So I just realized I have over 5 reviews that are waiting to be written, and Second Chance Summer is at the top of my list since I finished it in the beginning of February.
Rating: 4 ☆☆☆☆/5 stars!
Here is the normal, American cover I read from:
It’s nice, but then look at the other edition:
I don’t know which edition this is, probably the UK edition, but it is so cute and actually describes the story better than a girl sitting on a dock during a sunset. (I like the American edition, but this one is just perfection, in my opinion)
Anyways, I would just like to put it out there that part of this review will be spoiler-free, and the other part will not. But don’t worry, I’ll let you know when the spoiler section is coming.
My summary: Taylor Edwards is the middle kid in her family, and she always feels too ordinary and untalented compared to her exceptional siblings. The only thing she is “talented” at is running away from things when they get too hard, which is, not really a talent.
One day, something happens (family related, but I’m not saying what) and the Edwards family decide to go back to their old beach house for the summer. Taylor is not thrilled by the idea, as the last time she has been there was five years ago, at age twelve, and she is still not ready to confront all of the memories–and people–she thought she left behind. But just as Taylor thinks she is done with everything, she realizes that she has a second chance–with her family, friends, and maybe even love…
Second Chance Summer is a story of family, loss, love, and tears–oh yes, quite a bit of tears–that makes you grateful for what you have, while you still have it.
My opinion in one sentence: Although I thought Second Chance Summer was very slow at some points, I really enjoyed this book that brought out so many of my emotions, whether they be good or bad.
What I enjoyed:
- The characters & their development: All of the characters in this story go through major character development, especially the main character, Taylor. At the beginning of the book, although she is not necessarily really annoying, Taylor is whiny and does not want to confront her own fears. But throughout the story, Taylor grows and learns how to express herself better, which helps her gain all the friendships she thought she had lost.
- The romance: What I thought was really special about Second Chance Summer was that it had romance, but it was not the main aspect of the story, unlike many YA Contemporaries out there. The romance between Henry and Taylor slowly developed, starting out from hatred, then grew into friendship, and then blossomed into love.
- Taylor & Her father’s relationship: An important part of this story was the relationship between Taylor and her father. I won’t say much due to spoilers, (though I will discuss this in more detail in the spoilery section) but I absolutely adored how close Taylor was to her father and the love between them. Thinking about it makes my heart ache..
- And mostly everything else in this book!
What I didn’t enjoy:
- You probably realized that I enjoyed the majority of this book, both because of the things I wrote above and also because I gave it 4 stars. The only thing I did not enjoy was the pacing of this book.
- What I mean by this is that for me, some points of the story went by too slow, and I was pushing myself to continue the story. I felt like had this book been slightly shorter (it is around 460 pages, pretty big for a contemporary novel) I would have enjoyed it more. Note: I did not think that the whole story was slow. There were definitely parts in the story that were perfect the way they are. And I bet the pacing in this book will not be a problem for a lot of people, so this shouldn’t stop you from reading it!
If you are afraid of being spoiled, please leave NOW. Thank you so much for reading my non-spoilery section of this review!
There are so many beautiful quotes in this book that just touched me in a special way. Here are some of them:
“A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted–mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.”
“And I’ve realized that the Beatles got it wrong. Love isn’t all we need–love is all there is.”
But the most touching quotes I read were the ones during and after Taylor’s fathers death. Reading them now brings tears to my eyes:
” ‘Daddy,’ I whispered, feeling my own breath hitch in my throat. ‘I love you.’ Just when I was sure he was asleep, the one corner of his mouth lifted in a smile. ‘I knew that,’ he murmured. ‘Always knew that.’ ”
“It will be scary. But I know you can do it. Know that I’ll be with you, if there’s any way that I can manage it. And know that I have always–and will, for always–love you.” –The letter Taylor got from her father after his death.
Now, I know this review is getting really long, but there is just one last thing I would like to talk about–
Before I start, I would just like to put it out there that what happened to Taylor, (her father’s death because of pancreatic cancer) can happen to anyone. But it really hit me in a different way because my grandfather, whom I do not remember so much about, passed away of Pancreatitis a decade ago. Pancreatitis is not the same as Pancreas cancer, but they have their similarities, and the same could happen to my own father…
Anyways, I really loved how Morgan Matson did not sugarcoat death, and how she did not add a last minute miracle to the story to save Taylor’s father. Death is impossible to overcome, and everyone dies, no matter how much we would like to deny it. I would also like to tell you guys that I am not much of a crier while reading. The closest I get is very teary eyed, and this book, this book, I was almost crying.
That’s a big thing for me, and I would have cried, had I not been at school, during class, reading. Morgan Matson found a way to make the story so realistic that I felt like I was Taylor, trying to show the stars to my father so close near death, which also really touched me. Although Taylor can not say “I love you” throughout the story, she is finally able to say it, on the last day of her father’s life.
As a summary, I thoroughly enjoyed this book that got me at the verge of crying. I had very few problems with it, and I can not wait to pick up another Morgan Matson book soon–I just hope that it is not as heart breaking as this one.
Thanks for reading my review! Did you read this book? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments!
–Teary eyed Silanur ❤