. And as it turned out with this book I was right.
However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a good story in these pages, because there is. Taylor’s fatal flaw is that she runs away when things get hard and at the start of the book she’s running away from this summer vacation for a few reasons. Her dad is definitely one of them, the other is that her former best friend and first ex-boyfriend still summer there too and she hasn’t seen them in a few years. Not since the whole thing blew up in her face. And as the story progresses you find out what that thing was, especially as she reconnects with Henry and Lucy, while also talking to her dad on a level that she hasn’t before.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Honestly, I could have done without the final days of Taylor’s dad’s life. It was ridiculously sad and I was trying very hard not to start bawling my eyes out at work. However, I liked the concept that everyone can get a second chance.
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