Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Release Date: May 8, 2012

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 468

Received: Library

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★  

                  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.

My Thoughts:

It's no surprise I read anything Morgan Matson writes! After reading Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and following her Twitter, she's became an instant buy. The way how realistic the characters were, was so heartbreaking because you feel their emotions. I connected to Taylor almost on a spiritual level. Matson gets us invested in the complicated characters and layered plot, that will break your connection with the world.

The whole reason the Edwards Family is at their summer house: Taylor's dad. He has terminal pancreatic cancer and only has 3 months left to live. This summer is meant to spend time with him before his time is up. We see Taylor's relationship with her dad and it's lighthearted with REALLY bad puns, but also can be heartbreaking. It was a great opportunity to see their relationship build and the whole family bond. Morgan Matson's structure of characters was authentic and spoke to my literary heart.

Taylor has also constantly been running away from her past, and it finally caught up with her. She has to repair her relationships with her first love, Henry, and her ex-best friend, Lucy. But what did Taylor do that damaged her relationship with them? That recurring question is what makes your page flips more aggressive. But soon you will find out. The comparison of when Taylor was 12, and the present, was brilliant and spot on.

"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."

An issue I had with the novel was the building of family. There might have been at least one reference towards it. The novel is still yet, MOVING and POIGNANT.

I loved the way Morgan Matson went in depth with her characters and writing. We experience, with the characters, their friendship, relationships, and tragedies. The growing relationships, to the complicated characters, SECOND CHANCE SUMMER is about second chances and the quality of how far "realistic" can go.


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