Book Review: Second Chance Summer (YA)

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Goodreads Summary:
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. 

My Review:
This book is both light and heavy. It had all the fun of a summer romance. With the intensity of family drama and friendship reconciliation pilled on top. Or maybe vice versa. I loved every second of it!

After learning that her father is dying of pancreatic cancer, Taylor and her family go to their lake house in the Poconos to spend one last summer together. They have not been there for 5 years, and something happened during that last summer that has left Taylor estranged from her former best friend, Lucy, and her first ever boyfriend, Henry.

I fell in love with Taylor right away, and I was immediately routing for her: to tell her father she loved him, to repair her friendship with Lucy, and to convince Henry to give her a second chance.

I really enjoyed the family dynamic of this story. They seemed so real. They were all fairly caught up in their own lives, and they didn’t really talk much – let alone discuss their feelings. Matson portrayed so well the different ways people deal with grief. Taylor has a tendency to run away when things get tough, and, while she realizes this, she struggles with it throughout the book.

All of the characters had little quirks that made them so endearing. Taylor’s brother has an obsession with facts and cannot keep them to himself. Her dad loves puns. Her little sister, Gelsey, practices ballet everywhere. Even the neighbors and Taylor’s boss have odd behaviors that help bring them to life.

This book once again proved Matson’s skills as a writer. She had me crying by the end. Thankfully, I was in the house alone when I finished the book.

I cannot wait for her next book. She is now on my auto-read list.

My Rating: 5 Stars
Understand my ratings.

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  1. I am SO happy you loved this one! Now you can see why I chose it for my TTT and said that it was such a well-rounded story. Matson really touched on so many different themes. I was crying my eyes out at my desk at work when I finished reading! (Awkward)

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