Friday, February 19, 2016

Book Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

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 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 17 than he was at 12.

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. (Summary from

Long ago - ok, about a year ago - my coworker The Gnoming Librarian recommended that I read one of Morgan Matson's young adult novels. I read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour in March last year in about five hours, and I loved it! It's heartfelt, funny - a really quick read and perfect if you need to find your way out of a reading slump.

After I read Amy and Roger, I was told that I had to read Second Chance Summer because it's just as good. So this past weekend, I took it home with me from the library, and man am I glad I did.

You find out pretty much right away in the story that Taylor's dad is very sick. He's been told he has only a few months left to live and decides that he wants to spend it with his family where they always used to vacation in their lake house in the Poconos.

If you get nothing else from this book (and if you're human you'll get much more), you'll discover that you want to go to the Pocono Mountains. Matson's descriptions make the lake house and it's surroundings seem magical and picturesque - a place to run around carefree, riding your bike with friends, or laying out on the dock to get a tan. And though it's a contemporary novel, it brings back memories of a simpler time, when it was safe to run around town without supervision until you were so tired you dropped.

The story brings back feelings of first love and first friendships, sleepovers, and first heartbreaks. It will make you want to call up those friends from elementary and middle school that you haven't spoken to in ages, but you're really not sure why. And it will definitely make you want to spend time with your family. I will warn you that I cried through the last four chapters of the book. But, you know, sometimes you need to do that. So if you're in need of a good cry or just a good read, go pick up Second Chance Summer. You'll be glad you did.

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