Second chance reading (spoiler-free review)

Title – Second Chance Summer

Author – Morgan Matson

Rating – 5/5

Release Date – May 8th 2012

Publisher – Simon & Schuster

Format Read – Paperback

A summer of second chances. Taylor runs away from her problems, so second chances are a must for her. Severed friendships and relationships get a revamp when Taylor travels with her family to their old lakehouse at Lake Phoenix. All the people she left behind and the ends she left untied are dealt with this summer which is difficult for Taylor as she deals with the fact that this is her last summer together with her entire family.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t think I would enjoy this book, simply because I did not enjoy Morgan Matson’s first book (also the first book of hers that I read). I guess her writing got way better though because I LOVED this book!

The beginning of this novel was quite vague and mysterious and left me wanting more which was good because it made me want to continue reading. It paid off though and I appreciate how Matson formatted this book since discovering the main character’s past through flashbacks was so interesting!

I saw so much of myself in the main character (completely separate from the fact that her name is also Taylor haha), especially with how close she is to her dad and how much she cares about him. A lot of the father-daughter moments had me tearing up because sicne her name is the same as mine it was so crazy when I put myself in her shoes (it was like my life was her life at that moment). I really loved this about the book because on a personal level it really affected me.

I didn’t just connect to the main character, I really connected to Henry’s family situation. I adored Henry as a character and I easily empathized with him because I feel like I can relate to his situation. It made me really sad but it made it even easier for this book to weave its way into a permanent place in my heart.

This novel is quite different than all of the YA fantasy that I read because it focuses on the value of family and friends and the fact that we should always let the people we love know that we love them and care about them. I feel like most fantasy books don’t have a family aspect, so this contemporary novel really satisfied my love of family dynamics in novels.

I don’t want to say much about the plot (other than the vague synopsis I gave) because I feel like it is so much better to go into this one not knowing much. It teaches you about the value of the time you have with your family and really hits you hard. As you’re going through the book you kind of know the outcome but don’t want it to be true, so when it does happen you’ll find yourself sobbing (believe me, not many books make me cry, you’ll need tissues)!

Have you read this one yet? What are some of your favourite contemporary reads? Let me know in a comment!

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