Second Chance Summer
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 knew going in that there was no way this book wasn’t going to break my heart. With the subject matter and it being Morgan Matson, how could it not? And I was right. Couldn’t put it down, up until 1am so I could finish it while bawling my eyes out.
Taylor, the main character, grew so much throughout the book. She started the book as someone who always ran away from her problems but this time, she couldn’t. She started off a little selfish and insecure, and she tended to keep her emotions bottled up and push people away, but by the end she learned so much about relying on others and on herself. And the growth wasn’t limited to just Taylor. The whole book was in her POV but we still saw growth in her siblings.
The relationships and the development of them in the book were fantastic. Taylor, her brother Warren, and sister Gelsey barely talked at the beginning, they never spent time together, but slowly they started seeing each other differently. Taylor and her former best friend Lucy had to forgive each other for events that happened five years ago and get to know each other again. Taylor and her ex-boyfriend Henry had a lot of awkward run-ins that added some humour as they tried to decide if being friends was a good idea, even though there were obviously still feelings between them.
The best relationship though, was that between Taylor and her father. It was amazing. It was touching. It was painful. She was learning all these new things about her father, favourite movies, music, childhood stories, that they never had time to share before and were doing before it was too late.
I thought the decline of Taylor’s father’s health was handled sensitively and realistically. There were good days and bad days and slowly the bad days started to outnumber the good ones. The reality was setting in and it was causing tension. A family member would snap at another then almost immediately apologize. It was so hard to read.
I was afraid that with the book being set during one summer and it being over 400 pages, it might feel long. But it didn’t. I flew through it, I didn’t want to put it down, even though I didn’t want it to end because I was sure I knew how it was going to turn out, and I wasn’t ready for it.
I thought the characters in the story were enjoyable to follow, and felt engrossed into their lives. The love story and friendship in the story is sweet and caring that will leave you with a smile on your face. The family is loyal, strong and heartbreakingly wonderful that will leave you with a tear in your eye.
Overall I would recommend Second Chance Summer as a great summer read. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I look forward to reading more of Matson's work. I've heard many great things about her book, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, which I have on my shelf and I cannot wait to read! I hope that I enjoy that one as much as I enjoyed Second Chance Summer. I hope you guys enjoy this one, too!
My aunt just passed away from breast cancer and I found out about 3 months ago that my grandmother has Stage IV Ovarian cancer, so this book really hit home for me. As read it I noticed all the things that I noticed while watching my grandmother (who is now in the care of hospice) and my aunt. It really felt like Matson was going on personal experience because everything was there. Even the smallest of details. This is actually what I liked the most. (Even though it made me cry like non stop!) It really feel like this was the first "real" realistic fiction book I've ever read.
I also really liked the characters. Although Taylor had her faults, someone helped her understand and come to terms with them. I also liked Henry. (I mean he works in a bakery! What's not to like?!) It was obvious that he genuinely loved Taylor and would do anything for her. With Lucy, I really liked her, but I really thought their little feud was stupid. At 12, none of that should've been as important to them as it was. As far as all the supporting characters, Davey was my favorite. I thought he was adorable.
Lastly, I loved that the writing style was so easy to read. For such a tough subject, Matson's writing style made it easy to read and easy to understand. She will bring out your best and your worst emotions at the same time and leave you wanting more. Honestly, last night when I finished I had already thought of when I would take the time to re-read this.
Matson is an amazing author and I''m upset that I waited until now to read something by her. I know that I've absolutely loved something when I can relate it to my own personal experiences as well as completely getting "taken away" with the author's words and that's exactly what this one did for me.
Over a three month period, sophomore novelist Morgan Matson writes a story about family. More than anything else, Second Chance Summer is a story about family and what it looks like when disaster strikes. For me, everything else was secondary.
It’s a rare, rare thing where a book impacts me when I find the characters unremarkable. In that way, Second Chance Summer is an anomaly. I wouldn’t, however, go so far as to call these people unremarkable, but they weren’t my all-time favorites. Taylor, as a protagonist, didn’t stand out too much, though I really enjoyed her parents, her older brother, and her ex-best friend, Lucy. Don’t get me wrong—Taylor is a completely well-rounded realistic person, and I liked her a lot.
At the same time, instead of falling in love with the characters, I fell in love with how they interacted, and with the little scenes that spoke to me on a personal level. Taylor’s relationship with her dad was absolutely perfect, and there was one scene with her mom that brought tears to my eyes. (Okay, well, there was more than one scene that made me cry.) The rekindling of Lucy and Taylor’s friendship was well-done and realistic also. In the end, Second Chance Summer became a very personal book, and I really identified with Taylor—not with who she was as a person, but with how she fit into her family unit.
The story, in and of itself, is simple, though also with too much going on, in my opinion. First, there’s the overarching plot having to do with Taylor’s dad and the family coming together. And then there’s a side plot that I really didn’t care for. Apparently, five summers ago, Taylor did something terrible that really hurt her best friend (Lucy) and crush (Henry). So for half the book, Matson keeps the reader in suspense, and we’re left wondering exactly what this awful thing Taylor did was. And then we find out that it wasn’t a big deal at all, and that Taylor and her friends were being rather melodramatic about the whole experience.
There’s just something that irks me very much when an author withholds information, obviously trying to make some sort of big reveal. Invariably, I’m disappointed. Because look, what Taylor did was uncool, but it wasn’t serious enough to merit the crazy amount of buildup Matson had, especially considering that Taylor’s dad is, you know, dying of cancer in the meantime. It was a subplot that really did not need to be included in the book.
So, obviously, Second Chance Summer was not perfect, but it was really, really wonderful for me, if perhaps a bit forgettable. If I rated on feelings alone, this would likely have just squeezed in with a 5 star rating. I don’t rate that way, though. But in the long run and in spite of a few issues, this book was very touching and meant a lot to me. The focus on family was very refreshing, and Morgan Matson is, in my opinion, a promising author whom I look forward to hearing more of.
Second Chance Summer is even better than Amy and Rogers's Epic Detour. Yes! This piece is even better and awesomer than that one. This may be the best masterpiece of Morgan Matson so far.
Amy and Roger will appeared in the book for only about a paragraph. Still it is wonderful. I had always wanted to know what happen to those lovebirds in the end. You don't need to read Amy and Rogers's Epic Detour to read this book.
In this bittersweet story, you will laugh and cry. Smile and wince. You will shake your head and be tempted to slam the book to the ground. Then you will actually do it. And then pick it back up to read a little more. A little more till you finish it.
The star of this book is Taylor. She's the one who likes to run when things get rough. This time she can't run because her father has Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer.
Taylor and her family go to their summer house one last time before you know what happens. (reason is in previous paragraph). She meets her old friends and makes new ones. Enemies become friends. Relationships mend and fall apart again.
Overall this book is a good read for children twelve and up. Not much inappropriate words. Some bad words, I think.
The main character (Taylor)... The main character is rather interesting. She is afraid. But she really loves her father and family. She is such a beautiful character. Flawless. Even better than Amy.
Taylor's family. Her brother and his newfound girlfriend are cute. Taylor's brother's flirting ways are just pure humor. (Torturing the dog, etc.) Her father is a nice guy. He really loves Taylor. He notices her a lot more than most of his family, I think. He is inspiring for cancer patients. Taylor's mom. She is a strong woman. She keeps it together despite the Grim Reaper at her door. She cracks down a little, but she remains strong for her children and husband. Taylor's grandfather... No comment. Just no...
Harry... He's the love interest. (It's been awhile since I read this, so I might get the name wrong). (For some strange reason, I kept on visualizing him as a redhead. Probably thanks to Prince Harry.) The way the author describes him is amazing. Morgan Matson just makes him sound adorable and cute. He is a sweet boy. Not the bad boy you'll read in most days. (THANKS, CASSANDRA CLARE AND JACE WAYWARD/HERONDALE/MORGANSTAR!!!!!!!)
Even though this book was a whooping four hundred pages long, I never wanted it to end. I wanted it to stay alive. Neverending. Forever. I just wanted it too last a little longer.
I really love this book. I plan on reading it again and again.
I really love how the father gives them all letters to remind them of him. He still lives on despite the fact that he died.
This book's rating is five out of five. GO TAYLOR AND HARRY!