Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 8th, 2012.
My Format and Page Count: Hardcover// 468 Pages.
“A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.”
Before I begin, this review will be split up into a non-spoiler section, and a spoiler section. I will warn when the spoiler section begins! Enjoy 🙂
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 buddy read this book with a friend on booksamino, and I did not think I would like it that much. It was so good. It broke me. It fixed me. It did everything I could have asked from a book. So now let’s get on to the review.
- The Characters: There was not one character I did not like in this whole book. There was occasions when Taylor, our main character, came off as whiny, and Lucy, her ex bff, came off as bitchy, but all in all they were all solid. I feel like I got to know the characters on a level most authors would not be able to reach, especially in a standalone. My favorite character was probably Taylor’s dad, though.
- The Plot: I like the idea of a summer full of second chances. Facing your fears and getting shit done. No matter how cheesy it is, I always love it.
- The Family: The relationship between the family members in this book was so raw and real, I couldn’t help but finding myself relating my own family to the one in this book. It really hits home when a book shows a family’s real flaws, especially when that is not the main focus of the book.
- The Sickness: The way they treated the fathers cancer in this book was amazing. They didn’t make the father fight a losing battle, but instead enjoy his summer. Most books put an unrealistic edge on illnesses but this one hit it right on the head.
- The Writing: Quite possibly my favorite aspect of this novel was Matson’s writing. I love how simple yet strong her writing is, and it makes me want to read all of her books right now and all the time. I don’t think I will ever have enough.
- The Romance: I enjoyed both of the characters involved in the romance, but the actual building of it is what made me iffy. I did enjoy the fact that there was history before the book began.
Rating: 5/5 Stars.
Reason For My Rating: This book was ALMOST absolutely perfect in every aspect. There wasn’t anything I disliked, and it opened me up to a new author.
***SPOILER SECTION BEGINS***
Alright, let’s talk about the end of the book. I was worried that they would somehow miraculously save the dad from this cancer like so many books do, so I was more than happy when the author did kill him. This sounds rough, but it is what made this book perfect. It broke me down when he passed away, but him writing the letters to all of his family for certain milestones of their life put me back together. This book has made itself a home in my favorites section.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?