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

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  1,304 Ratings  ·  235 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
ebook, 384 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Random House (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Sep 30, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 19, 2011 Annika rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
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
Nov 19, 2011 Kim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 04, 2011 Tracey Berthiaume rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
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
Sep 19, 2011 Carolyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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)
Feb 12, 2012 Risa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 24, 2012 Jenna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 03, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 06, 2012 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 16, 2011 Patty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennie Diplock-Storer
I haven't read a Jacquelyn Mitchard for years but I was very happy to get this in my Library Books. It did not disappoint at all!!

A wonderful writer in first person & observer narrative, this book takes the reader on a kaleidoscope of emotions. It is about self perception, perception of others, ethics, morals & the 'whys' of life.

Protagonist, Sicily, is likeable & very easy to relate to & her story is massive & tiny at the same time. I highly recommend this book.
May 30, 2016 Barb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book had a lot of possibility to be better than it is. The premise of a young woman with a face transplant years after a tragic fire had the opportunity to pursue many different angles with depth and emotion. It started that direction but then veered off into her now having an unplanned pregnancy and a more predictable path. Readable but disappointing that it could have been better!
Sep 22, 2011 Shannon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, ebook
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.
Sep 20, 2011 Karla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Did not like this one at all. Sappy, predictable and unrealistic - it read like a Lifetime movie.
Aug 25, 2011 Lyndsay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 06, 2017 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, I liked the beginning well enough but then it became like a soap opera. Much repetition and too much drama!!
Some of Mitchard's earlier books were much better. This was like reading a recent Jodi Picoult!
Feb 12, 2012 Echo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Rosina Lippi
Feb 14, 2013 Rosina Lippi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-here
I listened to this novel in unabridged audio format (recorded by Rebecca Lowman, a reader I really like). That was a couple months ago. Then more recently I read it because I was still thinking about it.

At age thirteen Sicily Coyne gets caught up in a tragic fire in which many die; her father is killed, and she is terribly disfigured. Many surgeries give her back a face, but it is barely recognizable as such, and strangers gasp out loud when they see her. Raised by a smart and loving aunt, Sici
Sep 10, 2011 Mari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
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
Nov 06, 2011 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sally Knotwell
Fire, injury, death, years of surgeries - and heartbreak. This is how the love story starts. Then, an experimental surgery to replace her damaged face, learning to live with a nose and chin, being able to breathe and close her mouth completely, flying for the first time, going out in public. Years of pain and surgery and now the prospect of a normal life lead this 25-year-old woman, and us, on a dizzying roller coaster ride. At times I wanted to slap her for seemingly taking this gift for grante ...more
Lynn Meinders
Jan 05, 2017 Lynn Meinders rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 13, 2011 Cab rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, drama
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
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Play Book Tag: Second Nature by Jacqueline Mitchard - 3 stars 1 5 Sep 20, 2016 12:50PM  
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