by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: May 8th 2012
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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.
It may be the middle of winter, but that didn't make me love Second Chance Summer any less. THIS BOOK IS SO AMAZING GUYS, BUT FOR REAL IT IS AMAZEBALLS.
So Taylor is a gal who tends to run away from her problems. But then along comes a problem she can't run away from and to top it off she has to spend the summer at her families vacation house, which really isn't so bad (REALLY) except that the last time she was at the vacation house she managed to piss off all of her closest friends. What's a girl to do?
Okay, so that summary probably made this book sound a lot fluffier than it really is. Second Chance Summer does have a bit of fluff to it (don't all good summery contemps?) but it also has so much more. In all honesty this is probably the best contemporary I've read since The Fault in Our Stars. It's that good.
Taylor was a protagonist that I found really easy to relate to. Haven't we all run away from our problems at one time or another? I also loved the relationship she had with her dad and the rest of her family. Oftentimes YA authors end up writing parents (and siblings for that matter) as obnoxious, nosy, rude, or some combination thereof. It was refreshing to read a story in which family was highlighted as something to embrace and treasure. On top of that Morgan Matson did a fabulous job bringing depth to each of the family members in this story, even the grandfather who only shows up near the end of the book. I should probably just flat out say that I LOVE the way Morgan Matson crafts her characters. They are consistently awesome, and unique, and I love each and every one of them. <3 p="p">
The plot itself seems fairly basic for a summer contemporary except that it's anything but ordinary. Sure, there's you're classic "blast from the past first boyfriend turned teenage hottie" situation (BUT HENRY IS TOTALLY ADORABLE AND A HE WORKS IN A BAKERY AND HE WINS ALL THE BOYFRIEND AWARDS!!!!) and there's the first awkward summer job situation, but it's all layered with Taylor finding herself, and finding out how to embrace love in all of it's forms (family love, friend love, romantic love) and I'm not gonna lie this book is a REAL tear jerker. I was a mess during the last 40 or so pages. A total mess. Throughout the whole book you're sort of preparing for the sadness and then it all just hits you like a ton of bricks and you aren't prepared and just thinking about it is making me feel all sad again. It's so heartbreakingly beautiful. You just HAVE TO READ IT.
The only thing I'm a tad bit iffy on was the "big issue" that had caused everyone to dislike Taylor. It really wasn't THAT big of a deal. It was basically just an awkward elephant in the room for nearly half the book which I really felt was unnecessary. A similar thing happened in Amy and Roger's Epic Detour. I know all authors have certain quirks to them (like how John Green always seems to have some type of road trip in his books) but I certainly hope that this isn't Morgan Matson's because I am not a fan. But regardless this book is still amazing!
In conclusion Second Chance Summer is a must read contemporary. Even if you aren't normally a fan of contemporaries I assure you, YOU WILL ENJOY THIS BOOK. I give it 4.5 out of 5 ice cream cones!
Morgan Matson is quickly rising to the top of my fav contemporary authors list. Everything she writes is just SO GOOD and I can hardly wait for whatever she's working on next!