Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon and Schuster BFYR on May 8, 2012
Source: bought from independent bookstore
Plot Summary of Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Taylor thought she'd left her twelve year-old self behind at her family's lake house, along with a broken friendship and a failed romance. Five years later, when Taylor's father is diagnosed with terminal cancer, his last wish is to spend a summer back at the lake with his family. Will Taylor take this second chance to connect with her father and confront her old disappointments?
My take: I loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and was very excited to read Morgan Matson's second book. Like Amy and Roger, Second Chance Summer is a touching story about family and loss. This book has a bit of the same feel as Jenny Han's Summer series, which also weaves together the last summer of a terminally ill parent with a coming of age story.
Review of Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
When Taylor returns to the lake, she encounters Henry, her first boyfriend, and Lucy, her ex-best friend.
In order to contrast Taylor's twelve year-old summer with this one, Second Chance Summer intersperses chapters in the present with "Five Summers Ago" chapters set in the past.
I liked the idea, but the "Five Summers Ago" chapters never quite grabbed me as much as the present-day ones. I was also a little skeptical of the lasting heartbreak that might be caused by romance at age twelve. I could, however, see how the breach with a best friend at that age could be an experience that would stay with Taylor.
Reading about Taylor's father's deterioration was difficult and sad, but I was inspired by the way Taylor's family grew closer together in the face of her father's illness.
All in all, Second Chance Summer beautifully captured the way that some summers are perfect little worlds all their own, with beautiful moments and sad moments and the realization that as another summer draws to an end, time is passing faster than I'd like.
Hope you've enjoyed Love and Loss this week.
If you missed the earlier installments in the series, they were First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky and In Honor by Jessi Kirby. Click on the red titles to open the reviews in a new window.