July 18, 2013

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer

by Morgan Matson
Published May 8th 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
468 pages
Other books from the author: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour


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.

Name: Taylor Edwards
Hobby: Running away when things get hard

On the first few pages of Second Chance Summer, we got to know Taylor as a middle child with two very different siblings—they have their own things while Taylor does not really have anything special about herso running away from home has been, in a way, her own trick to get the attention. Taylor does not feel like she has a super strong bond with her family, but she's pretty close to her dad, who had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

But the fact that her dad's going to die isn't the only thing Taylor has to face at Lake Phoenix. There's Lucy, her former bestfriend, and Henry, her first boyfriend (and first attempt at something called love) because things certainly were not good after Taylor ran off from them when something bad happened, five summers earlier.

pic source
 Second Chance Summer is a story which focused a lot in The Edwards' family dynamic with a side of romance, completed with a lovely setting and set in summertime. I love how the author portrayed Taylor's relationship with her dad (I'm a bit daddy's girl myself so I feel like it really got me)—their habit to get breakfast at a diner or buying groceries together, how her dad encouraged Taylor to get a job, have some fun and 'do great things', such lovely moments—also showing Taylor's struggle to say 'I love you' to her dad but never finding a perfect time... I felt myself teared up a bit when little by little, day by day, her dad's situation get worsened :'|

But it's really good that this time Taylor's forced to actually face things instead of running from them. She quickly reconciled her friendship with Lucy (although not without some difficulties before), and smooth things over with Henry (have I told you the fact that Henry is a bakery boy? He works with dough and bread and make cookies and cupcakes daily! Oh how I love it!). Taylor also learned to enjoy her job at the snack bar by the beach, and getting over her public speaking problem through Movie Nights (They have a movie night by the beach on summer! Wonderful). And finally, understanding the fact that this, is actually the last time she and her family could do things with her dad, thus they have to make the most of it.

“The thing is that people only get hurt—really hurt—when they’re trying to play it safe. That’s when people get injured, when they pull back at the last second because they’re scared. They hurt themselves and other people.” —Lucy Morino

The main character's development was kinda impressive so I quickly liked Taylor a lot when reading. It's so common for us, seeing as we're only teenager after all, to run and hide from things or situations we do not want to face, right? We just want to avoid it as much as possible. So I could relate to that side of her. And of course Taylor still feels like running away at times, but she tries to hold it in. Aside from it, Taylor's just lovely. I love how she treated Murphy the dog nicely (I LOVE Murphy)! It's actually kind of an ironic analogy, the fact that the previous owner had just left Murphy at the lakehouse like that, compared to the reality that Taylor had exactly done the same thing to Lucy & Henry 5 years ago.

Eventhough the story was kinda long, I did not feel bored at all. It was a pleasant journey to follow and I found myself enjoying each page of it. Second Chance Summer is such a sweet story that will touch your heart deeply, making you feel thankful to still be surrounded with your loved ones, and reminds you to appreciate them even more

If you have read Amy & Roger's Epic Detour or want to read a good summery read or books with a Sarah Dessen-esque feeling or book with a great family relationship in it, make sure to read Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. It's real good, I'm telling you! :)

PS: And the romance was so good, too. I know it's rare in real life that someone actually ended up with their first love/first boyfriend, but Taylor & Henry together were just adorable! And the things Henry did to Taylor: Making her cupcakes! Surprising her with a fireworks show on the 4th of July night! Oh dear

About the Author
Morgan Matson received her MFA in Screenwriting from University of Southern California. She was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author for her first book, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. Her second book, Second Chance Summer, was published in May 2012 and draws largely on her experiences spending summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles. She's currently writing a new book that will be published in 2014.
                                                     Website | Twitter

Read other reviews of Second Chance Summer by:
Renae from Respiring Thoughts
Karla on Goodreads
Alexa from Alexa Loves Books

So, have you read Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson? What do you think about the book? Did you like it better/less than Amy & Roger's Epic Detour? And have you, by any chance, met the author in real life? Let's talk and share! :D 


  1. I haven't read it. Great review though :) I'll have to mark it as a "maybe"

    I'm a new follower via bloglovin / GFC

    Dee @ Dee's Reads

  2. This one is on my reading list :D And I'm planning to read this one after I finished with my current read! Glad to hear you like it! And it's lovely to see that this book had a great parent-children's relationship (Since YA book tends to have missing parents these day) and cute romance too! Now you've made me want to read this book even more!
    Nice review! :D

    Neysa @ [B.O.O.K.L.I.F.E]

    1. The relationship between Taylor & her mom is kinda strained somehow but I definitely love her strong bond with her father :)
      Thank you, Neysa!


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