Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Published On: May 8, 2012
Narrated By: Brittany Pressley
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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.
After Taylor’s family receive some terrible news, they decide to spend their last summer together at their old family lake house. However, for Taylor this means not only being around her family, with whom she has distanced herself in recent years, but being reunited with her first love and her former best friend. As the summer speeds by, Taylor must learn to put the past behind her and make the present count, before it’s too late.
This is a truly great, heart-warming story of family, friendship and first love. This is definitely my favourite Morgan Matson book I have read so far as it is a genuinely lovely story that pulls at your heart string while also giving you that warm and fuzzy feeling.
What I really loved about this book was how well all of the individual aspects intertwined. This was not a story primarily about family, or friendship, or love. Every one of these aspects was as important as the others and the importance of each of these things in our lives was emphasised.
While I read this in the summer, and I would suggest it is technically a ‘summer read’, it’s definitely not your average summer read. I generally consider a summer read to be a cutesy contemporary that doesn’t take a lot of thinking about. This, on the other hand, will have you constantly thinking about what is going on and evaluating your life and the things you place importance on. This book was constantly on my mind while I was reading it, and for a while afterwards as well.
As you can probably guess, this book deals with some difficult, hard-hitting topics. I was so impressed with how well these were dealt with as Morgan Matson told this story with such sensitivity and some very difficult topics were given so much respect within the writing. For a book like this one, the sensitivity and the way such topics are written can really make or break the story and this was definitely done successfully.
The thing that really made this book for me were the great characters. I really enjoyed Taylor as a main character and although she has some issues to deal with, she was very easy to connect to and I really felt for her with everything she was going through. In fact, every character was very easy to connect to and enjoyable to read about but it was also easy to understand what they were going through and the struggles they were dealing with.
Though I have not gone through anything similar to the situation in this book, it was written in such a way that made it easy to relate to. Through the characters, the story itself and the way it was written, I found it very easy to relate to what the characters were going through despite having no experience of it. I found myself able to understand their struggles and truly feel for them in the situation.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the story, and the message it gave, will stay with me for a long time. I really enjoyed listening to this on audiobook as it felt as though I was listening to the characters tell me about the struggles in their lives, rather than listening to someone reading a book as it often does. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a sadder book with a great message that really makes you appreciate the people you have in your life.