October 26, 2012

Second Chance Summer - Morgan Matson

Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Pages: 468
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing

From goodreads.com: 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.

WARNING: This book destroyed me.  I don't know if I was feeling extra emotional that day or what, but I cried like a baby for the last 100 pages or so.  Also, I flew through this one.  Its 500 or so pages (468 to be exact) took me less than a day to read.  I just couldn't put it down.

Here's a breakdown: Taylor's dad is diagnosed with cancer and best case scenario has four months left. He requests that the family goes back to the lake house that they've been avoiding for the past five years.  While there, the past catches up with Taylor in the forms of her former best friend Lucy and ex-boyfriend Henry, both of whom she hasn't talked to in five years.

Okay, I loved Amy & Roger (Matson's first book) and I had been looking forward to Second Chance Summer since I first heard about it.  I was not at all disappointed.  I loved this book.  It had the perfect summer tone to it.  Between Taylor's job at the snack stand, walking barefoot on gravel driveways, and hanging out on her dock while she couldn't sleep, all I wanted was for it to be summer so I could be sitting at the beach reading this.  

I loved Taylor's family and how at the beginning of the summer they were practically strangers (the siblings especially), but by the end you can see how close they had gotten.  Most of all I loved Taylor, who started the book running away instead of confronting things and wound up realizing that was no way to deal with life.  I really connected with her and felt her pain.  I loved watching her relationship with her dad grow over the summer and her regret that she didn't appreciate her family sooner.  And I can't forget to mention Murphy, Lucy, Elliot, Davy, and Henry - all these great characters that populate her summer life.  I loved them all.

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