TITLE: Second Chance Summer
AUTHOR: Morgan Matson
RELEASED: May 8th, 2012
AGE RANGE: YA
When Taylor’s father suddenly falls devastatingly ill, his only request for the summer is to take the entire family back to the summer lake house they used to visit every year, when the kids were younger and things were easier. The only problem is that Taylor messed up, a long time ago, and Lake Pocono isn’t nearly as welcoming as it once was. In the most pivotal season of her life, Taylor must learn how to juggle her father’s health struggles and her own need to find a second chance in the lives of her former best friend and boyfriend.
I’d never read anything by Morgan Matson before, but I’d heard so many rave reviews about her books that it felt like this read was long overdue. I tried to hedge my expectations going in, because the hype honestly sounded too good to be true, but I have to admit that I was pretty surprised by what I found.
A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted—mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.
First, the narrative voice in this book? Incredible. It was so easy to lose myself in, and I found myself effortlessly attaching to Taylor’s character. She’s extremely flawed and doesn’t always do the right thing, which is part of what makes her such an excellent protagonist; I found myself relating to her reactions, especially her tendency to run from painful situations, as I think we’ve all done that a time or two (I know I have).
But one thing that I was learning about what happened when you stuck around—it usually seemed that other people were willing to stick by you as well.
On top of that, the plot revolving around her father and his health — wow, it hurt my heart so much. There are scenes between Taylor and her dad that are physically painful to read because the fear of loss is breathtakingly authentic and leaps right off the pages. It’s not just Taylor’s pain either, though; her entire family feels so real. The worst scene for me (no spoilers) was a scene in which Taylor’s grandpa comes to visit, and the way he reacts when first seeing her dad (his son) — I’m choking up just thinking about it.
As I looked out at the water, I realized there was nowhere to go, nowhere left to run. And I just had to stay here, facing this terrible truth.
All of that said, Second Chance Summer isn’t just some endless parade of heartache. There are so many wonderful moments as Taylor finds her way back to her former best friend, Lucy, and her childhood boyfriend, Henry. The over-arching theme of the entire story is a reminder that people can change, and sometimes, we all need second chances.
Buddy read with Reg! ♥
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I love this one and I still to this day have never cried as much as I did after reading a book, as I did with this one. Great review!!
It made me cry so much, too! I swear, the scene with her grandpa coming in and holding her dad… that broke my heart!
I loved this book. By far my favourite Morgan Matson!
It’s so good! It definitely makes me want to read more from her! 🙂
Second Chance Summer and Amy & Rodger’s Epic Detour are my favorite Morgan Matson books and hands down, my favorite contemporary reads. You’re absolutely right – Taylor is so lovable because she is deeply flawed. But then again – aren’t we all? I cried so hard with this one, so glad you loved it too! 🙂
Awesome, thank you for the recommendation on Epic Detour! I really want to read more from MM as soon as I get the chance. 🙂
Great review Destiny! This book is one of the best, it really played with your emotions: it has some cute romance but also painful moments. It really balances out the romance and the family aspect of the story!
Thank you! You’re right, it has an excellent balance between the cute and sweet moments and the tragic ones — so well done!
Lovely review 🙂
I just bought this book last week. I read Since You’ve Been Gone by M. Matson, and i just knew i need to read this even if it’s not my usual genre.
Thank you! I hope you like it. 🙂
YES. SO GOOD. I’m so glad you liked it! I think this one is due for a reread for me sometime soon…
It was wonderful! I could easily see this as being worthy of many rereads in the future 🙂
[…] Second Chance Summer — Morgan Matson (YA contemporary review) […]
[…] Second Chance Summer — Morgan Matson […]
[…] My Thoughts: Wow so I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did but man was it amazing. I really enjoyed it a lot. This is a book I want to do a full review on because I just have so much to gush about. So I am excited for that. If you like Morgan Matson and haven’t read this, I highly recommend it. This was a buddy read with Destiny. […]
Nice review! I picked Second Chance Summer up from a used bookstore, but I haven’t read it yet.
Awesome, I hope you like it! And thank you 🙂