Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
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.
”add

Publishes in US: May 8th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Simon and Schuster
Series? no

Buy it: Indiebound Amazon Barnes & Noble

Find Morgan online: site   twitter   facebook  blog 

 
   I immediately connected with Taylor's voice. I had such sympathy for what was going on with her dad, because it was made clear her sadness, and just the feeling of not knowing what to do in that sort of circumstance. I also related with her on her wanting to run away, or try to avoid a problem because that was my form of dealing when I was in high school as well. 
    I appreciated the value placed on family in Second Chance Summer. There is enough bickering between the siblings to make it realistic, and the parents are just the right amount of annoying at the right times. But you could plainly see that everyone cares for one another. And I like how she identifies what type of family they are--not touchy feeley in the physical aspect, so she valued hugs even more than someone who gets one just to say good afternoon. But I appreciated how close they got, and how much they learned about one another, and I think that it is so sad that a lot of families have to have tragedies hit in order to really connect and lean on your family. 
   The mystery of what exactly happened between Taylor, Henry and Lucy had me captivated. I knew that something went down, and then she was away from the summer lake house for quite some time. When she returned she is put face to face with Henry in awkward situations, and I loved the tension that was there. Yes, there was anger and hurt, but there was also caring buried in there somewhere. 
    The scenes where her father is in pain, or they are worrying, and trying to find the balance of fulfilling his wish they have a "normal summer" and trying to get in time with him all tug on my heart. Ms. Matson writes emotion so vividly and I did not want to put the book down. I wanted to keep reading about what the characters are doing, feeling, and how they are growing and changing as a result of this summer, where she realizes maybe there can be a second chance for love and friendship, but on some things there just can't be any more that can be done. 
    Henry in this book is so sweet, understanding and crushworthy. Especially when what happened summers ago is revealed. I won't say a lot about him except I really enjoyed reading his character. 
    Another secondary character that I adored was Taylor's brother Warren. He is so nerdy and intelligent except when it comes to social matters, and it is fun watching him fumble around in that aspect as well. 
    The ending was so sad, but I appreciated how hope was woven in. Taylor grew so much, but it was hard because of what it took and the pain that she went through in order for the change to come about.

Bottom Line: All the elements of a perfect summer read with heartbreak on the side.

Books similar to Second Chance Summer: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Matson, Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz, Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Did you have summer childhood traditions?

50 comments:

  1. This sounds pretty interesting and also emotional in a way. So glad you liked it :) I don't read too many contemporaries these days.

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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    1. Very emotional! But I dig that kind of thing

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  2. This sounds good Brandi, I like the sound of the mystery and the dynamics of the family are something I love in a book. Awesome review!

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    1. I seem to enjoy more when they break my heart, but I am weird like that.

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  4. I've been seeing SECOND CHANCE SUMMER around a lot lately! Yours is probably the first four-star review I've seen so far; the rest were all five. :P I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It really does sound like an emotional book with realistic characters - and that's always good! Honestly, I don't know what took me so long to go check this out. But I will. Someday.

    Lovely review, Brandi!

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  5. Maybe not for me, but great review

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  6. I really need to read this. I was super excited for it because I loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, but then I read a few bad reviews and got turned off. I should pick it up.
    Your review made me go back to your Amy & Roger post. Smart to link to it.

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  7. I've heard so many great things about this book but I still haven't read it. I loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and I have no doubt I'll love this one too. Great review!

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  8. Sounds like a cut summer read. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. Fab review.

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  9. I don't think I have seen this but I really love the sounds of this. Amazing review. I will be adding this.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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  10. I love endings that offer hope - I think I'll enjoy the growth of Taylor in this story. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. I love good family dynamics so I'm happy this one has it. I look forward to reading this, hopefully in the summer!

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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  12. This book sounds so moving, I'm definitely adding it to my summer reading list. Your summary of it ticks just all the boxes that I'm looking for in a book right now! Great review :)

    Laura @ What's Hot?

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  13. I donno... sometimes I just don't want to be that emotional over a book. Sometimes I do! Will have to think about it. As for traditions... only one... getting released from school and blasting music on the first day. :D

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    1. Nice tradition.

      Emotional books are almost always for me.

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  14. Summer with a dash of heartbreak quiet the summer read. I have heard some great things about this one, Miranda Kenneally recommended it so I am definitely wanting to check it out. I like that it is much more than a light fluffy summer read.

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  15. I love the cover, I will have to check this book out :) Sounds great, Thanks so much for sharing.

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  16. I have been super curious about this one, I read Amy and Rodger and I really enjoyed it but I am not a huge contemp fan so I don't know if I will love this one. Thanks for your thoughts!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

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    1. If you like A&R you'd prb like this one too

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  17. I haven't read many books were value was placed on family. I like the sound of it. It sounds like a deep and meaningful book. Great review.

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    1. It really was. I am valuing the family in YA more and more

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  18. Great Review!!

    I enjoy when I can connect with the main character, especially right away. The book does sound like it will be an emotional and sad read. Might have to check it out myself!!

    Magen Corrie
    ~Corrie the Book Crazed Girl

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  19. I keep hearing how amazing and emotional this is! Glad you really liked it! I love books centered on the family aspect.

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  20. I have had this one for awhile now but haven't read it yet. I like that you point out the family dynamic, that makes it more interesting to me. I'll have to try to fit it in soon since I've been in the mood for a good summery read.

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  21. The flashback scenes in this didn't work for me quite as well as the present-day ones, but I also enjoyed this one a lot..

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Oh? I liked the flashbacks, but can see where might pull you out of

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  22. I can't believe I haven't read this one yet! I loved Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, and I keep seeing great reviews of this. I think I'd really love Henry. I'm glad you enjoyed this and it was such an emotional read. Lovely review!

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    1. I think you would too, he is easy to swoon over

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  23. Wow, this one sounds really deep and emotional! I'm glad everyone seems to love this book, as well as the author. Thanks for this review, Brandi! You make me really want to read this.

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  24. Oh, see I don't know if I can take the heartbreak. Hmm, you're review makes me want to read it. I know this is one of those books I really need to read. And there is always heartbreak. Ha-Ha, I even run away from heartbreak in books! Okay, I'm going to read it. I haven't read my copy of Amy and Roger's Epic Detour. Maybe I'll read them together. I did read Unbreak my Heart and loved that story!

    Realy great review!
    Heather

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    1. If you can't do the emotional, prb not for you.

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  25. This one definitely sounds like my kind of read, I'm glad that it has a focus on family too, it doesn't seem like many YA books have that lately. I loved Matson's debut and have this one on my shelf, but still need to read it. Your review was the push I needed to pick it up, thanks Brandi! :)

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  27. Sounds like a nice book. Who wouldn't want a second chance? I know it's sad that something has to happen for them to really see each other as a family. But sometimes that's when you know they're really there for you. Some people, myself included, don't know how to express themselves but it doesn't mean they don't care about you. I was just thinking a couple of months ago that I couldn't count on my family and I was upset but after I started thinking. They must have their reasons, and the thing I wanted from them was not really important, but I know that when we really need each other, we are there in a heart beat.
    I don't feel like I had summer childhood traditions, we never went anywhere.

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    1. I know what you mean about not expressing self right, I feel that way a lot.

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  28. oh... a sad end. I just had one too in a book I'm reading, fortunately it's not always like that.

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  29. Great review! I love a good summer read! Deff gonna keep this in mind when summer is here and I need a beach read!

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  30. I love characters that you can connect with! Taylor sounds really awesome, and although I can't understand the running away thing (not really O.O), I can understand the hugs thing. Hugs are my mod-us operandi. LOL. (Did spell check ruin that?)

    I'm also really interested to see how Taylor's family interacts-- I don't understand why so few authors include them, LOL! I enjoyed Amy and Roger, so maybe this'll be the book for me. Fab review, Brandi!!

    Um, no. My family really doesn't have those traditions-- no clue why.

    Loves,
    Megan@The Book Babe

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    1. I have felt the urge to run away a lot, I don't like conforntation

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  31. Glad you connected so quickly and that there were actually full on family members present in this read. So often it seems that in YA books there are no parents at all.

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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