Oct 29, 2012

Second Chance Summer

I knew right after reading Morgan Matson debut novel Amy & Rogers Epic Detour that I would be reading every and any book with her name on it. When I heard about Second Chance Summer and soon after the cover and summary were revealed I knew I had to have this book. I loved everything about her previous book and I had no doubt I would love this one. And though I did like it a lot I didn't love it as much as I thought I was going to.

Summary from Goodreads:

From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak. 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.

We first meet Taylor and she's running away. Something she makes clear she has been doing for as long as she can remember. It's what she does best. Not soon after do we learn that her father is dying from pancreatic cancer.

Taylor was an interesting character. I really liked her narration and I loved getting to watch her evolve from the first chapter to the very last page of the book. She was a character who doesn't do well with confrontation and would rather run away from it than face it. The thing with Taylor is a part of her does want to face things and stop running but she just hasn't figured out how to do that.Taylor was a great character and I really enjoyed her story.

This book had a lot of great and interesting characters from ex-best friend Lucy to handsome first love Henry. There's so many to talk about but I'll only mention my favorite and leave the rest for you all to met when the time comes you decide to read the book--which you all should by the way. First off I really loved Taylor's family. Her little sister Gesley who seems like a real brat at first and Warren her smarty pants big brother who knows all these facts about things he feels he must make sure everyone else knows as well. Over all though I really liked Taylor's dad. And it was horrible because I knew that this character wasn't going to have an outcome I was going to like. But never the less I loved Taylor's dad and all his corny puns.

Henry, Lucy, and Elliot are another of my favorite characters. Henry is so sweet and honest and amazing but there was something lacking with him. Though I did enjoy everything about this character he didn't have that swoon effect on me like most love interests do. Keep in mind this is just my personal experience while reading this book and even though I didn't feel that swoon-y feeling with Henry I still really loved him as a character. Lucy I didn't like at first but the more she was around the more I liked her. Elliot I loved right of the bat. How couldn't you love Elliot? He made me smile throughout the book. Now I will always think of him whenever I watch Dirty Dancing or Jaws.

This book has a summer setting which I loved but a lot of stuff in this book was predictable. Though it was predictable that didn't make it any less enjoyable. While reading I just knew when Taylor was going to do certain things like at the end of chapter thirty-two I just knew Taylor was going to do that and I wanted to bop her on the back of the head for doing it. This is definitely a perfect summer read but don't go into it expecting for it to be easy and carefree. The whole time reading you know that the ending is going to be an inevitably sad one. I got really choked up in the final chapters of this book. It was really hard not to and there's a quote from the book that I have to share. It's probably my favorite thing written in this book. It stuck with me so much that I don't have to look back to the page to word it. I just love it and think it's true and beautiful.

"The Beatles got it wrong. Love isn't all we need--love is all there is."

Second Chance Summer is exactly that a book of second chances and the importance of family and friends. And though I did state above that I didn't enjoy this one as much as I thought I would I still really liked it. Morgan Matson is a beautiful writer. Her words stick with you and they create beautiful images in your head as you read. Second Chance Summer is getting 4 out of 5 birds from me. I for one cannot wait for her next book. Anyone who loves contemporary reads will enjoy this book through and through. Pick it up and commence to fall in love with Morgan's way of writing.


  1. I'm hearing a lot about this author but haven't read anything by her. But that line of how her words stick with you and create beautiful images definitely makes her an author I need to add to my TBR list. Beautiful review Bailey!

  2. I have a copy of this but am yet to read it. I do like that it's a summer book because the weather here is warming up but the predictability is not such a good thing. Great review!