By: Morgan Matson
Released: May 8, 2012
Purchase the Book: Amazon
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. (Goodreads)
I loved Second Chance Summer! It was a beautifully written story about family, first love, and loss. This story reminded me all over again why I love contemporary books so much.
Second Chance Summer is the story of Taylor who is spending her summer at her family's lake house after her dad learns that he's sick. The family plans to spend one last summer together. Taylor hasn't been back to the lake house in five years and she left things in a bad place with her first boyfriend and best friend. Now she has the time to not only get another chance to get to know her family better, but to also make things right.
Taylor was a realistic and well developed character. She has the tendency to run when things get too difficult for her and now that her dad is sick, she wants to run more than ever. I really loved the relationships within this book. Taylor and her family love each other, but they never were that close. It isn't until this summer that they really spend time together and get to know one another. Taylor and her siblings, Gelsey and Warren, are so different from each other. However, I loved how Taylor slowly began to bond with both of them in different ways as the summer passed. I especially loved the relationship that Taylor shared with her father though. They always had this special connection and both loved bad puns.
This book was filled with so many well developed side characters as well. I especially loved Henry and Lucy. Henry was Taylor's first boyfriend and Lucy was once Taylor's best friend. Taylor shares a complicated past with both Henry and Lucy.
The plot was paced well and I couldn't put this book down for long. I knew I would love this story the moment I saw a line from one of my absolute favorite songs in the very beginning. I really enjoyed the way the plot unraveled though. I loved how what happened the last summer that Taylor spent at the lake house was slowly revealed as the story progressed. I also loved the setting in the Pocono Mountains. I felt like I was there at the lake or the snack shop alongside Taylor.
This story was so heart achingly beautiful though. There were so many quotes that I found myself writing down and passages that I turned back to reread again. This story made me smile and cry so much. My eyes are filling with tears all over again as I write this now. I'm a huge fan of Morgan Matson's other books, but this is definitely my personal favorite book written by her.
Overall I loved Second Chance Summer and I highly recommend picking it up! It's a beautifully written story with characters that will stick with you.