Monday, 1 June 2015

Review: Second Chance Summer - Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, published by Simon and Schuster on 7th May 2015

Goodreads synopsis:
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.

This title was originally published back in 2012, but it has been reissued with a brand new cover.  I previously really enjoyed both 'Amy and Roger's Epic Detour' and 'Since You've Been Done' by the same author, so I was excited about starting this one.  For some reason, I never got around to reading it when it first came out - a situation that I was happy to rectify now. 

I love summery reads which are perfect for when the weather gets nice and you can think of nothing better than sitting on a warm beach with a good book, breathing in the smell of the sea and feeling the sand between your toes.  This is definitely the right read to slip into your beach bag, although be warned - you'll be so absorbed by the story that you might forget all about getting that obligatory ice-cream!

After receiving some terrible news, Taylor and her family decide to spend one last summer together at their lake house.  The house is idyllic but Taylor has to face her first boyfriend Henry and her former best friend Lucy - the people she left behind.  I loved getting to see Taylor spend more time with her Dad, as she finds out new things about him and strengthens the father-daughter bond.  I also really liked Henry and her relationship with him.  He is sweet, good and kind and the perfect shoulder to lean on.  He's the type of boy that I think we all hope to meet at some point in our lives.

This is a story about love and loss and about the relationships we have with family and friends.  Although sad (and yes, you will need some tissues), it is also ultimately about hope and new beginnings and about learning to face the future, even when that future is uncertain. 

The ending made me cry a lot and was incredibly moving but I found it uplifting too.  We all have tough and difficult things to face in life but Taylor does it with real courage and by the end of the book learns how strong she really is. 

A great read which I would definitely recommend.      

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