27 May 2012

Book Review: Second Chance Summer

Book Details
Author: Morgan Matson
File Size: 1744 KB
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 8, 2012)

From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak.
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.

Rating: 4.5/5

Second Chance Summer is just the right book to end my summer book read. It was like saying goodbye to the usual summer and looking forward to a new and somehow different one.

Taylor and the rest of her family spent one last summer together back in their beach house when her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her father wanted them to spend this summer together like they used to do when they were younger. Only to realize that, the time Taylor spent her last summer here, things didn’t went well with her best friend and boyfriend.

Taylor tries to deal with both her family’s dilemma as well as the past problem she left at the beach back when she was 12. She is known to simply run away from anything that she doesn’t feel comfortable with. She uses escape to protect her from hurt and pain. I was glad that change happened to her character in this novel. She learned to face reality rather than running away.

I love the characters. I adore Warren and his nerdy dialogues – he’s like a walking Wiki. And when he fell in love with Wendy, it was the most hilarious part of the novel. Catching her attention was really epic. The strong façade her mother shown was admirable. She didn’t break down in front of her children. It is hard to show a strong front for the one you love especially when your heart is breaking every day.

The plot surrounding the characters of Henry and Lucy were also pretty amazing – because it allowed the book to be a little lighter and somewhat easier to read.

But what touched me most in Second Chance Summer was Taylor’s relationship with her father. Among her siblings, she was a mediocre. Warren is intelligent and winning every competition he enters and Gesley excels in dancing. But the bonding that she and her father shared was priceless and incomparable. You can say that she was special and her father made sure that she knew it. In the last pages where Taylor said I love you to her dad made me cry, especially his letter. It was really touching and heartbreaking at the same time.

I have enjoyed reading Morgan Matson’s Second Chance Summer. It is a poignant tale of saying goodbye and second chances with the right amount of drama that will surely make your summer more memorable. Hurray for Morgan Matson – will surely grab another one of her books soon.  

Favorite Quotes

In all the medical dramas I’d ever seen, there was always some solution, some last-minute, miraculously undiscovered remedy. Nobody ever just gave up on a patient. But it seemed like in real life, they did.

Looking at it, I got, for the first time, why people would bring flowers to sick people, stuck inside the hospital with no way to get outside. It was like bringing them a little bit of the world that was going on without them.

“You said you didn’t want to waste your time on people who aren’t going to matter,” I said, and he nodded. “But how do you know they’re not going to matter? Unless you give it a shot?”

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.

And I’ve realized that the Beatles got it wrong. Love isn’t all we need—love is all there is.

But one thing that I was learning about what happened when you stuck around—it usually seemed that other people were willing to stick by you as well.

1 comment:

  1. I loved the way Taylor's relationship with her dad played out: all those small things that they did for each other. It's so sad that it can take something so life changing as a cancer diagnosis to get to know someone who's been in your life since you were born.

    Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting