Second Chance Summer
By: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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 is one of those books that exceeds a 5 star rating. If I could give this book all the stars in the sky, I would.
Before we start know that this book will require tissues. And I’m not talking the, dab-the-corner-of-your-eyes, kind of tissues. I mean the full on, snot sobbing fest kind.
Taylor Edwards runs from everything. She’s mastered the art of it. When things get too hard, she takes off. It’s not like she goes far, maybe just down the street, but when faced with dilema’s that she can’t handle, she flees. That’s how this story starts off. Taylor is trying to make an escape from her house before the family packs up and heads to the Pocono’s for the summer. Needless to say, she doesn’t get far.
Having to face the hard news of what’s happening to her father, she’s forced to spend the entire summer at a place she fled from five years before. Then, at twelve, she left behind a best friend and a first boyfriend. Now, she’s not sure if they’ll even be there. But of course they are, and the reunion isn’t all slumber parties and make out sessions. Lucy, the best friend, and Henry, the boyfriend, are holding on to major grudges and it’s up to Taylor to mend those fences.
Taylor is the quintessential middle child. Her older brother, Warren, is a walking talking fact machine. Her younger sister, Gelsey, is a ballet prodigy. Taylor is…just Taylor. She feels like she’s no one special, but if there is one person who can see straight through her it’s her dad. He tells her throughout the book, ‘you’re going to do great things today’. I love her dad.
Second Chance Summer takes you through Taylor’s entire summer in the Pocono’s while getting a first job, connecting with her family in a way she’s never known, spending time with her dad, and mending fences with old friends. In a word, it’s all about second chances.
I don’t remember the last time I cried so hard reading a book. It’s touching to the point where you want to go and spend time with your parents either listening to old seventies albums or meeting for breakfast twice a week. It takes you back to a time when first boyfriends turned out to be first loves; when best friends and sleepovers meant staying up and eating as much junk food as you could consume. It’s about believing that even if it’s all gone, it’s all still there.