Friday 6 July 2012

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 7 June 2012

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.

I really enjoyed Amy and Roger's Epic Detour when I read it last year so this was a definite on my lists of books I really wanted to read. It sounded so good - sad obviously - but it hooked my interest. And all I can say is WOW! I absolutely loved it.

Taylor is one of those characters I just instantly loved. She has flaws - she doesn't do the perfect thing. In fact most of the time she runs in the other direction but I loved that. And she goes on a journey in this story. She's forced to face a situation she ran away from when she was 12 and she'd forced to deal with what is happening in her family. That is not something she can run from - and that makes her have to look inside herself and decide who she wants to be.

The storyline with Lucy and Henry was sweet. I could understand why it still played such a big role in her life - even with everything else going on. Plus I loved Henry - I'm really liking this tendency for stories to have nice male characters as opposed to the bad boy, treat them mean kind. Henry is sweet and very understanding of Taylor and what she is going through. A great friend who could make a really great boyfriend!

The true brilliance of this story though is the family dynamic and Taylor's relationship with her dad. There is a section of the book titled 'The Best of Times, the Worst of Times' and what happens that summer just completely embraces what that means. I imagine it would have been the hardest thing they have ever had to face but at the same time there would be so many memories from that summer that the whole family would treasure.

I loved her dad. I loved their breakfasts together - the way he allowed Taylor to really get to know him. The way he reached out to all his children despite the pain he must have been going through. I tear up even writing this review because I was so invested in their story that I cried my eyes out at the end. The whole 'I love you daddy'! Honestly! Thank the heavens I was reading it at home and not in public!

I don't know what else to say, except it's beautifully written and a story that will capture your heart. I can't praise it enough. Seriously brilliant!

1 comment:

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I've completely fallen in love with Morgan Matson's books - she's awesome.


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