How did I get it?:
I bought it!
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.
Confession time. I didn’t get on with Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour at all. I don’t know what it was, I just didn’t connect with that book as much as I wanted to. I had bought Second Chance Summer at the same time, so I was a bit apprehensive about starting it. However, it has been eyeing me from my shelves for a long time now, I had to get around to it. It coming into summer seemed like a perfect time to dive into it. I’m so glad I gave Morgan Matson another chance, because I was so impressed with Second Chance Summer. I immediately connected to the characters and found myself weeping at the end (and I don’t tend to cry often at books. No, I don’t have a heart of stone, I just don’t!)
This particular cover and the blue redesigned cover may make you think that Second Chance Summer is a happy, light contemporary read. Do not be fooled! It’s certainly not a happy story, it’s emotional, powerful and moving. It’s an important story about family and friendships.
Second Chance Summer follows Taylor, who we find out often runs away from problems. Taylor’s dad, who she is very close to, gets some bad news. The family decide to visit their old summer house, which they haven’t been to for five years. Visiting the summer house brings back a lot of bad memories and awkward situations for Taylor. Taylor feels like she can’t handle the drama with her old friends and her current family situation. Taylor actually grows through the story though, and I feel like it was through the love and support of her family, despite everything that was happening to them.
It was interesting to see the family dynamic in this book. Taylor has a special relationship with her father. Their closeness really shines through the pages. Taylor isn’t that close to her siblings or her mother, but they’re not feuding, which is usually the way when families don’t seem to get along in fiction. Instead, they muddle together as best as they can, they get along at times, and at times they irritate each other. To me, that made the family feel really relatable.
There are somewhat lighter moments throughout the book. I liked that Taylor got to mend her relationships after things went wrong several years back. It takes her some time, but I loved reading about her making amends and trying to move on. I loved when Taylor and her family got to go out and make the most of summer. Taylor grew so much throughout the book and it was nice to go on that journey with her. She’s not overly likeable at the beginning, but as the story progresses, I saw where she was coming from and accepted the flaws she had, as she began to accept her own flaws.
For all fans of romance in a contemporary young adult novel, it’s there for you, but it doesn’t take over. It’s a heart-warming romance that takes a while to simmer, but feels real. Second Chance Summer essentially is about family, love and loss. It’s heart-breaking to see Taylor and her family suffer as her Dad’s condition gets worse. The last few chapters especially really got to me and I found myself crying. A sign of a very, very good book!
Would I recommend it?: