Second Chance Summerby Morgan Matson
A powerful novel about hope and heartbreak, “as much about loss as it is about first love and friendship” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Sandwiched between two exceptional siblings, Taylor Edwards never felt like she stood out—except for her history of running away when things get too complicated. Then her dad receives/b>/i>… See more details below
- Editorial Reviews
- Product Details
- Related Subjects
- Read an Excerpt
- What People Are Saying
- Meet the author
A powerful novel about hope and heartbreak, “as much about loss as it is about first love and friendship” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Sandwiched between two exceptional siblings, Taylor Edwards never felt like she stood out—except for her history of running away when things get too complicated. Then her dad receives unexpected, terrible news, and the family makes the last-minute decision to spend the summer together in the cramped quarters at their old lake house.
Taylor hasn’t been to the summer house since she was twelve, and she definitely never planned on going back. Up at the lake she is confronted with people she thought she left behind, like her former best friend, Lucy, and Henry Crosby, her first crush, who’s all grown up…and a lot cuter. Suddenly Taylor is surrounded by memories she’d rather leave in the past—but she can’t run away this time.
As the days lying on the beach pass into nights gazing at the stars, Taylor realizes she has a second chance—with friends, with family, maybe even with love. But she knows that once the summer ends, there is no way to recapture what she stands to lose. From Morgan Matson, the PW Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, this is a remarkable novel about hope in the face of heartbreaking grief.
Seventeen-year-old Taylor and her family-her mother, father, older brother, and younger sister-are off to the Poconos for the summer, whether everyone wants to or not. Taylor falls in the latter category. Returning to their lake house after a five-year absence fills her with dread: she'll have to face her estranged best friend as well as the boy she left without saying goodbye. But hardest of all, her father is dying of cancer, making this their last summer together. Matson (Amy & Roger's Epic Detour) writes subtly about complex family dynamics, grief, and the impending loss of a parent in a way that is both beautiful and true, while steering clear of melodrama. Matson's story, which shifts between the present and flashbacks from five previous summers, is as much about loss as it is about first love and friendship. Readers who love the work of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will feel intensely for this cast of vulnerable characters who demonstrate integrity, personality, and perseverance as they work to bridge yes, I meant to say bridge.the distances between them. Ages 12-up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Warning: tissues recommended."The Boston Globe
“The exploration of the father-daughter relationship is warm, sensitive, and heartbreaking, with Taylor realizing how much she counts on the man she’s going to lose. Between the dreamy romance and the four-hankie family story, this is a satisfyingly emotional summer tale.” BCCB
*"Matson writes subtly about complex family dynamics, grief, and the impending loss of a parent in a way that is both beautiful and true...Readers who love the work of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will feel intensely for this cast of vulnerable characters who demonstrate integrity, personality, and perseverance as they work to bridge the distances between them."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[Second Chance Summer] is a sweet, well written coming-of-age book that pulls at the reader’s heartstrings...This is a compelling story that reads fast and grips readers until the very end."
*"This is a bittersweet, powerful tale of family devotion, the sustainability of true friendship, and the silent courage of loving someone enough to stay and watch them die."
-Booklist, starred review
- Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.58(w) x 8.16(h) x 1.20(d)
- Age Range:
- 12 - 17 Years
Read an Excerpt
Second Chance Summer
I EASED OPEN MY BEDROOM DOOR TO CHECK THAT THE HALLWAY was empty. When I was sure that it was, I shouldered my purse and closed the door behind me quietly, then took the stairs down to the kitchen two at a time. It was nine a.m., we were leaving for the lake house in three hours, and I was running away.
The kitchen counter was covered with my mother’s plentiful to-do lists, bags packed with groceries and supplies, and a box filled with my father’s orange prescription bottles. I tried to ignore these as I headed across the kitchen, aiming for the back door. Though I hadn’t snuck out in years, I had a feeling that it would be just like riding a bicycle—which, come to think of it, I also hadn’t done in years. But I’d woken up that morning in a cold sweat, my heart hammering, and every impulse I had telling me to leave, that things would be better if I were somewhere—anywhere—else.
“Taylor?” I froze, and turned around to see Gelsey, my twelve-year-old sister, standing at the other end of the kitchen. Even though she was still wearing her pajamas, an ancient set decorated with glittery pointe shoes, her hair was up in a perfect bun.
“What?” I asked, taking a step away from the door, trying to look as nonchalant as possible.
She frowned at me, eyes resting on my purse before traveling back to my face. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing,” I said. I leaned against the wall in what I hoped was a casual manner, even though I didn’t think I’d ever leaned against a wall in my life. “What do you want?”
“I can’t find my iPod. Did you take it?”
“No,” I said shortly, resisting the urge to tell her that I wouldn’t have touched her iPod, as it was filled solely with ballet music and the terrible band she was obsessed with, The Bentley Boys, three brothers with perfectly windswept bangs and dubious musical gifts. “Go ask Mom.”
“Okay,” she said slowly, still looking at me suspiciously. Then she pivoted on her toe and stomped out of the kitchen, yelling as she went. “Mom!”
I crossed the rest of the kitchen and had just reached for the back door when it swung open, making me jump back. My older brother, Warren, was struggling through it, laden with a bakery box and a tray of to-go coffees. “Morning,” he said.
“Hi,” I muttered, looking longingly past him to the outside, wishing that I’d tried to make my escape five minutes earlier—or, even better, had just used the front door.
“Mom sent me for coffee and bagels,” he said, as he set both on the counter. “You like sesame, right?”
I hated sesame—in fact, Warren was the only one of us who liked them—but I wasn’t going to point that out now. “Sure,” I said quickly. “Great.”
Warren selected one of the coffees and took a sip. Even though at nineteen he was only two years older than me, he was dressed, as usual, in khakis and a polo shirt, as though he might at any moment be called upon to chair a board meeting or play a round of golf. “Where is everyone?” he asked after a moment.
“No idea,” I said, hoping that he’d go investigate for himself. He nodded and took another sip, as though he had all the time in the world. “I think I heard Mom upstairs,” I said after it became clear that my brother intended to while away the morning sipping coffee and staring into space.
“I’ll tell her I’m back,” he said, setting his coffee down, just as I’d hoped he would. Warren headed toward the door, then stopped and turned back to me. “Is he up yet?”
I shrugged. “Not sure,” I said, trying to keep my voice light, like this was just a routine question. But only few weeks ago, the idea of my father still being asleep at this hour—or for that matter, still home—would have been unthinkable.
Warren nodded again and headed out of the kitchen. As soon as he was gone, I bolted for the door.
I hurried down our driveway and, when I made it to the sidewalk, let out a long breath. Then I started speed-walking down Greenleaf Road as quickly as possible. I probably should have taken a car, but some things were just habit, and the last time I’d snuck out, I’d been years away from getting my license.
I could feel myself start to calm down the farther I walked. The rational part of my brain was telling me that I’d have to go back at some point, but I didn’t want to listen to the rational part of my brain right now. I just wanted to pretend that this day—this whole summer—wasn’t going to have to happen, something that got easier the more distance I put between myself and the house. I’d been walking for a while and had just started to dig in my bag for my sunglasses when I heard a metal jangling sound and looked up.
My heart sank a little as I saw Connie from the white house across the street, walking her dog and waving at me. She was around my parents’ age, and I’d known her last name at some point, but couldn’t recall it now. I dropped my sunglass case in my bag next to what I now saw was Gelsey’s iPod (whoops), which I must have grabbed thinking it was mine. There was no avoiding Connie without blatantly ignoring her or turning and running into the woods. And I had a feeling either of these options was behavior that might make it back to my mother immediately. I sighed and made myself smile at her as she got closer.
“Taylor, hi!” she called, smiling wide at me. Her dog, a big, dumb-looking golden retriever, strained against his leash toward me, panting, tail wagging. I looked at him and took a small step away. We’d never had a dog, so though I liked them in theory, I hadn’t had all that much experience with them. And even though I watched the reality show Top Dog much more than someone who didn’t actually own a dog should, this didn’t help when confronted with one in the real world.
“Hi, Connie,” I said, already starting to edge away, hoping she’d get the hint. “Nice to see you!”
“You too,” she replied automatically, but I saw her smile fade a little as her eyes traveled over my face and outfit. “You’re looking a bit different today,” she said. “Very… relaxed.”
Since Connie normally saw me in my Stanwich Academy uniform—white blouse and itchy plaid skirt—I had no doubt I looked different now, as I’d pretty much just rolled out of bed, not even bothering to brush my hair, and was wearing flip-flops, cutoffs, and a much-washed white T-shirt that read LAKE PHOENIX SWIM TEAM. The shirt technically wasn’t mine, but I’d appropriated it so many years ago that I now just thought of it as my property.
“I guess so,” I said to Connie, making sure to keep a smile on my face. “Well…”
“Any big plans for the summer?” she asked brightly, apparently completely unaware that I was trying to end this conversation. The dog, maybe realizing this was going to take a while, flopped down at her feet, resting his head on his paws.
“Not really,” I said, hoping that might be the end of it. But she continued to look at me, eyebrows raised, so I stifled a sigh and went on. “We’re actually leaving today to spend the summer at our lake house.”
“Oh, wonderful!” she gushed. “That sounds lovely. Whereabouts is it?”
“It’s in the Poconos,” I said. She frowned, as though trying to place the name, and I added, “The Pocono Mountains. In Pennsylvania?”
“Oh, right,” she said, nodding, though I could tell from her expression that she still had no idea what I was talking about, which wasn’t actually that unexpected. Some of my friends’ families had summer houses, but they tended to be in places like Nantucket or Cape Cod. Nobody else I knew had a summer house in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.
“Well,” Connie said, still smiling brightly. “A lake house! That should be nice.”
I nodded, not really trusting myself to answer, since I didn’t want to go back to Lake Phoenix. I so didn’t want to go back that I had snuck out of the house with practically no plan and no supplies except my sister’s iPod, rather than face going there.
“So,” Connie said, tugging on the dog’s leash, causing him to lumber to his feet, “be sure to say hello to your mother and father for me! I hope they’re both doing well, and—” She stopped suddenly, her eyes widening and cheeks reddening slightly. I recognized the signs immediately, even though I’d only been seeing them for three weeks. She had Remembered.
It was something that I had no idea how to handle, but as an unexpected upside, it was something that seemed to be working in my favor. Somehow, overnight, everyone in school seemed to know, and my teachers had been informed, though why or by whom, I’d never been sure. But it was the only explanation for the fact that I’d aced all my finals, even in classes like Trig, which I’d been dangerously close to getting a C in. And if that wasn’t enough proof, when my English teacher had passed out our exams, she’d set mine down on my desk and rested her hand on it for just a minute, causing me to look up at her.
“I know that studying must be hard for you right now,” she’d murmured, as though the entire class wasn’t listening, ears straining for every syllable. “So just do your best, all right, Taylor?”
And I’d bitten my lip and done the Brave Nod, aware the whole time that I was pretending, acting the way I knew she expected me to act. And sure enough, I’d gotten an A on the test, even though I’d only skimmed the end of The Great Gatsby.
Everything had changed. Or, more accurately, everything was going to change. But nothing had really changed yet. And it made the condolences odd—as if people were saying how sorry they were that my house had burned down when it was still intact but with an ember smoking nearby, waiting.
“I will,” I said quickly, saving Connie from having to stammer through one of the well-meaning speeches I was already sick of hearing—or even worse, telling me about some friend of a friend who had been miraculously cured through acupuncture/meditation/tofu, and had we considered that? “Thank you.”
“Take care,” she said, putting more meaning in those words than they usually had, as she reached out and patted me on the shoulder. I could see the pity in her eyes, but also the fear—that slight distancing, because if something like this was happening to my family, it could happen to hers.
“You too,” I said, trying to keep a smile on my face until she had waved again and headed down the street, dog leading the way. I continued in the opposite direction, but my escape no longer felt like it was going to make things better. What was the point of trying to run away if people were going to insist on reminding you of what you were running from? Though I hadn’t felt the need to do it for a while now, running away had been something I’d done with real frequency when I was younger. It had all started when I was five, and I had gotten upset that my mother was paying attention only to baby Gelsey, and Warren, as usual, wouldn’t let me play with him. I’d stomped outside, and then had seen the driveway, and the wider world beyond it, beckoning. I had started walking down the street, mostly just wondering how long it would take for someone to realize I was even gone. I was soon found and brought home, of course, but that had begun the pattern, and running away became my preferred method of dealing with anything that upset me. It got to be such a routine that when I used to announce from the doorway, tearfully, that I was leaving home forever and ever, my mother would just nod, barely looking at me, telling me only to make sure to be back in time for dinner.
I had just pulled out Gelsey’s iPod—willing to suffer through even the Bentley Boys if it meant a distraction from my thoughts—when I heard the low rumble of the sports car behind me.
It occurred to me that I must have been gone longer than I’d realized as I turned around, knowing what I would see. My father was behind the wheel of his low-slung silver car, smiling at me. “Hi, kid,” he said through the open passenger-side window. “Want a ride?”
Knowing that there was no point in even pretending any longer, I pulled open the passenger side door and got in. My dad looked across at me and raised his eyebrows. “So what’s the news?” he asked, his traditional greeting.
I shrugged and looked down at the gray floor mats, still pristine, even though he’d had the car for a year. “I just, you know, felt like a walk.”
My dad nodded. “Of course,” he said, his voice overly serious, as though he completely believed me. But we both knew what I’d really been doing—it had usually been my father who would come and find me. He always seemed to know where I would be, and rather than bringing me right home, if it wasn’t too late, we would go out for ice cream instead, after I’d promise not to tell my mother.
I buckled my seat belt, and to my surprise, my dad didn’t turn the car around, but instead kept driving, turning onto the road that would take us downtown. “Where are we going?” I asked.
“I thought we could use some breakfast,” he said, glancing over at me as he pulled to a stop at a red. “For some reason, all the bagels in the house seem to be sesame.”
I smiled at that, and when we arrived, followed my dad into Stanwich Deli. Since the deli was packed, I hung back and let him order. As my eyes roamed over the shop, I noticed Amy Curry standing toward the front of the line, holding hands with a tall, cute guy wearing a Colorado College T-shirt. I didn’t know her well—she’d moved with her mother and brother down the street from us last summer—but she smiled and waved at me, and I waved back.
When my dad made it to the front of the line, I watched him rattling off our order, saying something that made the counter guy laugh. To look at my father, you wouldn’t be able to tell that anything was truly wrong. He was a little thinner, his skin tone just slightly yellow. But I was trying not to see this as I watched him drop some change into the tip jar. I was trying not to see how tired he looked, trying to swallow the lump in my throat. But most of all, I was trying not to think about the fact that we had been told, by experts who knew these things, that he had approximately three months left to live.
What People are saying about this
Meet the Author
Morgan Matson received her MFA in Writing for Children from the New School. She was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start author for her first book, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which was also recognized as an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. Her second book, Second Chance Summer, won the California State Book Award. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at MorganMatson.com.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
Let me start off by saying this book blew me away, right out the window in my bedroom. Based on the description you would assume this book is one about finding long lost love and friendship. But let me tell you its so much more than a book you read just to read its more than one of those lazy summer day teen romances that you forget about within the next couple of months more than a book that begins to become muddled in your memory along with all the others like it. No this book you will remember. You will cry. And you will find a little bit of yourself in it. If it be Elliot hoplesly pinning fo a girl who doesnt see him. Or Lucy who makes mistake after mistake in regards to men. Maybe Taylors father who acts strong for the sake of others. Most of all Taylor herself running away from all things difficult. This book touched me made me feel something made me cry like a little baby made me realize that theres more to life. And I hope you give it a chance because I know tat yiu just might too.
I haven't read Morgan Matson's first book, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, but after reading Second Chance Summer I know that I need to move that book up on my to-read list. Second Chance Summer is, in a word, beautiful. For the past several years, Taylor has spent her summers away from home, and she thought this one would be no exception. But when her dad gets the news that he has stage four pancreatic cancer, his one request is that the family spend their last summer together at their lakehouse in the Pocono Mountains. Reluctantly Taylor and her siblings make the trip along with her parents, but Taylor dreads this summer even more than her siblings. While Gelsey will only miss ballet classes and Warren can study anywhere, Taylor has a lot of history at the lake, history that she would rather not relive. However, the past always has a way of catching up with you, especially in a small town. Taylor has to confront her old friends, which also means confronting her own faults. At the same time, she realizes she is only now beginning to know her father, and their time is running out. Soon Taylor learns that if you're lucky enough to have a second chance, you have to make the most of every moment... Reading books in which the outcome is easily surmised can sometimes be hard, disappointing, or even boring. Second Chance Summer was none of those things. In fact, this book, with its unassuming yet somehow still profound writing, suspended time, and while I was reading it, I forgot about everything else. I loved the setting of Lake Phoenix - it was the perfect atmosphere for this story (and also made me want to go to the mountains). Along with the setting, the characters truly came to life. I felt like I knew them all, from Gelsey's passion for dance to Warren's penchant for reciting facts to Taylor's dad's puns. Taylor herself was quite real and relatable - even though she was not always able to express her emotions, I was always able to feel them. Through flashbacks scattered in the novel we learn what happened between Taylor, her former best friend Lucy, and her first boyfriend Henry. Even though these three were young at the time, the story speaks to the power and depth of childhood friendships and first loves. So many emotions and relationships were portrayed in this novel. We saw joy and sorrow, tears and laughter, aspects of parent-child and sibling relationships, friends, and even romance. Because of that, this book is the total package. In addition, Taylor's emotional journey gives a great message of courage and strength. I loved who she became by the end of the novel. This story really tugged on my heartstrings and had me tearing up in a few places. The story might have been hard to read sometimes, but it is one of the best books I have read so far this year. I said this earlier and I will say it again: Second Chance Summer is beautiful and a book that I know will stay with me a long time. I am eager to see what Morgan Matson writes next!
This book honestly had me crying a few times.. and thats saying something. Its really amazing to be honest.
This book is perfect. It deals with heavy topics such as death, betrayal, and heartbreak with surprising accuracy. The reader realy does get transported into the novel. I love that this beach read has some substance to it.
Morgan Matson. A name that makes my ears perk up when it comes to talking books. The moment I hear about a new book by Morgan, I'm craving it already. That's because her stories make fantastic summer reads. But not only such that feel nice or easy. I appreciate summer reads that not only create a light and relaxed summery setting. Morgan's stories always offer a nutritious environment and a well-deserved but hard worked for chance for characters to grow, to deal with the heavy things, with emotional disturbances. In SECOND CHANCE SUMMER Morgan Matson tells the story of Taylor Edwards, whose family decides to return to their lake house after years. Some time has passed since Taylor's spent time at the lake with her old friends and there's still something of her past that she's afraid to face. I immediately felt welcome to spend the summer with Taylor's family in their cabin. It's the first time her sister gets to visit the lake and make her very own experiences, finding new friends and simply having a blast. Taylor's brother is the funniest out of the five, always good for a crazy and funny surprise. Her parents are truly wonderful, always there for their children. I had a soft spot especially for Taylor's father, who is the best dad for his children one can think of. SECOND CHANCE SUMMER wouldn't be the successful summer read it is if there wasn't also a sad side to the story. In the midst of the most important and wonderful summer of their life the family is hit by a stroke of fate and they have to find a way to bring back their ways that started growing apart. The relationship between Taylor Edwards and childhood friend Henry is what kept me reading for hours. My mind was set on finding out what happened in their past and if they were able to find a way to come back together again now that they're more grown up. There are still a lot of confusional emotions swirling between them, but there's also a spark of hope that they are exaclty the right people to help each other in times of loss and hardships. Returning to the cabin, Taylor must also face her former best girl friend and try to restore a friendship that she thought of as long lost. SECOND CHANCE SUMMER is majorly about friendship, love and family. Although the story presents us with several conflicts, the drama doesn't seem all too present or overdone. Morgan finds exactly the right way to tell Taylor's story about her second chance and what she's doing with it when her world appears to be breaking apart. The motive of a second chance is huge in Morgan's second book. I just couldn't read it without spilling a few tears. THE VERDICT SECOND CHANCE SUMMER - One of the warmest summer reads this year! Do you know that comfortable fuzzy feeling a stunning and surprising book fills you with? SECOND CHANCE SUMMER left me with exactly this kind of feeling. It felt like Morgan Matson enclosed me into a comforting hug with every single new page, so warm and welcome did I feel in her story. SECOND CHANCE SUMMER is filled to the brim with all the things summer: love, friends, family, sweet kisses, riding your bikes, ice cream, days at the lake, summer jobbing and the vast and wistful feeling that comes with each passing day of summer.
This book was fantastic. There was just enough love, friendship and romance apart from the death. Be prepared to cry your eyes out. And smile and laugh too. This is the kind of book that keeps you up at night thinking about it, in a good way. Truly amazing.
This is now one of my favorite books! Very few books make me cry, but this one did it. I couldn't put it down. It is romance, but also about friendship and going through hard times. It os very realistic and raw, and it plays with all sorts of emotions whether it is laughing or crying. READ THIS BOOK! You will fall in love with it!
This was one of the best books I have read all year. It brought out so many emotions in me. I felt like it was beautifully written.
I LOVED this book! When I read the description I thought it was going it be cheesy and another teenage summer flick thing. But it was so moving and I cried and could relate to the characters. People should definitely read this book!
i thought it was great, had me crying at the end.. finished it in one day.. also loved her other book "Amy & Roger's Epic Detour" she's a great author and a new fave of mine =)
Honestly, I don't even know if I have the words to express how I feel after just finishing this book. It was phenomenal. And it certainly was no care-free summer read. Oh no, it was much more than that. I could not put it down. As I reached the end of each chapter, I found myself yearning to read on, to know what would occur next. Most importantly, though, I learned about life, as well as I learned things even about myself. This book was heart-breaking and inspirational at the same time, and though I felt sadness and loss that I would no longer be able to follow Taylor's story at the end, I feel like I have come away as a better person. Matson is an amazing writer, and through this story of heartbreak and love, it has opened my eyes to the life I live in, and I know that I have become more aware of the decisions I make, and the relationships I take advantage of. And that, to be honest, is the first time a book has ever had that effect upon me. So thank you, Morgan Matson. I'll be looking out for your books to come :)
Second Chance Summer is a story of redemption and making up for lost time, that constantly had me reaching for a new tissue. While Taylor’s time with her friends is important within the story, it is the familial interactions that had me coming back for more. I think this is my favorite depiction of family that I have read in a YA novel so far. The balance in the sweetness of watching Taylor’s family reconnect after so long mixed with the reality of the entire family watching their family patriarch’s declining health is utterly heartbreaking. I feel like most YA I read picks up after the tragedy has already struck and it is about the protagonist moving through grief and healing. Matson’s novel however, dives right into the gritty reality of sickness and packs a punch to readers’ emotions.
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. http://momsradius.blogspot.com/2015/10/book-review-second-chance-summer-ya.html
Very emotional and all consuming. Very easy to get invoved in the story and to feel the emotions of all the characters.
So quick story: Before I started reading SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Morgan Matson, I saw that the uber-fabulous Tara from Hobbitses had read and reviewed it already. OF COURSE, because her reviews are wonderful, I checked it out. I can’t say I didn’t shout at my web browser, thinking that something was wrong with the Internet. Because guys, her review of SECOND CHANCE SUMMER is four words long. I was worried, I was anxious, and I was EXCITED to get reading. And now that I’ve finished reading it myself, I totally get it. I totally understand how you have all these feelings that don’t really have words, and that this book leaves you so emotional that you can’t think of how you might go about gathering your thoughts. (OBVIOUSLY, since I keep talking, I’m not having this problem to the extreme that I first believed.) SECOND CHANCE SUMMER is not really about the romance, not in the way Morgan Matson’s debut, AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR was, although the relationship between Taylor and Henry is sweet and solid and I LOVED IT. No, this is a book about a daughter, first and foremost, and how she comes to appreciate and understand how much she loves her father . GUYS, I WELLED UP JUST WRITING THAT SENTENCE. SECOND CHANCE SUMMER is already one of my favorite books of the year. BOOM. Truth bomb. Morgan Matson’s sophomore book is basically amazing. AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR is one of my FAVORITE contemporary YAs, and if you’ve been around the blog before, the chances that you’ve seen me bring it up are high. I’ve loved Morgan Matson since, and knew without question that I would be anticipating SECOND CHANCE SUMMER. What I didn’t know, didn’t realize, is how different in tone the two books would be. I didn’t cry when I read about Amy and Roger and their KILLER road trip romance. But I found myself welling up all over the place while I was reading SECOND CHANCE SUMMER. There was such a sense of bittersweetness about it that just touched me. See, Taylor’s dad is sick, you guys. Very, very sick. Everyone in Taylor’s family knows that their time together is dwindling, which is why they all go to the Poconos for the summer, one last time together. They haven’t been back there in five years, thankfully for Taylor because she basically left a huge, dramatic pile of you-know-what there before she bolted liked a startled pony from the dramz. So the resolution of those issues hangs over the story in SECOND CHANCE SUMMER as well. But as well done as that all was (and it WAS AWESOME), it wasn’t what resonated with me the most. It wasn’t what made me cry. It wasn’t the part that I’m still–a week later–having a hard time thinking about without having FEELINGS. Because basically, Taylor and her family are slowly watching their father and husband die. And Morgan Matson makes that both sad and special at the same time. Because as incredibly well-drawn all of the characters are in SECOND CHANCE SUMMER, I had a particular soft spot for Taylor’s dad, Rob. Somehow, in my mind, he reminded me of my own dad, and I saw some similarities between our relationship and it just KILLED ME, y’all. It was just so…sad. But SECOND CHANCE SUMMER also had its share of sweet things, too. Sweet, special moments between Taylor and her dad, just the two of them, that REALLY got to me. So even when things take exactly the turn that I knew they would, I was both devastated and a little glad for Taylor, because she had those moments. I know that I said this book wasn’t so much about the rom
This book kept me up way to late and had me crying by the end. Definitely a great read.
This book was one of the best books I have ever read. It gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling I always look for in a book.
I'm crying right now.. just finished this emotional, romantic and just great book. I wasn't expecting to be in tears, to laugh, and just enjoy it but i did and I'm pretty sure I loved it.
I dont cry when iread books this is the only one
Wow! I loved this book! I found myself crying with the family at the end. A wonderful lesson on what really matters in life and how much we take things and people for granted. The little things that we do/say that will mean so much to us and to others. Knowing that running away is not always the answer to your problems and that someone will always be there to help you up when you fall.
This one is by far my favorite book that she has wrote. I laughed my butt off. I cried like a baby. This book was amazing and so much raw emotions. I loved it and it is worth ever penny. I could read this book over and over again and never get sick of it.
Ready for a complete shocker?! Wait for it… wait… I LOVED IT!! Okay, totally not shocking. More like completely obvious. If I didn’t love Morgan Matson enough after devouring Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, the author crush is definitely in full swing now! Second Chance Summer is just that… a second chance summer for Taylor and her family. After learning her father has cancer and was only given a few more months to live, the family decides to go to their vacation home that they spent many, many summers at when Taylor was young. I could go into more detail about the story, but I feel that the synopsis gives just the right amount away. If you go into this story knowing only that, you will see why I loved it so much. Feelings overload! I was laughing, swooning and sobbing throughout this story. At 468 pages it’s anything but short, though it felt it went by much too quickly. Though I had originally purchased this book and was saving it for a sunny warm day (partly because the cover was so perfect and I wanted it on my shelf), I just couldn’t wait any longer and purchased the audio so I could get to it sooner. And I’m so happy I did. Though I’ve never in my life re-read a book before, this is one I can see myself reading over and over again. And again, as I’ve stated quite a bit lately, going the audio route was definitely perfect. Hearing this beautiful story told to me, getting to experience the emotions all firsthand, brought the story to life. There’s no question about a rating. If you can’t tell already, I absolutely adored this book. One of my favorite reads, well, ever. A perfect mix of romance, family, friendship, love, heartache and fun. Another masterpiece from Morgan Matson! I just can’t get enough of her books! (AND she grew up in NYC and Greenwich, Connecticut… so I HAVE to love her for that! :D )