Author: Morgan Matson
Release date: 7th June 2012
Genre: Romance / Contemporary YA
Target audience: 12+
UK Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Second Chance Summer is a novel of change, of summer love, chances lost and chances won. It’s a complete heart-breaker but it’s also full of warmth.
Taylor hasn’t been to the lake house for five years since she did something hurtful and something she feels incredibly guilty about. But this summer she is going back there because it’s her dad’s last wish – to spend the summer with his family before he dies. So along with her Dad, Mum, her older fact-obsessed brother Warren and her ballet-mad sister Gelsey, she revisits her past and must confront her mistakes.
At the very beginning of Second Chance Summer, I couldn’t stand Taylor. She was irritatingly self-pitying and self-centred. But you have to give this novel a chance because at its heart is change. It’s a novel about growing into the person you to be and about facing up to your own flaws. Sometimes it’s hard to read about a character that isn’t instantly likeable but there is such potential there for a great story, if only you can persevere.
As Taylor attempts to settle in to life at the lake, she bumps back into her first love Henry Crosby. Henry is gentle-natured and kind. He’s sweet and yet as much as I liked Henry and his relationship with Taylor. It is really Taylor’s dad Robin that we get to know through the story and adore. As his days come to a close, he and Taylor come closer really getting to know one another and share wisdom and breakfast and movies and all the things you should know about the people you love.
Taylor struggles with her grief and her fear about her dad’s terminal illness but as the story progresses; she grows closer to all her family and lets people into her heart. The ending is expectedly sad. I was broken and sobbing and an emotional wreck. But it was also uplifting because Taylor had changed so much over the summer. It reminds us that we can all be better, braver people. We just need to open our hearts and believe in others.
Second Chance Summer is full of hope. It is a sweet, touching novel and a page-turner too.
Recommended for fans of:
· Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
· The Summer I turned Pretty by Jenny Han
· The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Source: Review copy sent by Simon and Schuster. Thank you.