Second Chance Summer is a heartbreaking story about a young girl more used to running away from problems in life instead of facing them. But when her father is diagnosed with cancer and told he has only three months to live, Taylor Edwards finally gets a second chance to repair what she did that summer five years ago…
Second Chance Summer takes place around a rustic lake house in the sunny Pocono Mountains, Pennyslvania, where Taylor is hoping to spend one last summer while her family is still whole. I could easily imagine myself sitting near the sea with a breeze on my face, watching a fantastic beach movie with friends and family. It was a wonderful setting for the story and the feel of the entire book reminded me a little of Lilo and Stitch (‘Ohana’ means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.).
Morgan Matson once again manages to write a novel that is at first glance a simple summer romance, yet the story goes much, much deeper than that. We watch as Taylor Edwards deals with internal conflicts surrounding her father’s illness, her first love, and someone who used to know her better than anyone. Taylor experiences ‘second chances’ in many forms throughout the novel, each one echoing the same message.
Morgan’s knack of capturing specific moments and feelings with such accuracy blows me away. I adore her flawless writing, endearing characters, and realistic stories, as well as her positive outlook on life. I already know, even though she has only written two novels, that she is one of my favourite authors. From the outset, Second Chance Summer pulls you in to each characters’ plight while making you rethink your own. Sometimes it’s just what we need.
I rushed through and devoured Second Chance Summer – both the present day narrative and the emotional flashbacks pulled me in – even though I started to feel sad when I realised I was reaching the last page, because I didn’t really want it to finish, especially as I had a feeling that the story wasn’t going to end well. I’m not going to tell you whether it did or not – you’ll have to jump into Taylor’s world and find that out for yourself.
Second Chance Summer is a heart-wrenching and beautifully portrayed story that is relentlessly energetic and hopeful in the face of extreme adversity. Compelling and full of anguish, revived friendships, and magnanimous relationships, it’s sure to make you shed a tear or two before you reach the end.
Thank you Simon & Schuster UK for providing this book for review!