Second Nature: A Love Story
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Second Nature: A Love Story

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  971 ratings  ·  198 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard’s novels, with their riveting stories and unforgettable characters, have won the hearts of millions of readers. Now, from the author of The Deep End of the Ocean and No Time to Wave Goodbye, comes the fierce and moving tale of one woman’s fight for her identity and her life when fate holds out a second chance.

Sicily Coyn...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Random House (first published January 1st 2011)
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Lorri Steinbacher
I liked the first third of the book, tolerated the middle third, and hated the last third of the book. The first third gave an accurate representation, I think, of the life of a person who has suffered devastating facial injury. Siciliy's character reminded me a lot of Lucy Grealey, whose autobiography of a face described many of the same things that Sicily thought and felt. Siciily's sarcasm and ability to get away with saying and doing almost anything was nearly identical to the way Grealey de...more
The first half of this book I enjoyed. I did have trouble following the writing and as another reader so aptly commented that it was like reading a "foreign language" at times. The writing style made me stop and study the passages to figure out what the author was trying to say. I did "like" (as much as one can like a story of a tragedy), the first part where we meet Sicily, as she prepares for her face transplant. However, she truly becomes the most indecisive character that I have ever met in...more
This is the second Jacquelyn Mitchard book I have attempted (the first being "The Deep End of the Ocean") and I don't think it's meant to be. I gave the gal my honest attempt at full attention for three chapters, trying my reader's best to get through dry writing, run-on sentences, and confusion as to what is going on. A fire. A fire in a church at Christmas, and some horrible casualties, including the protagonists' firefighter father...and so fast forward from that traumatic event to modern day...more
Ellen Keim
This book had a fascinating premise, but the author didn't quite pull it off. For one thing, the writing itself was uneven. Statements would be made out of nowhere and then dropped. Time would pass with no real story happening. But mostly I was disappointed by the main character's response to her dilemma. It just didn't ring true. I got exasperated with her behavior as well as the behavior of her "love interest." (I put that in quotes because it's never quite clear whether he is in fact her love...more
Noran Miss Pumkin
I have official stopped this book. For this author to use the tragedy of the Our Lady of Angel Fire-to loosely base her tale of woe on is bad enough, but TO NOT GIVE ANY RECOGNITION TO THOSE LIVES LOST-Just disrespectful. She states she based this book loosely on Chicago-the one of her memories. Well, facts would have helped here. She echos the horror of the late 1950's fire-worse in Chicago history-for lost of children's lives. She even refers to the the fire being in December, and the news cov...more
Katrina Stonoff
I *loved* The Deep End of the Ocean, but this one just didn't work for me.

First, I don't consider it a love story. The first part was almost an anti-love story, and the end ... well, I'll hold that thought for the moment.

Second, though the details about Sicily's face transplant were fascinating, it was also rather gruesome and felt voyeuristic. I could have used a few more breaks from the stomach-turning details in the middle.

Third, the inclusion of the Coppadoras in this story felt like charact...more
I was hoping for a Jodi Piccoult-guilty pleasure reading type experience in which I would at least learn a great deal on a topic well-researched by the author -- in this case, fire and face transplants. While that part was interesting for a small portion of the book, the rest of it could be summed up in one word: OVERWROUGHT. Stayed with it for about 2/3 and then ended up skimming the last third -- ultimately realizing I DIDN'T CARE.
Tracey Berthiaume
This was an awesome book. I couldn't put it down. I have read other books by this author and they were just as good. This book was well thought out. The love story aspect also coincided with her coming to terms with her facial reconstruction after the fire that disfigured her and killed her father which turns out to have been arson. This is a must read.

Check out my in depth review at
The story was very interesting but I was very distracted by the disjointed writing and many of the details not adding up. I felt, at times, like I was reading a foreign language. Also, I really didn't identify with any of the characters, I don't feel that they were very fleshed out. Ultimately, this didn't add anything to my life in any way. Sorry.
Tara Chevrestt
I really enjoyed the plot of this book.. at least in the first half despite the fact it took ages for the heroine to actually get the face transplant.. like almost halfway. I was all set to give this a three till I hit around 70 percent.

What I liked: The face transplant, Sicily dealing with her new face and before that, dealing with the betrayal of her fiance. That's a lot to cope with. The surgery itself, the psychological aspects, and (view spoiler)...more
I am a Jacquelyn Mitchard fan. I've read most of her books, and this one did not disappoint. It's a continuation of the saga of the Cappadora family Mitchard made famous in her novel, "The Deep End of the Ocean." This books follows Sicily Coyne, who is burned in a church fire when she is 13 years old. Half a life-time later she is given a second chance when she is offered a face transplant surgery. Sicily's life intertwines with the Cappadoras when she asks Beth to document her transformation wi...more
Oh my gosh! This is the first book I've ever read of Jacquelyn Mitchard's & all I can say is WOW!!! I adored this book from the very first chapter! It was funny & heartbreaking, weak & strong, tender & harsh all at once.
Second Nature tells the story of Sicily Coyne. It begins by telling you about the day her life changed forever, she was 10. A fire broke out at her church trapping children inside. Who should rush in to save them but her father? She survives, kind of. But her d...more
While it was good to enter the world of the Cappadoras again, I have to say that this novel didn't captivate me the way "The Deep End of The Ocean" did. Sicily Coyne, horribly disfigured at age thirteen in a fire that killed her father, is a difficult character to like at times. She exasperates those around her with her vaccillations and her defense mechanisms, therefore frustrating the reader as well. The story of her full-face transplant and the before/ after dichotomy would have been more tha...more
Joni Daniels
A great premise totally ruined. Having lost her face is a devastating fire, burn victim Sicily discovers a truth that leads the breaking off her engagement and find an option for a new life by way of a face transplant. And the this character becomes so annoying, flighty, indecisive, and behaves in ways that are not only inconsistent but illogical. I considered not bothering to continue reading several times. Was this supposed to be the authors way of showing the reader how traumatic getting a ne...more
First of all, I love it when an author pulls their characters into a new book, and Jacquelyn Mitchard takes the families in The Deep End of the Ocean and puts them here, as the "secondary" characters. This is also set slightly into the future which was done very well, and didn't feel fake. I was reminded of the way Jodi Picoult writes in that I really had to examine my feelings on the topics in here (don't want to spoil it). I did get irritated at one point with the main character flip-flopping...more
Hated it, so much that I did something I rarely can bring myself to do: abandoned the book. The main character comes off as selfish and unappealing; the garbled history is confusing (author sets the book in an unspecified future, but this doesn't come off as an intelligent choice, more that she was too lazy to pick a time frame); when she needs something new & transformative to happen to the main character, she picks my least favorite deus ex machina (really, authors, if you're going to writ...more
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As with most reviews--the first one-third was promising. The second third was a slog; and the last third? Well, I didn't even waste my time on it.

The pre-transplant showed so much promise, but after the transplant the book turned into a plain old, poorly written, formulaic romance novel.
I think this is the first time ever I had to renew a book twice from the library because I just couldn't get into it and finish it. I tried reading one of her other books a long time and now I remember not finishing that book either. And the worst part is that she brought back some of the same characters and plot from that book. I think that is such an unimaginative, lazy thing to do. Come up with new characters and back stories for each book!! I also just could not make myself care about the ma...more
Did not like this one at all. Sappy, predictable and unrealistic - it read like a Lifetime movie.
I loved "The deep End of the Ocean" and Mitchard's next books were very good but this one just seemed thrown together. It was a potentially great story but the writing was disjointed and the motivations of the characters especially Sicily, the main character were never clear.

I actually would have given this book a higher star rating even with all of the flaws I felt it had in style except that the very ending was so preposterous and had the feeling of being tacked on at the end, perhaps Mitchard...more
the "love" story was completely unrealistic and ridiculous.
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
I adored Mitchard's The Deep End of the Ocean, the first Oprah book club book I ever purchased, it had a huge impact on me largely because I was pregnant with my first child at the time. I didn't realise No Time to Wave Goodbye was a sequel of sorts but when the opportunity to review Second Nature arose, a story that also involves the Cappadora family, arose I jumped at it.

Second Nature has an interesting premise, Sicily Coyne is established as a sympathetic, brave young woman who has thrived d...more
Linda Bouley
I adored this book. Sicily O'Coyne is a faceless woman who was badly burned in a fire at her church - her father, James...a firefighter, died in the blaze as did many other children during choir practice. Sicily's mother tries to deal with the horrible aftermath of the fire..the many operations and the detachable nose. But Gia is killed in an auto accident 2 years later & Sicily moves in with her Aunt Marie. Marie give Sicily enough self- esteem and confidence that she is able to venture int...more
Sicily Coyne's life is full of statistical impossibilities. As the victim of a devastating fire as a preadolescent, she is left with no face...literally. Her father's death in that same fire is another overwhelming loss.

When Sicily's mother dies two years later, her aunt takes over as her guardian, and there is no one who is less likely to fill this role. But she does it with aplomb.

When this Chicago-born girl is grown, her life suddenly takes an unexpected turn after her engagement to a childho...more
Megan Palasik
I listened to this as an audio book, so my experience with the story may be different than those who read a physical copy of the book.

I liked the first third to half of the book. Sicily's story of facelessness, how she got there and how she had dealt with her physical features since then was very interesting to me. Hearing about a full face transplant and how the medical community had gotten to that point was also interesting to me. Then Sicily met Vincent and the story switched from a drama wit...more
Let's get out of the way the thing I really hated about this book...It is a sequel to The Deep End of the Ocean. I didn't know that. I wouldn't have read it if I had known. I really hated the mom from Deep End, Beth. She was self-centered, self-absorbed, & an oblivious mom. She ruined the lives of all of her children by obsessing about the one she lost, when she still had 2 wonderful ones. This book goes into the love interest of Vincent, the boy she probably damaged the worst. The only thin...more
This is the first book that I have read written by Jacquelyn Mitchard. I was in Barnes & Nobel and the cover art caught my attention. Then because I didn’t want to lug a book back to Switzerland I downloaded the electronic version of the story. Not having read anything of her’s before I did not realize that the Cappadora family who play a central role in this story have been key players in other storylines. I only discovered that after finishing this story. In hindsight I can say that not be...more
I had mixed reactions to this book. The scenes about the fire were very difficult to read because they reminded me of The Station Fire in Rhode Island. Although I was not directly affected by the fire, no one who lived in Rhode Island at the time will ever forget the impact on residents. Sicily Coyne was horribly disfigured in the Holy Angels school fire and also lost her firefighter father at the same time. She has made a life of sorts for herself as a medical illustrator and is planning a wedd...more
Before writing this review I read a few reviews online to read reactions to the novel. While it's well crafted I struggled with a few things in the book. What I'm learning, about myself, is that I need to stay away from books with fire.

When Sicily is thirteen she loses her father in a fire and she herself is badly burned. As an adult, she has built a life for herself, filled with friends and is engaged to a wonderful man. After learning a deep, dark secret about her fiance, she calls off the we...more
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Jacquelyn Mitchard’s first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was named by USA Today as one of the ten most influential books of the past 25 years – second only to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (but second by a long shot, it must be said.)

The Deep End of the Ocean was chosen as the first novel in the book club made famous by the TV host Oprah Winfrey, and transformed into a feature film p...more
More about Jacquelyn Mitchard...
The Deep End of the Ocean (Cappadora Family, #1) Cage of Stars A Theory of Relativity The Breakdown Lane The Most Wanted

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