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Second Chance Summer

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Sandwiched between two exceptional siblings, Taylor Edwards never felt like she stood out—except for her history of running away when things get too complicated. Then her dad receives unexpected, terrible news, and the family makes the last-minute decision to spend the summer together in the cramped quarters at their old lake house.

Taylor hasn't been to the summerhouse since she was twelve, and she definitely never planned on going back. Up at the lake she is confronted with people she thought she had left behind, like her former best friend Lucy, and Henry Crosby, her first crush, who's all grown up...and a lot cuter. Suddenly Taylor is surrounded by memories she'd rather leave in the past—but she can't run away this time.

As the days lying on the beach pass into nights gazing at the stars, Taylor realizes she has a second chance—with friends, with family, maybe even with love. But she knows that once the summer ends, there is no way to recapture what she stands to lose. From Morgan Matson, the PW Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, this is a remarkable new novel about hope in the face of heartbreaking grief.

468 pages, Hardcover

First published May 8, 2012

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About the author

Morgan Matson

14 books13.2k followers
Morgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children's department of Vroman's Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.

Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan's three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW "Flying Start" book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone's Book Prize.

In the meantime, Morgan moved back to California, went back to school again and in 2011 received an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

Her second book, Second Chance Summer, was published in May 2012 and draws largely on her experiences spending summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Her third book, Since You've Been Gone, was published in 2014.

Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2016.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,465 reviews
Profile Image for Ellie.
99 reviews130 followers
February 1, 2015

My brother opened the door of my room to find me in a sea of kleenexes, sobbing and crying my eyes out more or less like this. (But probably I was worse, I'm the ugliest cryer in the world. Seriously.)
He blinked, saw the book in my hands and blinked again.
He didn't say a word, just closed the door very quietly and walked away even more quietly.

I think I actually scared him.


My brother opened the door of my room to find me jumping on the bed and screaming like a banshee "OMG I can't believe it!!!!!! More than 200 likes!!!!!! Oh. My. God.!!!!! Two-freaking-hundreeeeeeeedssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
He blinked, saw the computer on my desk and blinked again.
He didn't say a word, just closed the door very quietly and walked away even more quietly.

I wouldn't be surprised if he asked me a DNA sample to test our kinship.
(Just in case. Because, you know. Madness could be hereditary.)

PS: I am truly happy you enjoyed my review! Thank you for the lovely comments :) If you haven't yet, I hope you will read this book, which is one of my favourites.

PPS: My little brother is complaining that in this review he looks like "an insensible jerk afraid of a weeping woman". Thus, I solemnly swear he is sensitive and kind and truly NOT afraid of a girl who is crying. (See? I saved your reputation, little monkey! Are you satisfied now???)

PPPS: In case you were wondering, yes, I love him and I think he's the best brother in the world. (Ssssssssh... He doesn't have to know that!!!)
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
June 8, 2016
Watch my interview with Morgan Matson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVqHE...

I have a headache, a runny nose, I can't read the computer screen because my eyes are swollen, and my shirt is sopping wet from tears, so that can pretty much tell you everything right there.
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
April 24, 2016
This is the second book I've read this month that has just completely shattered me. 3 Full video review to come!
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
January 2, 2021
Reread for #monthofmatson2017

I feel like I love this book more every time I read it. Granted, I bawl through the last bit, but I so relate to Taylor on so many levels. And Henry is SO FREAKING GREAT.

Reread May 25-30 for #monthofmatson

Well my nose is currently stuffed up from crying so hard if that gives you any idea of how I feel right now. I really love Taylor's journey throughout this book and it's just great even though SO MUCH CRYING

Reread June 14-15 for #MonthOfMatson.

WELL this book always manages to make me ugly cry in a way few books can. I love all the characters in this book, and I feel like everyone can relate with Taylor in some way or another. I definitely have run away from many of my problems when I shouldn't have!
Morgan Matson is the contemporary queen in my eyes, and this book is just another addition to a fantastic repertoire. Love me a good summer lake house contemporary always!
Time to go drink a lot of water since I probably dehydrated myself crying.
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.1k followers
May 27, 2020
Gosh. Morgan Matson knows how to write the heck out of a YA contemporary! This one had been on my shelves for a long time and after participating in my friend Maureen's Matson Book Tag (watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGOLU...) I was craving a Matson and picked this one. I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THE EMOTIONAL TURMOIL. I read 80% of this book pretty quickly and then the last 20% was stretched out because I knew what was coming (it's in the synopsis!) and I was too scared and sad to push on. When I finally did finish it I thought that Matson did it with grace and calm and I was really impressed with the character development. I definitely think it was about 100 pages too long but it was a solid contemporary and I'm now thinking it's time to re-read Amy&Rogers or to finally read my last unread one by her: The Unexpected Everything!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,536 reviews9,960 followers
July 15, 2017
I love Morgan Matson books! But I didn't want to cry today 😥

This isn't the best book of hers I have read but it was still good. There were a lot of slow parts, but maybe with what was happening in the story, we needed to slow down.

Taylor, her mom and dad and brother and sister decide to go to their lake house for one last summer. Sob, I can't even think about the reason why.

Anyway, they hadn't been back there for 5 years. Taylor's friends she left behind were mad at her. Things were different now, for everyone.

The book was sweet and sad and makes you realize you need to cherish the time you have with loved ones and friends. There is also a dog ❤️

Anyway, I enjoyed it but was sad happy 😕
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.6k followers
July 26, 2023
giving this book a second chance. and also it's summer.

and through the magic of the world's best season, this is better than i remember it being!

sure, there is so much going on, and yes, i do honestly wish it was more snack bars and bakeries and punny signs and less, you know cancer dad...

but somehow it managed to scratch the summery YA contemporary romance itch anyway.

even if it did contain the words "help" and "notice" an inexcusable number of times.

bottom line: morgan matson = summer

original review

Profile Image for Samantha.
441 reviews16.7k followers
June 8, 2018
4.5 stars! Full review (and possibly a gush) to come on my channel.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
943 reviews14k followers
July 21, 2015
Tissue count: 3

This book took me forever to read. It dragged a bit, which I felt was unusual because I flew through Matson's 2 other books. Although I did enjoy this one and it was definitely summery and made me wish I had a lake house, I'm really tired of Matson only writing about shy girls who never speak their mind or have confidence. It was really irritating in this book, moreso than her other two, and I found myself unable to relate to-- or enjoying reading about-- the characters. The entire premise of this was just meh. And although it was a nice read and made me sad at the end (inevitably), it's not the best thing in the world. And I'm still unsure if this book was overhyped for me, or if that's just how I feel truly.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,743 reviews5,291 followers
February 23, 2019
When Taylor’s father suddenly falls devastatingly ill, his only request for the summer is to take the entire family back to the summer lake house they used to visit every year, when the kids were younger and things were easier. The only problem is that Taylor messed up, a long time ago, and Lake Pocono isn’t nearly as welcoming as it once was. In the most pivotal season of her life, Taylor must learn how to juggle her father’s health struggles and her own need to find a second chance in the lives of her former best friend and boyfriend.

I’d never read anything by Morgan Matson before, but I’d heard so many rave reviews about her books that it felt like this read was long overdue. I tried to hedge my expectations going in, because the hype honestly sounded too good to be true, but I have to admit that I was pretty surprised by what I found.

A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted—mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.

First, the narrative voice in this book? Incredible. It was so easy to lose myself in, and I found myself effortlessly attaching to Taylor’s character. She’s extremely flawed and doesn���t always do the right thing, which is part of what makes her such an excellent protagonist; I found myself relating to her reactions, especially her tendency to run from painful situations, as I think we’ve all done that a time or two (I know I have).

But one thing that I was learning about what happened when you stuck around—it usually seemed that other people were willing to stick by you as well.

On top of that, the plot revolving around her father and his health — wow, it hurt my heart so much. There are scenes between Taylor and her dad that are physically painful to read because the fear of loss is breathtakingly authentic and leaps right off the pages. It’s not just Taylor’s pain either, though; her entire family feels so real. The worst scene for me (no spoilers) was a scene in which Taylor’s grandpa comes to visit, and the way he reacts when first seeing her dad (his son) — I’m choking up just thinking about it.

As I looked out at the water, I realized there was nowhere to go, nowhere left to run. And I just had to stay here, facing this terrible truth.

All of that said, Second Chance Summer isn’t just some endless parade of heartache. There are so many wonderful moments as Taylor finds her way back to her former best friend, Lucy, and her childhood boyfriend, Henry. The over-arching theme of the entire story is a reminder that people can change, and sometimes, we all need second chances.

Buddy read with the lovely Reg, who makes all my buddy reads better! ♥
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
855 reviews453 followers
June 15, 2016
This novel hit a little too close to home. I feel like not everyone will understand Taylor but I just... I just felt like I was reading about myself. But she's not a particularly strong character here? Exactly.

For me she was a strong one. Honestly, I love reading about strong female characters who don't give a shit about what other people think and who represent empowerment. Now, what I want to ask you is: "Do you feel like you're like that every single moment of your life?" I don't think so. It's a bit different when you're reading a book and looking at the character's behavior objectively than when you're living your own life and making mistakes along the way. If you're really that self-positive, I applaud you. I really do. I try to make myself love MYSELF every day and it's not working so well to be honest. I found myself relating to Taylor a lot, apart from the fact that I'm the only child and that I don't really have childhood crushes. But, how everyone pretends that everything's okay? Now, that's something I can relate to. My family pretended just like hers. I feel like I'm still pretending. So, what I wanted to say is that we're all allowed to feel like crap sometimes. And we're allowed to be strong. Or not so strong. And, most of all, we're allowed to be humans and not reach any kind of perfection. Flaws are beautiful too.

Read this book.
Profile Image for sreeja.
65 reviews307 followers
November 29, 2016
honestly, the 12y/o version of the mc manages to have more of a love life than I probably will ever have (considering mine is non-existent).
This book managed to make me cry more than the opening scene of Guardians of the Galaxy (yes, I cry everytime?? IDEK why) which is like a lot.
ALSO I have no idea why I picked it up when December is going to start and summer is clearly eons away. This was such a summery and beautiful read that it made me all kinds of warm and happy on the inside anyway. Minus the ending of course. That was just pure torture and completely devastating.
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I have heard so many great things about Morgan Matson and having heard from some that she was pretty much the queen of contemporary books I had to pick it up and I couldn’t be more glad.
This is the first YA contemporary I’ve read so far that shined the spotlight on family instead of love or friends. And honestly, it was so beautiful to watch this slightly distant and very different family learn to love and accept each other through their last summer together as a family.
Taylor’s interactions with her siblings were pretty limited beforehand and they were never really close but it was such a pleasure to watch her and Gelsey get closer. Her and Warren’s relationship really progressed a lot and their sibling love towards the end was just perfect.
This book was great to watch play out as Taylor managed to bridge the many distances that she had with the people that she loved. It was seen since the very beginning of the book that Taylor was not the most courageous of sorts and she preferred to run away from things that scared her but I’m glad that her character managed to develop and become a more strong and rooted person by the end.
Seeing her make amends with her once-childhood best friend, Lucy was a highlight in the book. Although I did have an issue with the fact that Lucy was being cold about something that Taylor did like what 7 years ago? It was realistically quite immature, NO wait their argument was more immature dear god. Once I managed to find out the real cause of their fallout I was just there like,
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Henry was honestly just a pure ray of sunshine in the book! His passion and patience along with the fact that he can bake (omg boyfriend material) made him one of my favourites to follow. Also he is incredibly sweet and thoughtful. Like that date that he took Taylor on OMG
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As I’ve said before though I think the romance wasn’t as much in the forefront as the family relations. Especially Taylor and her father’s. I cannot express in words how beautiful their relationship was. Taylor began to truly get to the know the person that is her father and hold on to as many memories as possible and whenever they were in scenes together believe me your eyes will just tear up naturally.

“A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted- mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.”

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That finale just about crushed me into little pieces.

This really was beautiful and I can’t wait to give more Morgan Matson books a go because I really love her writing style so far!
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books405 followers
January 26, 2023
This was another great Morgan Matson book. In this one, Taylor’s family has received devastating news about her father, and they’re all going up to the family summer home for one more vacation together. There, Taylor sees friends she hasn’t seen in five years, including Henry, former first love. This was the perfect combination of cute summer antics, family moments, a sweet romance, and a heartbreaking topic that was really written. I really applaud the way this was done. A great read.

Trigger warnings:

Profile Image for demi. ♡.
206 reviews275 followers
August 21, 2019
❥ 4 / 5 stars

“You want to know something about gymnastics?” Lucy asked, falling into step next to me.

“Always,” I said, deadpan, and she smiled at me.

“The thing is that people only get hurt—really hurt—when they’re trying to play it safe. That’s when people get injured, when they pull back at the last second because they’re scared. They hurt themselves and other people.”

I love you, Taylor but don’t you dare try to run away again!!


P.S. Do you think I’m crazy if I say that even if I already knew how it was going to end, I was still hoping for a miracle that maybe Taylor’s Dad will stay. ;—;
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,050 followers
May 22, 2017
Spoiler Alert: This book should come with a free box (or boxes) of tissues.

Second Chance Summer just like the rest of Ms.Morgan Matson’s novels did not fail my expectations of a perfect summer read except this particular novel thought my summer reads are becoming pretty easy and so it decided to make me bawl out. Profusely.

It’s impressive because I don’t think the novel is deliberately trying to make the reader cry. Yes the premise is very sad- about a family spending their last summer together considering the father has only a few months left to live, but the story was approached in a light-hearted manner stretching and fixating the plot on Taylor, the middle child and her shot at second chances. I enjoyed how she was able to spend a productive summer while gaining confidence and winning back her friends which had all been possible because of the time she spent with her father, getting to know him better and learning so much from him during his last few weeks alive.*wails*

I admire Taylor and her whole family for putting up a strong face during an impending tragedy. I doubt I’ll ever face a thing as graceful and as courageous and I pray never to have to go through anything like it. Written genuinely and beautifully (except for several noticeable typos-sorry for noticing^^), it’s a story that will make you appreciate life and people you love while you still have the chance.
Profile Image for Jennifer Ellision.
Author 35 books378 followers
June 27, 2012
Posted to Almost Grown-up:

WARNING: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson is NSFW. That is… Not Safe For Work. And it’s not due to the usual reasons that things are deemed NSFW. Nope, no gratuitous sex in THIS incredible book. Second Chance Summer is of the ugly-crying NSFW variety. But we will get to that. I promise.

Earlier chapters of Second Chance Summer may not be sob-inducing, but they pulled at my heart an equal amount.

And there are a variety of reasons for that.

First of all, there’s Morgan Matson’s masterful handling of a terminal illness. Taylor’s dad seems fine as the summer starts, but his diagnosis hangs over them even in happy moments. A dark cloud on a sunny day, so to speak.

But those happy moments are there. Matson develops a cast of characters around Taylor who are quirky and wonderful. Her family is loving, but isn’t some cliche of the all-American family. They don’t seem like caricatures of an idea; they are all so human and real.

Taylor reunites with her former best friend, Lucy amidst a great deal of awkwardness (they haven’t spoken in years after something Taylor did to both Lucy and Taylor’s ex-boyfriend), but when they get back to the friendship point? I wanted to squish them in a hug. Even when they were fighting, for that matter, I still respected them. Lucy wasn’t nice to Taylor, by any means, but she doesn’t fall into that trap of being “mean girl.”

Then… oh, guys, then there is Henry. Taylor’s ex-boyfriend. Her first love. The boy who brings swoon to the page in Second Chance Summer. The way he and Taylor come back together is so realistic and just… do they actually make boys like this in real life? Because I would like one.

We get into NSFW territory (again, from ugly-crying) as Taylor’s father begins his decline. I started off the cry-fest by wiping the few tears that trickled out of my eyes. But soon after that, I gave up wiping them because they kept on coming; there was practically a WATERFALL on my face. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that there was a point when I was crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe.

Overall rating: 5/5. I literally have no criticism of Morgan Matson’s Second Chance Summer. This is a fabulous book and left me with… just… so many feelings.
Profile Image for Shannon A.
675 reviews532 followers
June 3, 2016
Not sure how, but this was even better the second time around. It's now my fave Morgan book. Tears but such a good story. All YA contemporary needs to take a page from Morgan's book. She's gold. Loving #monthofmatson, even though I'm carrying it into June ;P
Profile Image for Jenny.
188 reviews1,311 followers
October 12, 2014
I was sitting on a bus and I was trying VERY hard not to cry.
Profile Image for Pinky.
514 reviews431 followers
August 28, 2015
When I picked this book up, I was expecting it to be a fun, happy read. But it wasn't and I wasn't expecting it to be so sad and depressing. I still loved the book and enjoyed the whole reading experience but I was not expecting what I read.

Taylor Edwards is forced to cancel all her plans for the summer after her family discover horrible news about Taylor's dad. Instead of a summer packed with clubs and other things, Taylor's parents decided that they should visit their old lake house in Pocono Mountains. Taylor's childhood was all in this lake house, along with her best friend and first boyfriend, who still live in the area. She has to deal with seeing them after 5 years of no contact with them. The whole journey of what happened in Taylor's past and how Taylor will get past her father's devastating news is basically the story of this book.

This wasn't a fluffy contemporary read like I was expecting, it was more of a depressing sad book with a nice story. I loved the writing style and I loved how we got to see what happened before and how every chapter would change from past to present.

The characters were so realistic and I loved all of them. Taylor was one of the people that I wished talked things out with people instead of running away from her problems. (But I run away from my problems too so I am being a hypocrite right now :) ) Taylor finds herself in this book and learns more about how everyone is so important to her. Henry always had your back no matter what and that is one of the things I envy about him. Lucy was one of the characters I liked in present but hated the way she acted in the past. Gelsey and Warren were the best siblings ever and I liked how different they were. Mr and Mrs Edwards were also amazing characters that I enjoyed reading about.

When I finished reading this book, tears were flowing down my face and I was holding the book away from me so my tears wouldn't go on the book. I looked like such a fool but I loved the book so much. Morgan Matson is my favorite author for contemporary books. It was cool how Taylor got her second chance 5 years after what happened.

If you want a contemporary book that is different and sad but amazing, PICK THIS BOOK UP! You wont regret reading this and you will enjoy it to the very end. If you enjoyed Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, you will definitely enjoy this book!
Profile Image for Jillian .
441 reviews1,814 followers
March 10, 2016
"It wasn't until now, when every day I had with my father was suddenly numbered, that I realized just how precious they had been. A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted -- mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more."

An incredible story about second chances, loss and grief, and finding the courage you always knew you had. Morgan Matson is a master at highlighting the big moments that most everyone will probably go through in life and pinpointing the little moments we most likely take for granted. This book made me want to tell everyone I love most that I love them. If you still haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for alexandra.
230 reviews1,523 followers
September 3, 2020
3.5/5 ♡ second chance summer was a story of beginnings and endings.

of all the morgan matson books, this novel is probably my least favorite. not because i didn't like it or anything, i just felt there could've been more. taylor, the main character, wasn't my favorite because i couldn't clearly see her. given her situation, it's understandable to be emotionally distraught, but even after finishing the book i still don't really know who she is? some of her actions were also SO frustrating.

although some of the characters were questionable, i LOVE the family relationships in this one. it's probably my favorite part of the novel. the way everything played out made me reconsider and be more aware of my own family. even when things in the plot are falling apart, their family is also coming together like never before.

the romantic relationships, however, made me feel pretty neutral. although yes, i did like their relationship, i also thought it escaladed too suddenly. before we even get to know the personality of the main love interest, they're making out. that's another thing: all they ever did was kiss. what of the talking? and confiding? and comforting? i dunno, it bothered me a bit.

given the lack of connection with taylor, i was surprisingly invested at the end. people kept telling me i'd be crying by the end and i actually did cry. it just made me realize and feel a lot of feelings.

although i felt the characters and relationships were lacking in some parts, i still really enjoyed this novel! i love the family and general message/plotline. i love how emotional it made me at times. i love the character development and friendships. overall, i'm glad i read this book but i don't think it will stick with me as much as morgan matson's other novels.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,209 reviews19.7k followers
June 10, 2017
I just want to curl up in a ball now. What a beautiful story about family, love and loss.
Profile Image for Shannon A.
675 reviews532 followers
July 17, 2015
I can't process my feelings about this book right now. I have never cried harder in my life reading a book. Granted, this is largely in part due to circumstances in the book paralleling circumstances in my own life, but I can't see how this book wouldn't move each and every person who picks it up.
I'll admit: there was a moment in this book around the halfway mark where I was worried it was going to be my least favorite MM book and that I might actually give it 4 stars *GASP* The book had the huge task of balancing a teen girl's life over the course of the summer and everything that accompanies it: boys, friends, work & drama... with a very serious, life-altering situation her family is dealing with. And while my favorite parts were the parts dealing with family, I came to the conclusion after completing the book that it wouldn't have been realistic if it had only been the challenging moments for the family and not the entire full perspective of Taylor's life. She is a teenage girl and her life reflected that. I loved the messages about friendship, second chances and what's really important in life.
Morgan Matson is so incredibly talented and this book was no exception to the other amazing works I've read by her. She is a beacon of truth and reality in a genre that can often fall prey to cliches and cheesiness. Second Chance Summer moved me and evoked so many different emotions. A perfect balance of summer light, real life grit and life lessons we all need to hear, this book is a MUST READ for any and absolutely everyone. All the G.D. stars.
AND PS - don't ask me to rank Morgan's books because that's like asking a mother to choose between her children. I CANNOT DO IT.
AND PPS - I loved seeing Amy & Roger make a tiny cameo. Gah, the feels <3
Profile Image for Pearl Angeli.
624 reviews963 followers
June 30, 2017
Second Chance Summer

“The thing is that people only get hurt—really hurt—when they’re trying to play it safe. That’s when people get injured, when they pull back at the last second because they’re scared. They hurt themselves and other people.”

A heart-felt, beautiful tale about family drama, childhood romance, and friendship that will pull your emotions.

It's my first time reading a book written by Morgan Matson, and I could say that she's one of a kind. The first few lines of the book already told me that the author is thoroughly capable of writing a great and unforgettable novel.

Second Chance Summer is a likeable book. It can put you into a summery feel because it somewhat brings you to a relaxing, calm setting, which is the reason why I did not hesitate to delve into it. I like summer books! And if you've been following me for a while, you know how I enjoyed the The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy: The Summer I Turned Pretty; It's Not Summer Without You; We'll Always Have Summer and rated all the books in the series 5 Stars.

This is a sort of moderately heavy drama. It starts off when the main character Taylor Edwards learned that her father has a pancreatic cancer and is dying. One who is used to running off whenever certain situations tend to get rough, she found herself unable to escape the situation when her family decided to go to Pocono Mountains where their lake house was situated and where they always spend their summers together. Even though she was not really comfortable going back there-- because going back means possibly seeing her best friend Lucy and childhood sweetheart Henry, she had to- for the sake of her dad who wanted to make his possibly last summer meaningful.

I love these kinds of stories. But it takes an extremely convincing plot to really impress me. The book is good, but for some reason it was lacking. The plotline fell short and it lacked immense movement. It actually took me a while to come around because there were pages upon pages and nothing really happened-- which was kind of tedious.

I have also some issues with the main character. So I was aware that Taylor is not a strong character here. She immediately runs off whenever she encounters a great conflict that she can't handle. All the while I thought she would improve, but then she didn't. I was surprised and annoyed at the same time when That said, the book kind of went downhill for me.

Another issue was the conflict of the book. I don't know but for me, a conflict has to be deep in order to draw the readers in. In this book, however, the conflict was too superficial. And it was easily resolved! Taylor did not even have a hard time gaining Lucy and Henry's forgiveness. Just a simple sorry from her and they're like, "sure, it's ok. I forgive you." (IT MAKES ME SAD) :( 'Coz really, I was looking for an emotional reunion and forgiveness.

The book's strength, however, was its strong message about how one should not run away when things tend to get hard, and how important it is to stand on your own, face the fears and consequences, and just love a person without holding back. I admit that I was really moved with the letter Taylor's dad left her. The message was utterly thought-provoking and it really made sense.

As a whole, the book is still a good read. I recommend this to everyone at all age who loves summer books with a blend of drama and a little bit of romance. :)

Rating: 3 Stars

(Review is also posted on my blog: https://bibliopearl.wordpress.com/201...) :)
Profile Image for Korrina  (OwlCrate).
193 reviews4,561 followers
May 10, 2016
I really, really enjoyed this book. It brought my own memories of summers long past where my family and my best friend's family would go camping every summer. We'd always meet so many interesting kids there.

I thought the main character was heartbreaking and annoying and flawed and realistic. Just like a teenager should be. I felt her pain through and through.

Even though this book was devastating it just made me want to appreciate my friends and family more.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
443 reviews712 followers
September 27, 2016
Henry just stared at me, and I looked back into his green eyes, feeling the sudden urge to break into hysterical laughter, because it was beginning to seem like I couldn't turn around in Lake Phoenix without running into him.

Second Chance Summer is a book that'll give you the courage you need when trying to stand up after falling; it'll give you the strength you need when defeated by the God of Life; it'll also give you the permission you need when following your heart.

Second Chance Summer is a story about starting over, moving on, giving and given second chances. It's a book that's going to worth your time reading and staying with you eventually.

Taylor and Henry were childhood-friends-turned-couples when they were 12, but their puppy love ended abruptly since Taylor had a habit of running away whenever things got too thorny and too complicated. The next time they met was 5 years later, at the same place, on the same dock. The difference was that this time, the girl knew her dad had numbered days on Earth and the guy learned how to let her know he'd always be there when she needed him.
And I'd gone to my closet, and returned with the stuffed penguin, settling him next to me on the pillow.

Taylor and Henry's love story wasn't typically romantic; it was filled with ups and downs in the respective lives, but what I absolutely admired and loved was how both of them--Taylor in particular--became more mature after all these years. The story was told in her perspective and I found myself almost the mirror of her. What I'm saying is that at many points in the story, I had the sudden recognition of my-younger-self because what she was feeling and dealing with were totally understandable for me. As if I was seeing my past through her eyes and then with the author's words, I grew up with her somehow in the process.

For example, there are several times(too many to count, I must admit) when we might feel extremely embarrassed doing something awkward in front of someone we had a crush on long time ago, or in front of the entire class of 200 people, or out there in public where every waiting passenger could see, and then at that exact moment, all we want to do is curl into a ball and wish you could be invisible. Well, truth is, nobody really cares! People won't specifically remember what you look like, what color your skirt is or what you just did. In contrast, it's all because we pay too much attention to other's feelings about us, what they think about us.
I busied myself straightening the cups, but it didn't seem like the customers even noticed me--never mind remembered me as the girl who thoroughly messed up the movie's introduction.

There are also times when we’re too scared to apologize for fear that others won’t give us a second chance or accept our apologies and grant us forgiveness. Again, truth is, how would you know that if you don’t even give it a try? The story taught me that no matter what other people would react when we say sorry or blurt out something without thinking twice, it was possible (and mostly true) that the outcome turned out to be a whole lot better than we initially expected.
It made me ashamed for thinking so little of Henry--feeling like he wouldn't be willing to forgive me, just because that's how I would have acted.

Last but definitely not least, I admit that I didn’t even expect this book would make me wail like a big baby because I literally thought it was just about Taylor coping with her own problems with friends and family. Sadly, I was so wrong. So, so wrong. The author didn’t fail to activate my long-numbed emotional functions in me (considering I just finished reading a super duper boring book) by the end of the story and I was both grateful and regretful. I’m grateful to have read this heartwarming story and been able to learn something in the meanwhile. On the contrary, I’m regretful for reading this because it totally WRECKED me EMOTIONALLY. Now I have serious puffy eyes that can barely open. Great.

Anyway, as the story came close to an end, . I personally liked how beautifully the author put that scene into descriptions and even though my tears were already streaming down my face before I read that specific part, I was not entirely sad about it. I mean, it was such a brilliant way to maneuver we readers’ emotion and feels.

As a result, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book to everyone who enjoys reading contemporary fiction. Morgan Matson once again caught my undivided attention with her terrific skills of storytelling. So, let’s allow ourselves to be carried away by her magical words, shall we?
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610 reviews5,661 followers
August 16, 2020
DNF at 50%

I tried,,,, I really tried, but this book is so dry and nothing of any value is happening. My existence on this Earth is too short to waste my time reading books that I don’t care about.

My mom said: i give u permission to not finish it, but since you’re 50% through, count it as a book you read.

So that’s what we’re going to do lmao
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