Google+ YA Romantics: Love and Loss 3: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Love and Loss 3: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson



For my third and final "love and loss" review, I'm featuring Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.



Second Chance Summer

by Morgan Matson

Published by Simon and Schuster BFYR

on May 8, 2012

Source: bought from independent bookstore



My summary:  Taylor thought she'd left her twelve year-old self behind at her family's lake house, along with a broken friendship and a failed romance. Five years later, when Taylor's father is diagnosed with terminal cancer, his last wish is to spend a summer back at the lake with his family. Will Taylor take this second chance to connect with her father and confront her old disappointments?

My take: I loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and was very excited to read Morgan Matson's second book. Like Amy and Roger, Second Chance Summer is a touching story about family and loss. This book has a bit of the same feel as Jenny Han's Summer series, which also weaves together the last summer of a terminally ill parent with a coming of age story. 


When Taylor returns to the lake, she encounters Henry, her first boyfriend, and Lucy, her ex-best friend. In order to contrast Taylor's twelve year-old summer with this one, Second Chance Summer intersperses chapters in the present with "Five Summers Ago" chapters set in the past.  I liked the idea, but the "Five Summers Ago" chapters never quite grabbed me as much as the present-day ones. I was also a little skeptical of the lasting heartbreak that might be caused by romance at age twelve. I could, however, see how the breach with a best friend at that age could be an experience that would stay with Taylor. 

Reading about Taylor's father's deterioration was difficult and sad, but I was inspired by the way Taylor's family grew closer together in the face of her father's illness. 

All in all, Second Chance Summer beautifully captured the way that some summers are perfect little worlds all their own, with beautiful moments and sad moments and the realization that as another summer draws to an end, time is passing faster than I'd like.

Hope you've enjoyed Love and Loss this week. If you missed the earlier installments in the series, they were First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky and In Honor by Jessi Kirby. Click on the red titles to open the reviews in a new window.

All three books will be up for grabs on Freebie Friday on June 1st!

15 comments:

  1. This looks so good, but I don't know if I can handle reading about a dying parent. I read a book about a missing brother this week and I could barely handle it.

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    1. Yeah, for me it's missing kids or sick kids. This book was sad but not depressing. I enjoyed it!

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  2. I haven't read this one yet, but I may take my copy on vacation with me tomorrow and read it on our road trip over to New Mexico. Sounds sad but good. Loved your series on this! :)

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  3. This sounds absolutely heartbreaking, but very good. Great review!!!

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    1. It was!!! Taylor's father was an inspiration to me. He was so brave. And her mother too. Yeah, I did cry in this one, mostly just imagining as a parent how completely heartbreaking it would be to know that you wouldn't be there for your children.

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  4. Sounds very sad and heartbreaking. I have a feeling I will enjoy it though. Thanks for the great review! :)

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  5. I loved Amy & Roger, and am looking fwd to reading this one! It sounds like a good read, and one I'll be prepared for *not* to be light/fluffy...a good balance to summer reads ;o)

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    1. If you liked Amy and Roger, you'll love it! It's poignant but also hopeful!

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  6. This one sounds really sad! And even though I normally don't cry at books, I think this one might make me tear up! Great review Jen, and I really like how you put all 3 of the books together for a feature! ;)

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    1. There were a few sad moments. But a lot of other stuff too! Hope you love it!

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  7. I think it's the romance at 12 that I can't get past. Surely puppy love at best at that age.

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  8. I haven't heard of this book, I'll have to add it to my ever growing TBR pile! :) Thanks Jen!!

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  9. This was a great grouping of books you reviewed over the last couple of days, Jen:) I enjoyed Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, but it's not my fave road trip book.I loved all the places they visited, and I LOVED the music aspects of the book, but the characters of Amy and Roger kind of annoyed me a bit. Anyway, I do want to read Second Chance Summer, because I really liked the writing style of Morgan Matson:)

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