Thursday 29 August 2013

Book Review - Second Chance Summer

Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Release Date: 7 Jun 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0857072702

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.

My Review
I read and loved 'Amy & Roger's Epic Detour' last year and looked for more by this author. I soon came across this book and requested it, but I sent it back without reading it. I realised that this book deals with Cancer and this came out just after I had lost my grandma to the same illness and I didn't feel like I would handle it very well. 
Seeing it around online again a couple of months ago, I decided to give it another go.
This story follows Taylor, she's 17 and seems to be the average one in her family, her brother Warren has a brilliant mind, is about to go to a top university and can recite all sorts of facts and her sister Gelsey is an upcoming star ballerina. They get along as a family in general but don't tend to sit down together anymore. Until they learn that their dad is seriously ill, so they all decide to go back to their childhood holiday spot for one last summer together. 
I felt like I instantly connected with Taylor, she has a very open voice and I could feel her honesty and insecurities. You can feel her doubt and hurt through the page and I wanted to know more about her. There is also a mystery surrounding her return to the summer lake house, something happened 5 years ago that made Taylor run away and not look back, now she has to confront those demons from the past. The mystery of what this event was grabs you and makes you wonder. I will admit to being slightly disappointed with the reveal, it wasn't really that big a deal, but among the rest of the story you can overlook that.
As you see Taylor interact with people from her past and present you see her grow and adjust, she learns from her past and tries to figure out what she wants from the future. The scenes between her and her dad are beautiful and brought a tear to my eye. By the end of the book I was fighting back a flood of tears. I really felt moved by it.
Sure the characters weren't perfect and there were some iffy moments in the story, but overall I really enjoyed the book and getting to know Taylor and her family better.
A sweet summer story that will have you giggling, sighing and crying. 

My Rating

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